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Last month I encouraged my leadership team to discover the motivation that drives those they are guiding. Anyone coming from a non-traditional background comes to a point in their career, often very early, where they have to push themselves to keep going, though the outlook looks bleak. It is not always apparent that this is happening. It is incumbent upon those that are mentoring, guiding, leading, advising those in that predicament to remind them of their “why.”

For me, the decision to enter tech was not on a whim or due to the allure of the six-figure stereotypical developer getting…

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Warning: You may read things that will disrupt the way you view software developers. You have been warned!

When one hears the title ‘Software Developer’, what instantly comes to the mind of many are super-geniuses that sit in their basements coding away, that breezed through high school and college academic classes specializing in math and/or science have never gotten less than an A- in any given subject.


This is not true, while there is a percentage of those with much higher than average intelligence who choose to work as developers, the average developer is just that… average but extremely hardworking…

There has been a lot of dialogue around the lack of diversity in tech and STEM in general. The need for a diverse workforce in many tech startups and the development teams within many larger organizations has been a topic of discussion for quite some time now. There are initiatives, training, programs, and scholarships being created to increase and alleviate some of the identified obstacles of creating such a workforce. In speaking with many colleagues and reading numerous articles/blogs dedicated to this subject that earnestly wish to hire and/or create a talented diverse workforce, they point out that the only…

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The first 2–3 years of your career may not look like that of your white male computer science degree carrying counterparts.

You may have to hustle to find opportunities to code for smaller organizations and startups that have limited budgets. You may have to take a greater leap of faith and work in a junior-level development role making less than the median identified starting salary for your area on

Keep in mind, you are making strides and laying a path for those that follow. You are not alone in your pursuits to leverage technology as a catalyst to transform…

Slow clapping for yourself

As we progress personally and professionally we often overlook the many achievements we have made striving for opportunities that seem just out of reach. These new challenges and opportunities seem to be the very thing we need to reach in order to feel successful. So the chase begins… again.

I think it is important for anyone reading this article to stop and recognize the progress they have made in the various areas of life. Take a moment to appreciate yourself, your perseverance, your determination, your strength to have overcome things very specific to your unique life. Regardless of the accomplishments of any other person around you or in the media. Consider where you are now and what it took to get here. Take a moment to be kind to yourself by recognizing that you’ve grown in significant and meaningful ways.

Kudos to you. That is all.

Weeks following the onset of the protests against the senseless killing of Blacks in this country corporations as well as individuals are now asking… What can I do? Great question! I’m glad you asked. I am all about actionable next steps. If this gets too painful at any point you are free to go back to your lives and continue to ignore the solutions staring us in the face that could make a real impact on Black lives.

what now spray painted on wall
what now spray painted on wall
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

I will address this at two levels 1) corporations (small and large) as well as 2) individuals. The truth is if you’re…

The story of a small village that is brought together by a weary traveler in need of food with no money has served as an analogy for many years. If you are not familiar, it is the story of Stone Soup. In this story, a young woman through the magic of a single smooth stone and a kettle of boiling water pulls together the meager resources of all the villagers to create a delicious pot of soup that feeds the entire town. Before this young lady’s appearance villagers were barely getting by and did not have enough resources individually to…

Oftentimes people approach me clearly supportive of the mission of The Difference Engine, NFP with questions on how they can #engineeradifference. The first acknowledgment is that just as diverse as the environment we are trying to create in tech the abilities of individuals, companies, and organizations to give are just as wide but there is a shared intention. I am constantly awestruck with the compassion and desire people have to help or pay-it-forward.

Over the years I compiled a few options and ways we have been working to #engineeradifference. Here are the top 10:

  1. Hire TDE Apprentices for development roles

Mother to son… “Just watch what happens next.”

It is very challenging to behave or live a life you’ve never seen. Most emulate the interactions of those they are around. Those that strive to be different from their surroundings or upbringing do so with a great deal of focus, passion, effort, and growth. It is no small thing when someone recognizes that gaps in their background, environment or self are holding them back from living a more fulfilling and stable life. …

My most recent challenge has manifested itself in various organizations, companies, and cultures but has one resonating tone — scarcity. Regardless of the size, revenue, and profitability of an organization when faced with a culture of scarcity the first things deprioritized or put on the back burner are the activities that could lead to significant long-lasting positive shifts in the culture. This is true in nonprofits that struggle to keep their doors open as well as tech giants.

“The five largest tech companies are collectively worth more than the entire economy of the United Kingdom. Investors value these companies at…

Kimberly Lowe-Williams

CEO at The Difference Engine. Providing real-life software development to nontraditional developers and nonprofits. #PipelineBuilder #NonprofitLeader

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