Gerald Carter built a foundation in electrical engineering through his coursework at Tuskegee University and from there, dived into the hardware space. He also wanted a background in business and settled down to obtain his MBA, which has helped him with his current startup, DiversityPhotos.com.
Now, with recent advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence, he felt the pull into software. He entered Tech Talent South‘s Full-Time Immersion Course to learn more about how coding could improve his startup. The company aims to provide more diversity in stock photography so the media can better represent a variety of audiences.
“Having just completed Tech Talent South, I’m excited to have already identified ways to use my new skill set to help our company scale through efficiencies,” says Carter.
Beyond his startup hustle, Carter is ready to join a company, no matter the size, that’s socially conscious and makes a positive impact in the community. Is that you? Scoop him up at lightning speed.
What is your previous education?
I have my Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Tuskegee University and my MBA from the University of Georgia.
Why the interest in the technology field?
I’ve always been involved in technology in some form or fashion. Previously, I was more involved with the hardware side through fiber networks or electrical grids that power technology. Now I am migrating to the software that runs the tech. While infrastructure serves as a solid foundation for technology, I’m ready to move to the front lines of the tech space. The recent advances in AI are very intriguing and promising.
What startup or tech projects have you worked on?
I’m currently working on a startup called DiversityPhotos.com. An e-commerce stock photography marketplace, Diversity Photos was created to address a problem that creatives and businesses around the world encounter on a daily basis — finding images that look like the audience they need to communicate with. We work with photographers from around the world to bring our customers unfiltered, authentic and diverse images.
This has been a true passion project because I believe in the purpose and can grow my development skills. Right now, I’m working on ways to add new technical features to our platform. One example is machine learning which will help automate some of the team’s monotonous and time-consuming tasks.
What tools are essential to you as a developer?
My go-to tools at the moment are AWS because it has many platform offerings, Heroku for quick production tests, and of course Github for version control. Dropbox also comes in handy for non-critical information sharing.
How do you stay on-top of emerging trends?
I have made a habit of reading industry articles on a daily basis. It helps me to forecast trends and shifts in the industry, learn more efficient ways to do things and new ways of thinking. Continuous knowledge gathering has helped me to approach problems with out of the box solutions on more than one occasion.
Whether in person, on the phone or via email, I regularly learn something new from my peers and colleagues (my class was awesome, by the way), Slack channels and online forums, including Stack Overflow. Mentors who are developers — I can’t say enough about the value that is gained from someone who is where you want to be and has traversed the path you are just starting out on.
What are your best technical or creative skills?
The diversity of perspectives that my background has given me to-date is my most valuable asset. I have designed electrical grids, designed fiber optic networks, implemented company-wide cyber security policies, and managed multi-million dollar projects. That previous experience, coupled with recent programming skills, affords me a unique perspective on problem-solving that could be beneficial across a multitude of industries.
On the creative side, I started taking photos a little over a year ago as a hobby. As a result of visually capturing human moments and stories, I’ve strengthened my insight on the very real emotions and reactions that images can invoke in a viewer. My personal hobby has translated into an unexpected but welcome asset for my UX projects.
What’s next on your list to learn?
I’m currently improving my machine learning skills, which includes mostly python and ruby languages. There are so many applications for ML to enhance our daily lives and I’d like to be a part of the generation that takes humanity to the next level through diversity-conscious AI.
Are you interested in working for a startup, mid-sized company, or a corporate giant?
Can I safely say “all of the above”?! My goal is to continue working on projects that have a positive impact on society. And fortunately, that can take shape through a startup, mid-sized company or a corporate giant that is socially conscious.