BDPA South Regional Conference

By Raphy Villas

This summer, I had the pleasure of spending a day with my friends at BDPA (Black Data Processing Associates) of Middle Tennessee for their annual South Regional Conference. Having recently moved to the Nashville area, it was a great opportunity to meet other technologists and to share a bit about my journey in software for the professional development track.

The BDPA was founded in 1975 by Earl Pace and David Wimberly. The BDPA was created to bring together underrepresented minorities who were working in the Information Technology and Computer Science fields, for the purpose of professional development and academic enrichment.

The day of my visit, the room was filled with technology professionals and enthusiasts, from students to PhDs, all gathered to learn, collaborate, and network. I shared about my own career changes, focusing on my not-so-straight path in technology which included an unexpected turn into public service with the Presidential Innovation Fellows program and 18F. We talked about diversity in opportunities today, not just in the industry, but in government tech as well. The rest of the afternoon was spent collaborating, building mobile app prototypes with students, and learning about Pepper, the humanoid robot.

My sincerest thanks to the PIF Foundation and BDPA for the invitation to share at the conference. It was a joy to be a part of the day.

Katie Easton