#BlackHistoryInTech – A List of Black Entrepreneurs, Technologists, and Inventors that Lead the Technology Industry

Help us build a comprehensive list of black entrepreneurs, leaders, and thinkers in tech!

It’s Black History Month in the United States, and although we highlight diversity at CA Technologies throughout the year, we thought this would be a great time to highlight the contributions of black technologists, both historically and today. While researching the many brilliant minds that have built and changed the landscape of the technology industry, it became clear to us that we would never get this blog posted in time if we tried to include everyone!

We are also featuring some of those highlighted in this blog through a series of e-cards to share on social media with the hashtag #BlackHistoryInTech. Do you know a great black technologist? Tweet us at @CA_Careers with the hashtag #BlackHistoryInTech. We will add to the blog as we receive admissions.


Roy Clay Sr. is a Silicon Valley pioneer, having worked as the research and development director of Hewlett-Packard (HP)’s computer division, working on the design and construction of the company’s first computers in the 1960s. He later founded Rod-L Electronics, which tests for safety in electrical equipment.

Mark Dean helped develop the once-ubiquitous IBM PC, holding three of IBM’s nine original patents. In 1999, he sought to create a voice-activated tablet, and wrote in 2011 that he uses a tablet as his primary computer. Dean is now the CTO for IBM Middle East and Africa.

Frank Greene is considered one of the first black technologists, Frank Greene developed high-speed semi-conductor computer memory systems in the 1960s. He also founded the software companies Technology Development Corp. and ZeroOne Systems, Inc.

James E. West invented the first practical electret microphone, which uses a charged material instead of needing a polarizing power supply. It is commonly used in cellphones, cameras and digital recorders around the world. West won the Benjamin Franklin Medal in electrical engineering from the Franklin Institute in 2010.

Shirley Ann Jackson was the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT (specializing in Physics), Dr. Jackson is currently the President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, one of the Top 50 universities in the U.S. (according to U.S. News & World Report). While working at Bell Labs, she applied her knowledge of physics to make advances in telecommunications, including developments in solar cell, touch tone phones, and helped make Caller ID and call waiting.

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson

Otis Boykin patented a type of resistor in 1959 that is still used today in radios, televisions and computers, which control the flow of electricity into components. This makes for products that are safer, longer lasting and cheaper. He also invented a control unit for the pacemaker. In all, Boykin was granted 28 patents for electronic devices: Some of them are still used in the military and in consumer products.

Dr. Philip Emeagwali was the inventor of the world’s fastest computer. Emeagwali took knowledge gained from his study of nature and bees and applied the efficiency of their honeycomb structure to create powerful computer processing. Using this construction, in 1989, the “Father of the Internet” used 65,000 processors to build the world’s fastest computer, one that performs computations at 3.1 billion calculations per second.

Dr. Philip Emeagwali

John Henry Thompson taught himself several computer programming languages as a young man. With a degree from MIT in Computer Science and Art, his goal was to merge art and technology. His most famous invention is Lingo: a scripting language that helps create visuals in computer programs. Lingo and other programs he pioneered are used in many programs and apps with interactive graphics, animation, sound, and video. Lingo has also been used to create the flash and shockwave programs that are now prevalent in video games, web design, animation, and graphics.

Gerald A. Lawson created the first home video game system that used interchangeable cartridges, offering gamers a chance to play a variety of games and giving video game makers a way to earn profits by selling individual games, a business model that exists today. Lawson, who died last year at age 70, is just beginning to be recognized by the gaming industry for his pioneering work.

Dixie Garr served as Cisco Systems’ vice president of customer success engineering for seven years. She drove change throughout the company’s engineering processes and business practices to better help the needs of customers around the world. She has been awarded several honors, including the 1997 Black Engineer of the Year Award.

Valerie Thomas honed her skills at NASA, where she and her team developed the first satellite to send images from space (Landsat). She also worked on computer programs used for research on Halley’s Comet and the ozone hole. In the mid-’70s, she began experimenting with concave mirrors and finally patented a 3-D Illusion Transmitter in 1980. Today, NASA uses the technology, doctors use it for medical imaging, and when you watch your 3-D television, thank Valerie Thomas.

Marc Hannah is one of the founders of the software firm Silicon Graphics (now SGI), where the special-effects genius developed 3-D graphics technology that would be used in many Hollywood movies, including Jurassic Park. He was almost instrumental in designing the Nintendo 64 gaming system.

