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Urban Tech Weekend Twitter Interview

posted Sep 3, 2014, 9:55 AM by Anjuan Simmons   [ updated Sep 3, 2014, 1:25 PM ]
Here is the transcript of the Twitter Interview that was held yesterday for Urban Tech Weekend. I changed the formatting to pull out the questions and my responses to them.

We are happy to interview @janelmwrites @anjuan @cupasaki today. Let’s jump right in & get started w/ some questions #urbantechweekend


@anjuan Tell us a little about your book Minority #Tech #urbantechweekend

First, I want to thank @NBITLO for giving me an opportunity to speak at #urbantechweekend. I take being part of Vision seriously. 

I wrote "Minority Tech" to Relate, Renovate, and Replicate. Can I get Sister Jenkins on the organ?

I wanted other Black technologists to read the book and know that someone relates to them. Have you been the only Black person in a meeting? The only Black person in the building? I've been there, y'all. Have you been the Team Lead, and have someone walk into a conference room and ask, "Where's the Team Lead?" Been there. Have you been at an after work event and been asked to "sing, rap, or dance?" Yep, I've been there, too (for the record, I neither sing nor rap, but I have a mean two step!).

But, I wanted my readers to say more than, "Amen" when reading @MinorityTech. I wanted to renovate Blacks in tech. People of color have a long history in tech. We built the Pyramids. We invented the gas mask and traffic light. I wanted to help renovate our involvement in tech. Put us back in the forefront of technological innovaiton. Finally, I wanted to replicate myself. I’ve had a great career in tech and I want to see more success stories. If we don't increase our participation in tech from 2% to 10% in the next 10 years, we've failed. The future belongs to tech. We need to not just be in tech. We need to lead tech! 


How R all of U working 2 diversify #tech & changing the game w/ your platforms/book @cupasaki @anjuan & @janelmwrites #urbantechweekend

I am working to diversify tech personally, professionally, and programatically. Personally, I'm looking for people of color in my life who have what I call "the glow". They eat and breath tech. I mentor and guide them. Profesionally, I have hire capability in my profession. So, I hire the qualified. Programmatically, I write books like @MinorityTech and speak at conferences like #urbantechweekend

I'm also working on some next level stuff. But, ya'll gonna have to wait to hear about that!



@cupasaki @anjuan & @janelmwrites Why are events like #urbantechweekend & orgs. like @nbitlo so important for people of color #Tech

Sally Ride once said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Events like #urbantechweekend are essential to increasing visibility. Young Blacks know what Kim Kardassian wore to the VMAs, but don’t know how to code? But, that’s none of my business. 

kermit

Actually, that is my business. And I’m glad that it’s also the business of #urbantechweekend We need to show young POC how it's done.


@cupasaki @anjuan & @janelmwrites how does #urbantechweekend align with your professional platforms in #tech #stem

#urbantechweekend is key to my professional platform. I take it as seriously as #sxsw or other tech conferences. In fact, more so. I’ve spoken multiple times at #sxsw. One day I may speak at TED. But, ain’t nothing like speaking to my people. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and others have shown us the numbers. There’s work to do and #urbantechweekend is so crucial.


@cupasaki @anjuan & @janelmwrites what #career advice would you give to those interested in #Tech?

Get your skills up. Skills trump skin color because skills lead to scrilla and that’s what companies want ( Ya’ll like how I used scrilla in a tweet, huh?). Also, get your network up. What you know is important, but who you know is even more so. Get thyself to #urbantechweekend and network. And, of course, get yourself a copy of @MinorityTech. It's chock full of great career advice :-)


What can we do to work strategically towards bridging the digital divide via platforms such as @nbitlo #urbantechweekend

We need to maximize attendence. Events like #urbantechweekend should be overflowing with attendees. Also, we should continue to partner with educational institutions. The battle is won or lost in school. Finally, we need veteran Blacks in tech to RUSH to @awestechchief to ask to speak at #urbantechweekend. I can't think of any event that puts in the kind of work that #urbantechweekend puts into our communities. We all need to support it.


@anjuan I see you worked w/ @NBITLO in prior years, tell us why @awestechchief vision is so important #urbantechweekend

Let me get personal here. @awestechchief is doing the work I wish I was doing at his age. Most of my 20s and 30s were spent getting those good promotions and pay increases. My career was paramount. @awestechchief had the audacity to look around and say, "Wait, I can't be the only one getting all this money!" :-) So, he didn't just gather for himself. He had the vision to create other gatherers. And, I love that about him.


Thank U 4 joining our 2nd #urbantechweekend #tech #diversity #STEM twitter chat w/ @cupasaki @anjuan & @janelmwrites

@innov8tivmag @Lets_B_Real Thanks for moderating #urbantechweekend! I had a lot of fun!




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