We invite Black professionals in various industries around the world to anonymously share their experiences living and working while Black. Even in the same industry, with the same position, even at the same company, every experience is unique so read, be motivated and inspired by real people at various stages of their lives and career.
Senior Application Engineer In London
What is your gender?
Where do you live? (Country and City)
London, United Kingdom
What is your job title?
Senior Application Engineer
What industry do you work in?
ecommerce – Retail
What would be the first 2 or 3 sentences in a biography about you?
A senior application analyst with a strong software development background. Provided support and troubleshooting services to support rapidly changing bespoke and customized inter-operating software systems. Experienced in software development life cycle and also in database design.
Describe the area where you live.
Diverse and gentrifying.
What are your standout experiences, living while Black in your neighbourhood?
Pretty diverse area and no issues with racial abuse. Only recall one event in 20 years where I was on the street miles to the North of London into Essex where I was walking on the street and some guys in a car hurled some abuse out of a window. That was way out of my neighbourhood and just once in twenty years. Having said this in that twenty years I believe I have experienced hidden racism in job interviews. Impossible to prove but just to balance what I reported about lack of overt racism in my neighbourhood on the ‘street’.
What situations in your daily life remind you of your skin colour?
If I find myself in a meeting or group that is predominantly ‘not of colour’ say ‘white’ then I am conscious that my colour is different. Luckily in most of my daily life situations I am in diverse company.
Describe 2 or 3 key events that helped you reach this stage in your career.
Deciding I needed to figure out how to program and sell my programming services myself. identifying opportunities in the work places I found myself in to add value by programming or configuring/customizing technology. Travel that helped me understand how to offer an exchange of value for ‘place’.
In what ways does being Black affect your job?
I believe it affects opportunities to progress and opportunities to move to other employers. My current employer is diverse.
What are your frequent irritations around work and your career?
Would like to integrate my personal aspirations and professional life better.
What are your key tips to someone Black attempting a similar career?
Develop your programming and development skills. Understand what value you offer and what others see as value and understand how to ‘trade’.
What are your future goals and ambitions?
Financial freedom — understanding money management and investing so I do not need be employed in order to earn and survive well.
What is your personal definition of success?