Will Lucas founded brand marketing technology company Creadio back in 2003. He recently launched Classana, an educational resource discovery engine. Lucas is also the organizer behind TedXToledo, which is now in its second year.

Stacy Spikes is the co-founder of MoviePass, one of the most exciting things to happen to the movie business in a while. It’s essentially Netflix for movies still playing in theaters. Before co-founding MoviePass, Spikes was a long-time marketing executive who recently delved into the tech world. He’s considered one of the leaders of film entertainment marketing. Before starting MoviePass, Spikes founded the Urbanworld Film Festival, which is now the largest of its kind in the world. Urbanworld has premiered more #1 films than any other North American Film Festival, including Sundance and Tribeca.

Stacy Spikes Black History in Tech

Hamet Watt is the other co-founder of MoviePass and a former entrepreneur in residence at True Ventures. Before co-founding MoviePass alongside Stacy Spikes, he founded full-service media buying platform NextMedium, and health app bLife.

Don Charlton has changed the way hiring gets done online with his company, The Resumator. During the most recent presidential election, both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney used The Resumator to handle all of the job applications coming in. Before founding The Resumator, Charlton established himself as an award-winning interactive designer.

Majora Carter recently opened up a new startup incubator and tech education center in South Bronx to foster entrepreneurship. There is a dramatic shortage of engineering talent in the U.S. labor force, and we want to fill that gap with people who could otherwise end up in the criminal justice and welfare systems,” she recently told Fast Company. She says most of the talent in the South Bronx either leaves or doesn’t get “nurtured into something positive.” In 2010, Carter was touted as one of the 100 most creative people in business. She’s also a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster.

Kimberly Bryant wants to ensure that young black girls have the opportunity to learn how to code. In 2011, Bryant founded BlackGirlsCode, a six-week program that teaches basic programming concepts, and gives underrepresented youths the chance to learn about robotics, and a wide range of other technological concepts. Before founding BlackGirlsCode, Bryant spent about decade in biotechnology where she held several management roles at companies including Genentech, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, and Merck.

Jon Gosier is the mastermind behind data analysis startup MetaLayer, global innovation consultancy Appfrica, and non-profit organizations HiveColab and Abayima.  Gosier is a senior fellow at TED who has given talks on topics including the democratization of data platforms and social currency.

Tony Guada’s Bitcasa entered the online storage market with a major point of differentiation: infinite storage for its users. Gauda launched Bitcasa at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference back in 2011. Gauda and his co-founder have been able to attract $7 million funding from some of the most well-respected venture capital firms in the business, including Horizon Ventures, Andreessen-Horowitz, and First Round Capital. Gauda previously engineered fraud protection systems at Mastercard.

Emmitt McHenry co-founded Network Solutions, Inc., one of the early leading Internet domain services providers. In 1995, he founded NetCom Solutions International, a telecommunications and engineering company that has won awards from IBM and NASA, among other places.

Rachel Duran






Rachel Duran

4 Tips to Make the Most of GHC 17

Grace Hopper Celebration CA Technologies

Take your Grace Hopper experience to the next level with these tips.

Are you packing up and heading to GHC 17? Well you’re certainly not alone. The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists, with more than 18,000 attending this year. There’s so much to learn and so many inspiring women to meet that it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. I’ve compiled some tips and lessons I’ve learned through my experiences and observations in years past to help you navigate and make the most of your time.


Download the app

Big paper programs are a huge hassle in a bustling environment that requires your full, heads-up attention. The Grace Hopper Celebration 17 app is going to save your sanity this week. I like to use the app to build my own schedule, easily pull up maps, and get any important, in-the-moment announcements that may come through.

Note: To use the app, you’ll need to log in with your Last Name and personal password (this is NOT your registration number, like I thought… whoops!). If you did not receive an invitation with your login info for the app, you can request it by going through those options in the sign up. Be sure to check your spam! The email will come from spotme.com.


Prioritize your objectives

Are you looking for a job? Networking? Learning? Gaining leadership development? Think about what your main objective is for Grace Hopper and plan first around this. You can start by planning your personal agenda in the app. Luckily the huge agenda can be filtered by track, like “Career” or “Interactive Media”. Filtering by tracks can help you find the perfect schedule to reach your top GHC 17 goals. Be sure to save a few hours to explore the Expo!

