My personal relationship with tech began after being taught BASIC on the good old BBC Micros at school and discovering that the ZX Spectrum we had at home was also programmable, with its own BASIC variant. For a few years, I experimented with writing simple programs on the Spectrum and the Amiga we subsequently owned (shout out to anyone old enough to remember all these antique platforms), but never considered programming as anything more than a casual hobby. It wasn’t until failing two A-Levels and seeking the guidance of a careers advisor who opened my eyes to the earning potential in software development that I had my lightbulb moment and started to take the idea seriously.
I enrolled on a Computer Systems Technology degree at university, but eventually dropped out after getting a job with a student-founded web design company and realising my work projects were far more interesting and challenging than my academic studies. Over the course of the following years, I honed my technical skills in a variety of permanent and contract roles including developer, team lead and solution architect.
In addition to my technical experience, I’ve always had a natural entrepreneurial streak. Having run two afro-centric social platforms in the early years of my career, I went on to co-found a digital consultancy specialising in the development of online communities for corporations, professional associations and other organisations. Over the course of the next decade, we designed, delivered and supported over 50 community platforms for customers including the British Medical Association, Carnival Cruise Lines, Readers Digest and Times Educational Supplement.
Throughout my career, I’ve maintained a passion for tech that advances the African diaspora. I’m the CTO of Legacy71, an accelerator programme dedicated to supporting pan-African startup founders and I’m the founder of Froware, which is a digital platform that aims to support, engage and advance black professionals across all disciplines within the tech industry. I frequently serve as speaker, mentor, judge and facilitator for various events and initiatives focussed on under-represented demographics in business and tech.