Over 10 years ago, my friends and I wanted to start a video game studio. I was pretty decent at artist, but had no experience in programming – and so did my friends. At that time I didn’t know where to begin. One of my good friend said that his uncle might be able to help us get started. On a summer afternoon, he introduced me to Ted Pittman. At that time, I’ve never met someone that looked like me that was so knowledgeable about tech.
Ted has worked at high-tech companies all across the U.S. and Europe. In his spare time, he has developed rockets, tracking systems, gyroscopic engines and artificial intelligence software. He’d take us to a diner in Crown Heights and guided us on how we should start create our first game, then taught me programming basics. Although, I’ve put my indie game developer dreams on hold, I became an iOS developer for Adafruit, so things worked out for me. To have Ted as a mentor, meant that he can guide me through that experience — the experience of being the only black person in the room. His mentorship is and was gratfully appreciated.
If you are in need of mentorship, check these organizations out:
#YesWeCode is a nationwide Dream Corps initiative aimed at helping 100,000 young men and women from underrepresented backgrounds find success in the tech industry.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.