CA Technologies Recruiters at Grace Hopper Celebration


Divide up your Expo time

The Expo is probably the most interactive part of the event. You’ll not only get to meet great tech employers, like CA Technologies, but you also get to do tons of fun activities and pick up some fab swag. You will have chargers, pens and notebooks for days! This being said, the combination of input overload and endless walking can drain you pretty quickly. I suggest planning 1-2 hours per expo day to tackle a section of the map. And if you’re not particularly interested in engaging with a booth as you check it out, don’t feel bad moving along. You’ll want to save your energy and attention for the groups you want to speak with most. Oh, and pro-tip… make one last swing around in the last hour of the expo on Friday to see who’s giving their extra stuff away. #winning

Unleash the inner Grace in you!

If you’re looking for a fun social media activity to share online with friends while you’re here, come see me at Booth #2422. We believe you should  #BringWhatYouBring to innovate in the field of technology. Whatever quirky skill, experience, background or hobby you bring to the table to help solve problems for a diverse set of users,  come by  and add it to our giant #BringWhatYouBring chalkboard and snap a selfie! I’m always up for a photo bomb.

And don’t forget to join our Talent Community at the booth to receive a free “Amazing Grace” GHC 2017 tee! Our exclusive design is an homage to the barrier breaking ideas of Grace Hopper, and her inspirationally audacious attitude toward those who told her it couldn’t be done.

grace hopper celebration 2017 CA Technologies t-shirt grey

Them: “Hey, computers can only do arithmetic!”

Grace Hopper: “Deal with it.” 😎


If you’d like more information on GHC 17, the best resource is their website. If you’d like to know more about CA’s partnership with with Grace Hopper Celebration, and learn about the some of the women who work at CA visit our #GHC17 page. You can also tweet us for more info about #LifeAtCA during the event @CA_Careers, or follow our Instagram feed at @lifeatca.


Rachel Duran
Rachel Duran

Follow me on Twitter > @TheRachelDuran

Build an Agile Career Path to Find Your Dream Job

Agile Career Path

How to use agile methodologies in your work life to maintain an agile career.

An “agile career path” might sound like an oxymoron to some. Careers are often thought of as a straight ladder of successive promotions, with a clear beginning and end. But if you look at someone in the top of your field, you’d likely notice a professional history that looks more like a zig-zagged staircase. If you read some of our Day in the #LifeAtCA blog series, you’ll see stories from many CA employees who took on different, lateral challenges for many years to create a strong base for becoming a well-rounded and savvy leader. There are a few different agile-inspired ways you can forge an impressive career.

Defining Your User Story

 Perhaps you’ve heard interview feedback along the lines of whether you were a good “fit” for the role. In that feedback, what were the skills that stood out and which ones were missing? What could you learn or experience to help you check all the boxes for that next promotion?

The first thing you should consider is which roles or departments closely work with yours, but are currently outside of your skillset and experience. If you’re a database engineer, this might include user experience designers or product marketing. Finance graduates trying their hands in planning may also be interested in revenue.  A public relations professional may find social media interesting. No matter the specifics, you should learn what skill gaps you need to overcome and consider the investment it would require to do so. For example:

  • Go to a community college or university to obtain a certificate or additional degree. Don’t forget to ask your employer if they provide tuition reimbursement!
  • Take an online course from a service like CodeSchool, Lynda or YouTube. You can even visit the website for a tool you’d like to become proficient in, as many of these companies provide free tutorial videos.
  • Learn how to become involved in any in-house development programs provided by your employer. For example, CA Technologies offers its employees an award-winning Leadership Development Program and a massive list of online learning courses.
  • Seek out a mentor or participate in online forums focused on your new professional interest.

Impediments and Solutions

 Sometimes a good lateral move is created out of a need to solve a problem. You may have heard a story or two of someone demonstrating a clever way to save money or time in their job and being asked to implement it full-time. Those lightbulb moments are rarely a matter of chance; they tend to come from those who are consistently relentless in identifying problems and figuring out a solution. You may not consciously be scanning your organization or personal work patterns for inefficiencies, but cultivating self-awareness will bring the realizations to mind. You should practice thinking through how you would solve any issues you come across naturally in the workplace. When you finally see that problem for which you have the perfect solution, consider these points to prepare for presenting your clever idea to the boss:

  • Will it save money? How much? How would you measure that?
  • Will it save time (and will that in turn, save money)?
  • Is it something you could implement? If it is a small project, offer to add it to your current to-do list. If it’s going to be a full-time job, you may want to take the plunge and propose a new role for yourself.

Iterative Career Developments

Surprise! A job opening has suddenly captured your eye.  Maybe it’s the exact job you’ve been hoping and training for, or maybe it’s one you never thought about doing until now. What next? Let’s break it down.

