Real Talk with Joy Dixon

/dev/color
The Compiler
Published in
3 min readSep 19, 2017

--

Meet Joy Dixon, Founder & CEO of Mosaic Presence and member of /dev/color.

Location:

San Francisco Bay Area

A Quote to Live by:

“I can’t are two words that have never been in my vocabulary. I believe in me more than anything in this world.” — Wilma Rudolph

“I can, I will, I must.” — Eric Thomas

Connect with Joy: at http://www.mosaicpresence.com/

Tell us a bit about your early years.

I’m a native San Franciscan with imagination and an independent spirit. From early on I had a great deal of passion for tinkering — building cages, setting up aquariums, and creating habitats for my various animals. I also loved numbers so I kept stats for football games and competed with cash registers to calculate the total first. I was and still am a bibliophile. A cup of hot chocolate and a Three Investigators book was a great afternoon.

How did you get started in software?

In the sixth grade, I had a teacher, Ms. Augustine, who taught programming on dummy terminals writing BASIC. She encouraged my parents to get me a Commodore 64. My mom made the Commodore 64 happen. Ms. Augustine was so successful in getting me excited about computing because Ms. Augustine looked like me. So in Ms. Augustine, I saw my possibilities.

What are you focusing most of your time on now?

I focus most of my time on building my company, Mosaic Presence (mosaicpresence.com).

What is the most interesting technical challenge you’ve worked on recently?

The most interesting technical challenge that I’ve worked on recently is ramping on Salesforce Einstein, specifically the following components:

  • Image Classification
  • Object Detection
  • Sentiment & Intent (Natural Language Processing)

I’m also taking a Machine Learning class.

Please state 2–3 of your current career goals. Why are these important to you?

  • Grow the Mosaic Presence student pipeline.
  • Design, develop, and deliver software development curriculum and training.
  • Create a path from Individual Contributor to Engineering Manager for Black Software Engineers.

Give an example of a recent time you’ve helped a fellow engineer. What lessons can be taken from their situation?

I sent an introduction email for a fellow engineer. I dig sending intro emails. The lesson that can be taken from the situation is asking for what I want and need. The clarity and power of speaking out loud is amazing and helps to cultivate new levels of authenticity with myself and others.

In what areas can /dev/color members reach out to you for help?

  • Software Development Training/Curriculum Development
  • Salesforce Development
  • Connecting with people

As a member of /dev/color you are also committed to developing yourself. Can you share some areas you are looking to improve?

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Mobile Development

Can you speak about any passions outside of programming?

  • Coffee
  • Music
  • Warriors
  • Family & Friends

I enjoy reading a good book, watching animated movies, cooking shows, and House Hunters.

Why is being a part of an organization like /dev/color important to you?

  • Connection
  • Support
  • Real talk
  • Networking
  • Goal setting

All of these things align with where I am in my life and career, best summed up by the African Proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Anything else you’d like to say/express?

I’m grateful to be part of /dev/color.

/dev/color is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower Black software engineers to help one another grow into industry leaders. We create environments where Black software engineers can learn from one another and hold one another accountable for reaching ambitious career goals. To learn more, check out our website and follow our blog & twitter account.

--

--

/dev/color
The Compiler

a non-profit that maximizes the impact of Black software engineers. We’re a network for and by software engineers.