Go for it! There’s absolutely nothing stopping your from pursuing something that you’re interested in. Take that leap of faith to do something for your future self.
Who is Ariana M. Davis?
I kind of had an “ah ha“moment during my freshman year in my digital design class back in high school (shout out Mr. Olvio). From that moment on, I knew that technology was going to be something I did for the long haul and would be a part of my daily course of life. I didn’t see it as something just to do to get class credit for but an actual outlet to test out my creativity and see my ideas essentially come together.
Being the go-to tech wizard in my family when I was young & still to this day, essentially helped me give reassurance that I kind of knew what I was doing to a certain extent. Once graduating high school in 2013, I took the year off and traveled a bit along with reevaluating exactly what I wanted to do when it came to college & if it was really for me.
In the summer of 2014, I started attending classes at Florida State University. Looking to take graphic design as my concentration, I found out that the college took away the major entirely and merged it in with Studio Art. Not being the best at drawing, I always had an interest in websites, so I decided to pivot slightly and study Computer Science & Information Technology. While making lasting memories and lifelong friends in college, fast forward four years I currently live on the West Coast in Oakland, CA as the Lead Software Engineer for the Golden State Warriors. Waking up and truly loving what I do isn’t something I take for granted whatsoever. Looking back and seeing how I got here was the exact motivation I need sometimes as a reminder to why I started in the first place.
AITP Excellence, Service to the University – Outreach, Experiential Certificate Program Recipient, UDACITY | Google Developer Challenge Scholarship
How did you choose to pursue this field?
Starting off in digital design, I decided to pivot to web development once realizing that I would like to implement both coding & design into my work and not just solely focus on design. Once realizing there was a position like that within my career I decided to pursue just that.
Who was your inspiration or role model that guided you to this field?
I found inspiration from coming across individuals who somewhat resembled me and I can relate too. Seeing women of color in tech doing what I do was that much more of a motivation for me to keep going and not stop.
Did you always have the desire to work in this field? If not, what was your intended field? Why did you change careers?
I knew since high school I was going to work within the tech field, just going back and forth between design & coding finding something where I can do both made it that much more worthwhile.
What do you love most about your job?
The main thing I love about my job is having the ability to create & build whatever comes to mind. Having the creative reign to build something that can leave a lasting impression with my job and also my department is the best feeling to attain.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your job or career?
The most rewarding aspect about my job is being able to meet amazing people from all walks of life and have the ability to talk to basketball with others who are just as passionate about it as me.
What things would you change about your job?
I wouldn’t change anything about my job, I’m super grateful with what I’m able to do now and wouldn’t take it for granted.
What has been the most difficult or disappointing aspect of your job?
I wouldn’t say the most difficult but the most challenging thing that I love to accept is being assigned tasks or projects that are more difficult than others to resolve. That’s where the most growth comes from as a developer when placing yourself in a position to find a solution for the tough bugs
How have you combated the stigma of being a “woman of color” in STEM?
Realizing that representation is so important, I don’t allow the naysayers to affect where I know where my potential lies. Continue to work towards the goal of achieving a particular milestone in your tech journey is all that matters and all you need you to focus on.
What tips would you offer for anyone thinking about entering into your profession?
Don’t hesitate to start, we all started someone and the first step is just the beginning.
What advice would you give your younger self about your career journey as a “woman of color” working in a predominantly white, male-dominated field?
Always be yourself and continue to dominate in your field. Trust your gut; you know exactly what you’re doing.
Can you provide some words of wisdom to young ladies thinking about entering a STEM field as a career choice?
Go for it! There’s absolutely nothing stopping you from pursuing something that you’re interested in. Take that leap of faith to do something for your future self.
What is your favorite Quote? How do you apply this to your life?
“One of the greatest tragedies in life is to watch potential go untapped” – Dr. Myles Munroe. I apply this to my life because I refuse to not tap into my full potential on a daily basis. When I do just that I recognize that when I put my attention & time into something results are shown.
What are your future goals related to your career?
My future goals at the moment are to just continue to grow as a developer at the moment, learn & observe, create and give a 100% effort every day.
How has your family influenced your journey and provide support?
My family has always been a huge support system in everything that I do, which I am beyond grateful for. My family has supported me from the very beginning and knew that whatever I put my mind to I’ll achieve it and more.
What are some interesting facts about yourself that you would like to share?
Other than coding throughout the day, during my free time I enjoy listening to music, attending concerts, theme parks, traveling & watching NBA games.
Contact Ariana for any further questions:
We hope you enjoyed learning about our latest “STEMsation”, please comment about how her experiences have inspired you, how your experiences can inspire others and nominate our next “STEMsation to spotlight their amazing accomplishments.