If the job opening is at your current company:

Get familiar with the internal transfer process and rules. Many employers give stipulations around length and review scores in your current role. You should also inform your manager that you intend to apply to the role before taking any steps. Be sure to ask for advice from your manager on how to proceed.

If the job opening is at another company:

This is a great time to refresh your resume with your new skills and experience and ensure that your goals are made apparent and relevant. Do your research on Glassdoor, the potential company’s website, and market salary averages. List pros and cons for the new opportunity vs your career path capability at your current company.

No matter how you find the opportunity to flex your resume, it’s all about adding valuable features to reach your goals. As CA’s Rebecca Taylor says, “Don’t plan your career too much – just do something you find interesting, be curious, and take every opportunity you can.”

Looking for your next best agile career move at CA Technologies? Search jobs now.

Rachel Duran
Rachel Duran

Follow me on Twitter > @TheRachelDuran

What Makes CA One of the World’s Most Ethical Companies?

World's Most Ethical Companies CA Technologies

CA Technologies is listed amongst the World’s Most Ethical Companies; recognition from Ethisphere honors those companies who lead with integrity and align principle with action.

Today we’re pleased to announced that CA Technologies has, for the second year in a row, been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, listed amongst the 2017 World’s Most Ethical Companies. We’re also one of only 3 winners in the Software and Services category, which underscores our continued commitment to leading ethical business standards and practices.


“Companies that want to succeed in the Application Economy – where the world becomes smaller and customers grow more savvy every day – must focus on operating their businesses with the highest ethical standards. We know that to effectively build long-term partnerships with our customers, a foundation of trust is fundamental. That requires an unwavering commitment to conducting ourselves with integrity in every aspect of our business.  Without a strong ethical base, companies simply cannot last. We are proud of everything we do, but we are also proud that we do everything the right way.”

~ Mike Gregoire, CEO


Twenty-seventeen is the eleventh year that Ethisphere has honored those companies who recognize their role in society to influence and drive positive change, consider the impact of their actions on their employees, investors, customers and other key stakeholders and use their values and culture as an underpinning to the decisions they make every day.

The World’s Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient® (EQ) framework which offers a quantitative way to assess a company’s performance in an objective, consistent and standardized way. The information collected provides a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies, rather than all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance and ethics.

Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), culture of ethics (20%), governance (15%) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10%) and provided to all companies who participate in the process.


“CA is honored to once again be named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute. We believe that a strong ethical foundation within our company is the best way to help ensure sustainable business success. This recognition would not have been possible without the positive contributions to our ethical culture from our employees – all of whom should take pride in being included on this year’s list.”

~ Joel Katz, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer


This year, 124 companies were designated as World’s Most Ethical Companies. These companies represent 52 industry sectors headquartered in 19 countries. The full list of the 2017 World’s Most Ethical Companies can be found at http://worldsmostethicalcompanies.ethisphere.com/honorees/.

Best practices and insights from the 2017 honorees will be released in a series of infographics and research throughout the year (view or download the 2016 insights). Organizations interested in how they compare to the World’s Most Ethical Companies are invited to participate in the Ethics Quotient.

Girls In ICT Solve Tech Talent Gaps

International Girls In ICT Day

International Girls In ICT Day brings awareness to overall talent shortages in STEM.

Where are all the women in technology? A report last year by WISE found that women make up just 14.4% of all people working in STEM occupations (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths). Research firm Gartner also revealed that only 30% of the people in tech firms are female, a number that has remained roughly unchanged for ten years. So what are CA Technologies doing to attract the next generation of Girls in ICT?

We can’t afford to ignore this. The European Commission has warned that a lack of digital technology skills in Europe could mean there are up to 825,000 unfilled vacancies for ICT professionals by 2020. That’s a serious talent shortfall for businesses like ours, and today on International Girls in ICT Day, we need to be thinking about how we can engage the 52% of the population who might be being discouraged from considering a job in technology.

At CA Technologies, we think it’s important to engage young women with STEM subjects while they are still at school. Through our Create Tomorrow programme, we hold events for local secondary school children, introducing them to the many jobs they could work towards in the technology industry. Last year we partnered with O2 and British Airways to run a series of workshops on technology skills, and just last month we invited some of the students from Windsor Girls School to come to our offices and learn about the types of roles available to them. To coincide with techUK’s Tech Week in July, we’ll be hosting another big event for local schoolgirls.

