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Gregory Greenlee, Tech Innovator
Gregory Greenlee, Tech Innovator

Readying Blacks in technology for the future.

Ann Brown

Despite a recent push to diversify the technology sector, Blacks and Latinos still make up just 4 percent to 5 percent of the tech workforce, according to data publishing platform Silk. This, says tech innovator Gregory Greenlee, is why the organization he founded, Blacks in Technology (BiT), is still very much needed.

Greenlee is a systems engineer with experience in a wide variety of technology disciplines, including designing high-availability networks, network administration, Windows and Linux system administration, firewall administration, Windows Exchange administration, SAN administration, virtualization, cloud computing, AWS, Puppet, GIT and Python. Currently, a DevOps(development and operations) engineer at education consultants Hobsons Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio, he officially launched BiT in 2012, after creating the website in 2008. He hoped not only to bring together people of color in tech but also to encourage more people of color to enter the sector, and to urge tech companies to become more diverse.

Having been in the sector for more than a decade, this Cincinnati native had a vested interest in increasing diversity in the industry. Today, BiT is the largest online community of people of color in technology, with an online membership base of nearly 2,000 Black technology and engineering professionals and enthusiasts worldwide. Greenlee recently spoke to The Network Journal about his organization and its plans for the future.

TNJ: How did you get into the tech field?

Greenlee: I have always been interested in tech as a kid. A friend of the family was into electronics so he used to teach me little things. But then my dad bought me a Commodore 16 (computer) when I was 11 years old. I started teaching myself programming at that time, but it wasn’t until many years later that I would decide to pursue tech as a career. My first job was as a tech support person for a local ISP.

TNJ: From your experience in the field, do you feel it has become more diverse?

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WINTER 2016