This article was originally posted at Technical.ly.
There are so many people's shoulders I'm standing on but, to be specific, I would say my family. My parents and grandparents really demonstrated so many characteristics of being successful. From work ethic to family life balance to education, my family taught and demonstrated in action how to find and define success for yourself.
Who paved the way? I would have to say historically in the tech industry/community, for me, it's Katherine Johnson and George Washington Carver, two brilliant minds in mathematics and science, respectively. They were able to do so many amazing things to advance the scientific community while fighting through so many societal adversities. Their bravery and passion for science continued to tear down stigmas and barriers for African Americans in the tech community, of which I am a beneficiary.
Before my wife and I decided to start Ey3, I worked for a company called CNF Technologies. The day I met my “old bosses,” Steve Barish and Steve Lewis, I explained to them that I planned to start my own company at some point in the near future. They told me when the time came that they would support me, and when the time came, they kept their promise. Their support allowed me to have a position on the contract that would help build Ey3's past performance for our fledgling company. I would be remiss to not mention Tracie Partee, who was my direct lead at CNF and helped mentor me in contract programmatics to ensure I could do it for myself when on my own.