STEM Students CA Technologies Careers

Schools, businesses and government bodies are working ever closer together to tackle the issue of gender imbalance. And the good news is, the needle is shifting. In very recent years, the number of girls studying STEM subjects and entering the field has started to increase. Statistics released by the Joint Council for Qualifications last year showed that the number of girls taking STEM subjects increased by more than 30,000, and over the last two years the number of women in STEM occupations rose by 8.2%. But there is still so much more to do. If you’re a woman who’s never considered technology, take a closer look at the opportunities it might afford you. Maybe this industry would suit you better than you ever imagined.




Rebecca Taylor - CA TechnologiesAuthor: Rebecca Taylor
Head of UKI Communications
Connect with me on Twitter @rebeccataylorpr
Connect with me on LinkedIn here


Hello Again Boomerang – Meet Isabel Botha, former CA Employee Alumni Returning to Rewrite Career

Boomerang: Australian throwing club, childhood toy, and…former employees? Yes. Strategic re-hiring is becoming an important part of many companies’ talent practice.

Boomerang hires play an incredible role in organisations today showcasing the organisation as an awesome place to work, and, not to mention…they are FANTASTIC brand ambassadors. At CA we LOVE our employee alumni, having recently launched a new alumni program where past employees can stay connected. But, what we love even more – when those very talented alums decide to return to CA. Whether for the benefits, our position on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, or the amazing ways that CA is Rewriting the Application Economy, we are seeing a surge in former employees saying ‘Hello Again.’

I recently had the pleasure to visit our Sydney office and caught up with Isabel Botha, a former colleague who helped us to tell the CA Story when we were launching our new career website. I was excited to learn that she was also a recent “boomerang” who decided to return to CA after some time away.

How did you first join CA?

“I migrated to Australia in 2005. After predominantly practising construction law in South Africa, Botswana and the UK, I wanted to join the IT industry and opted to take on an in-house counsel role at CA in June 2007. It was a great time to join CA as a lawyer, as the industry was changing as was CA’s culture and CA was committed to best-in-class controls and compliance. There was a renewed sense of vigour, enthusiasm and dedication to becoming one of the world’s most successful software companies.”

Why did you choose to come back to CA?

“After 7 years at CA as legal counsel I was offered a role as Corporate Counsel for Australia and New Zealand at a leading global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions. I was heartbroken to leave CA but at the time it felt like the right thing to do. On paper it was the perfect job, I was well paid and at a convenient location. But something was missing … camaraderie. I missed the passion, I missed the rollercoaster ride, I missed feeling a part of something, I missed CA.

A role in the Customer Portfolio team had just become available. I didn’t hesitate, I jumped. And as they say, the rest is history.

I love my new role and I love being back at CA. I don’t know what the future holds but I know I will remain a member of the CA family.”

As a working mum, how has CA played a role in balancing work/life?

“I’m fortunate to be mum to Kira (4.5yrs) and Tahlia (2.5yrs). As a migrant I don’t have any family support here in Australia and my in-laws are interstate so I can honestly say that CA has played a central role in me being a working mum.

Kira has been in CA’s Montessori Childcare Centre since her first birthday and Tahlia since she was six months old. It is quite surreal knowing that they are just a few floors below me so it is great to be able to pop down to read a story during book week or to take a photo with Santa or a fire truck, and of course if they fall sick I’m right here to pick them up.

I do have a demanding role, especially at quarter end, which I need to balance with my home life. At CA I am respected as a professional and am trusted to complete my tasks and achieve my goals at times that are opportune.

The culture at CA is, bar none, we help each other out and understand the challenges that we all face. Not all of us are parents, but we all have conflicting interests that we need to balance with our work life.”

What really makes CA stand out in the marketplace?

“In my mind CA is not a company, CA is a living, breathing organism. It is kind and can be intense, but most of all it is a fighter. When you look at the ‘top places to work’ they focus on benefits. CA offers great benefits too but in my opinion, CA’s culture and the commitment of CA’s Executive Team to make CA a truly remarkable software company is what makes CA stand out in the marketplace.”

Our very own Craig Fisher recently blogged about the courtship of boomerangs and the #NewWayToWork. As the marketplace evolves, our alumni, current employees, and future candidates are also evolving. At CA we are constantly evolving the way we attract talent and stay connected to future candidates. Isabel sums it up best; CA is a ‘living breathing organism,’ always evolving and positioned to Rewrite the future.

Welcome back!