Darian Nwankwo is a recent graduate, teacher’s assistant, and shining star of the Black Men Code Innovation Bootcamp. The new program, which primarily focused on Python, gave Nwankwo the leg-up he needs for future startup life and current studies at Morehouse College, where he is majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. This self-starter is hoping the entrepreneurial spirit found in early stage companies will help him climb to the top.
What program did you just graduate from?
The program that I was participating in was called Innovation Bootcamp and its main focus was teaching individuals how to think computationally using Python programming. I was a teacher’s assistant, but, if I must provide an answer to the question, I graduated from the Innovation Bootcamp as top dog.
What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
Over the summer during my Google internship, I had the wonderful opportunity to work on the Chromecast Test & Release team. My partner and I’s main task were to overhaul the current logging infrastructure and give it the ability to have a scalable continuous logging system. (Google/ Mountain View, California/Engineering Practicum Intern)
What tech/tools are essential to you?
A few essential tech tools to me is my Macbook Pro and, a resource for learning, Lynda.com.
How do you stay informed & on top of emerging trends?
I usually come across emerging trends via social media, but I have no absolute way of finding out what is next. A few websites I find interesting are LiveScience and Medium. I regularly read articles on their website and may come across something new every once in a while.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
My best skill would be my ability to solve complex problems by breaking them down into smaller cases. It may seem obvious, but usually, I try to tackle other problems in my life all at once, but, when it comes to programming, my mind operates differently. Another soft skill that I possess is the ability to explain my work through analogies, breaking down some of the most complex ideas into its simplest form.
What’s next on your list to learn?
I really want to learn how to operate at the backend level and how to use databases for my future projects. I am currently working on a project and reading from a text file consistently is probably not the most efficient way to do the job that needs to be done. Having a database of information would allow my application to function properly.
Why the interest in startups and the technology field?
After participating in an internship and realizing how fast tech is advancing and the competition that I face at other schools, I quickly became intrigued by the challenge of becoming…well, better! I have had a subscription to Forbes magazine for the longest time and I came across the Forbes 30 under 30 section and I knew that’s where I wanted to be. I know I possess the capabilities to start a venture of my own and I have much more to learn before I can do so, but it will be done.
Interested in working for a startup, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
I am interested in working for a startup in its early stages. I feel that this will provide me with the most room for growth and learning. Developing my entrepreneurial and leadership skills while in a startup may prove beneficial to me when I begin a venture of my own. The uncertainty of what’s going to happen next is invigorating!