POCIT: 7 Black Engineers You Need To Know

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POCIT: 7 Black Engineers You Need To Know

There’s a misconception in Silicon Valley that there aren’t enough talented black and Latino people to hire. My intention with this weekly series, People of Color in Tech (POCIT), to highlight the up-and-coming people of color in tech, as well as the people of color who are already making waves in the industry.

Don’t hesitate, and please feel encouraged to send me your nominations. Holler at megan@techcrunch.com with subject line, “POCIT.” Also, a serious hat tip to Ruth Mesfun over at PeopleOfColorInTech.com. Keep fighting the good fight, Ruth!


Erica Baker, build and release engineer at Slack

A powerhouse in the tech industry, Erica Baker has held engineering roles at top tech companies like Google and now at unicorn startup Slack. Having spent nearly ten years at Google, Baker worked in IT support, managed the hardware trial program for Google TV and later worked as a corporate operations engineer. When she’s not coding, you might find her blowing the whistle on pay inequality at Google or speaking out about diversity efforts in Silicon Valley.


Leslie Miley, former engineering manager at Twitter

Miley’s a seasoned engineer in tech, having spent his last several years in engineering management positions at Google, Apple and Twitter. While at Twitter, Miley was responsible for the company’s Android, iOS and web engineering efforts for the product safety and security team. Miley had his hands on core functionalities of Twitter like the log-in, two-factor authentication, password reset and archived tweets. He recently resigned from Twitter because of the way the company is tackling diversity and inclusion. I’m excited to see where he’ll go next.


Kamilah Taylor, software developer at LinkedIn

As a software development at tech giant LinkedIn, Kamilah Taylor has worked on projects related to messaging, mobile registration, contacts and various other features on LinkedIn’s app for iOS. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Taylor worked as a software engineer at Wolfram Research, where she developed technology around the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 robot.


Ashley Nelson-Hornstein, iOS Engineer at Dropbox

There’s nothing but prestige in Ashley Nelson-Hornstein’s resume. She got her start in tech as a network engineer at Goldman Sachs, and then made her way to Apple. After interning at Apple for a few months, she became a full-time iOS software developer. Her next stop was mobile news app Circa, where she led development on five versions of the product. Now, she’s an iOS developer at Dropbox.


Justin Washington, QA engineer at Snapchat

Justin Washington has worked at some of the top companies in the tech industry, including Apple, Yahoo, Twitter and now unicorn startup Snapchat. Washington’s first full-time job was at Apple, where he kicked off his career on the iOS quality assurance team. Today, Washington works at Snapchat as a quality assurance engineer.


Erin Teague, director of product at Yahoo

With a computer engineering and computer science degree from University of Michigan, and a business degree from Harvard Business School, Erin Teague is an ideal employee in Silicon Valley. She’s held roles at Intel, Twitter, Path and now Yahoo, where she’s been director of product management for over two years.



Marco Rogers, lead web engineer at Clover Health

Known as @polotek on Twitter, Marco Rogers has been in web development since 2004. He spent three years at Yammer, as both a senior JavaScript engineer and director of front-end engineering. Today, he’s an engineering manager at insurance startup Clover Health. Rogers is also passionate about building diverse engineering organizations.