This Black Engineering Leader Left His Role at Comcast To Pursue His Music Passion
Michael Winslow, a Philadelphia-based engineer and former leader of the Comcast BENgineers, has ended his tenure to bridge together his passions for tech and music.
According to Technical.ly, Winslow discovered a lack of Black technologists participating onstage and in panels at tech conferences while working at the telecommunications company Comcast. He linked up with BENgineers, a Black employee resource group for engineers, and committed to creating opportunities to resolve the problem.
Soon after, the international speaker and DevOps thought leader began mentoring and training Black technologists about speaking at conferences. He empowered others through the interactive Technically Speaking Program.
“When I spoke to conference organizers, they would say, ‘Well, we don’t get a lot of Black engineers actually filling out the call for presentations,'” Winslow recalled.
“And I said, ‘I wonder if I could go back to those BENgineers and run some kind of workshop to teach them.’ That was the beginning of what we call Technically Speaking workshop, and that was really the thing that mixed us together. It was a shared problem that we were trying to solve.”
Yesterday was my last day at Comcast. I can’t remember a bad day in my 10 years there. Many fights, challenges, failures, successes, disappointments, frustrations, outages, launches, deploys, reviews, hires, fires, promotions, demotions and lateral moves. But never a bad day. 💙
— Michael Winslow (@michaelswinslow) October 29, 2022
After a decade of work, Winslow has started a new position as director of engineering at Amazon Music, where he is excited to be his authentic self. The move was motivated by a past project where he wrote a digital DJ, a software dubbed DJ Boo. He was reluctant at first to reveal his Dj’ing capabilities at work because he “didn’t feel like that was like a professional thing,” he told Technical.ly.
However, it has become more common for companies to allow employees to marry their passions with job duties.
“For anyone who knows me or has seen me speak about my past as a DJ, you also know that for years I kept my daytime “technology” persona completely separate from my nighttime “DJ” persona ( aka DJ Boo Boo ),” Winslow wrote in his new job announcement via LinkedIn.
“I can only thank the recent movement to “Bring your authentic self to work” as a motivation to start revealing my musical past publicly,” he continued.