Technically Spiritual: Part 1 - Success
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

Articles, videos, and even press releases about tech “superstars” are often headlined with details on the success story, yet the journey on the road to success is seemly heavily redacted.

Today, I am embarking upon a new trend in tech journalism, to share the true journey of a #techie. But, before I share the journey of others, I must be willing to share mine.  

In articles tagged #digitalGrace, my earnest desire is to provide an open dialogue with you–the reader–who vividly remembers the day they fell in love with tech but also have experienced the ups and downs in which life takes you on.

Technically Spiritual is a three part series that will share with you the journey of a preacher’s kid raised in a tech savvy family of seven (7)–six boys and one girl–that had to find a “bridge” within himself to embark upon a road to happiness.

Technically Spiritual: Part 1 - SuccessSuccess

I can remember as far back as the age of four or five years old – in the late ‘80s – frequently visiting the office where my mom worked on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Even back then it was rare to see an African American, let alone a young female, take a leading role in a Computer Science department; especially on the campus of an Ivy League institution with only a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from Jackson State University. I can vividly remember my mom working a Tandy TRS 80, then a Tandy 6000 HD, and then later IBM PS/2.

Supernova fast forward through those moments in time, I experienced the Macintosh era, dial-up internet, Yahoo!, DSL, YouTube, MacBook Pro, broadband, the introduction of iPhone, Pokémon GO, to now iPhone 7.

Within that span of time, I taught myself how to code HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and even dabbled with UI/UX/Visual Design to build functioning applications. The evidence of grace in my life is that over the years I have been fortunate enough to be a part of development teams at Fortune 500 companies where I have worked with various API and SDK stacks like ID verification, in-app communication, video streaming, transactional email and more. Yet, even after successfully mastering these skill sets there was a war within myself that began to create deeply embedded levels of depression.  

“Pieces of me were scattered blowing in the cold in different directions…truth, truth, truth be told.”   Jill Scott

In the song Back Together – performed and co-written by Jill Scott – you can lyrically hear the internal struggle I was experiencing while achieving success. From my struggles in my personal and professional life, depression was becoming a greater part of my being and I didn’t know how to get the help that I needed.

 

Part 2 – Depression <<   >> Part 3 – Enlightenment only at BlackEnterprise.com

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Nathaniel J.

Nathaniel J. is a natural born networker who communicates his insights with passion, in his writing and speech. To date, his career has spanned service in two Armed Services branches, tenure as a government civilian employee, North America Director of an international corporation, and Chief Digital Life Architect of a startup. Presently, Nathaniel J. resides in the Silicon Beach area of California and travels weekly to Silicon Valley to collaborate with various tech companies and industry influencers to develop streaming (video) and social discovery web & mobile applications for his burgeoning startup where he is also a developer. In his spare time, he gives back to the communities he represents — persons of color, Veterans, and LGBT — through outreach by organizing scholarships and hackathons to assist in creating actionable social change until diversity inclusion in tech becomes more of a reality. Stay connected with Nathaniel J. on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat @nathanieljLIVE


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