For people thinking about becoming a software developer, I would say always be open to learning, BUILD THINGS, and find a mentor!

Who is Joye Nettles?

My name is Joye Nettles. I grew up in a small town called Darlington, SC where I pursued tons of hobbies. I enjoyed spending time with my family and LOVED school! Growing up in a family full of educators, I always thought I’d end up as a teacher. My plan was to get all the degrees I could and then find a university to teach and do research. However, on the journey to obtaining my Computer Science degree, I fell in love with software and building products. After graduating from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC in 2015, I started my career as a Consultant Developer. Consulting in a variety of different industries, tech stacks, and locations over the past four years, I have developed passions for Domain-Driven Design, automated testing, and building autonomous, effective teams. Along with my love for technology, I am also extremely interested in entrepreneurship. My company, Joye to the World, aspires to empower entrepreneurs using technology, change the face of the industry, and ignite the spark for STEM and entrepreneurship in the youth!

Educational Background

B.S. Computer Science – College of Charleston ’15

Special Awards

2019 ThoughtWorks Unsung Hero Award and 2016 The Root’s Young Futurist

How did you choose to pursue this field?

I chose software development because I really loved two things growing up: math and MySpace! Ever since I was younger, I was obsessed with solving math problems. From the 100 question multiplication quizzes of elementary school to the three-page proofs of AP Calculus, I knew I wanted to work on these types of puzzles for the rest of my life. When picking my major, one reason I chose Computer Science was that I saw it involved a good number of math courses. Little did I know, I would be employing my “math thinking” when learning how to program! On the other hand, MySpace, the social media of my middle and early high school days, was also instrumental in leading me to technology. With MySpace, you could create custom profile pages using HTML and CSS. Although I had little experience programming, I was able to figure it all out and before I knew it, I was designing MySpace pages for all of my friends! Considering all of these things and the projected outlook for individuals with Computer Science degrees, I decided to take the leap. I haven’t looked back since!

Who was your inspiration or role model that guided you to this field?

My godmother Deanna was the first person I knew in the tech field. She was always the cool one that my little sister and I wanted to be around at the family reunions. Once she got into tech, I was able to see all the wonderful things she was able to do as a consultant. Although she never tried to force me into the discipline, being there to witness where her career took her truly inspired me (and still does to this day)!

Did you always have the desire to work in this field? If not, what was your intended field? Why did you change careers?

Before I was exposed to Computer Science, I wanted to be an educator, specifically a math professor. I always loved school and wanted to help kids see how beautiful math could be! Alas, as soon as I got the hang of programming, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in tech! Even still, I am always an educator at heart and am always looking for opportunities to share what I’ve learned!

What do you love most about your job?

The thing I love most about working as a Senior Consultant Developer is building something from nothing! Rather it’s helping an enterprise create a product that’s going to bring in billions of dollars or just a small website for a friend, there’s nothing like the magic of software!

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your job or career?

The most rewarding aspect of my career has been learning how much I’m capable of! From the time I began studying Computer Science to now, I have learned how to think in ways I never thought possible. Of course, the more I know, the more I realize I don’t know, but I am confident I can handle anything that comes my way. Imposter syndrome no more (mostly :))!

What things would you change about your job?

There are two key parts of my role: consultant and developer. The thing that I wish I could change as a consultant is enterprises that really restrict how the software teams build products from the top down. When this happens, it makes it harder to come in and make an impact on a team. As a developer, I would change the way that we aren’t always thought of first to help with “the business part” of things. I strongly believe that cross-functional teams are crucial when it comes to building quality, sustainable products.

What has been the most difficult or disappointing aspect of your job?

Historically, the most difficult aspect of my job was having confidence in my abilities. When I first started out, I really struggled with Imposter Syndrome. Thankfully, delivering beautiful, working software in challenging and complex environments with teams of amazing individuals has truly helped me overcome this!

How have you combated the stigma of being a “woman of color” in STEM?

I have combated the stigma of being a “woman of color” in STEM by being myself and being great at what I do!

What tips would you offer for anyone thinking about entering into your profession?

For people thinking about becoming a software developer, I would say always be open to learning, BUILD THINGS, and find a mentor!

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?

I would tell myself to be confident and put in the work!! It’s easy to get freaked out when you look around and realize how “smart other people are”, ESPECIALLY when you are a double minority. I would constantly remind myself that I can do anything they can do. Last but not least, I would tell myself to learn all I can from the people in positions I want to be in.

Can you provide some words of wisdom to young ladies thinking about entering a STEM field as a career choice?

To young ladies entering a STEM field, I would say one, find a mentor! My mentor taught me SO MUCH! He really is the reason I was able to kick my Imposter Syndrome to the curve! Secondly, I would say take advantage of all the opportunities you can! During my undergraduate years, I participated in a number of clubs, did research at different schools, went to conferences, and networked as much as I could. All of these things contributed to making me super well rounded and prepared for the workforce. Lastly, I would encourage young ladies entering STEM to take the educational portions of their careers seriously. So often, people just do the bare minimum to get through their coursework. Instead, I would strongly urge the ladies to really get all they can from school, whether that is in university or through on the job training!

What is your favorite Quote? How do you apply this to your life?

In terms of professional development, my favorite quote is “growth and comfort can never coexist”. Whenever I get stuck in difficult situations, I come back to this quote. It helps keep me focused on the fact that challenges are super beneficial to my growth. Because things change so quickly in the tech industry, I have discovered that you HAVE to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

What are your future goals related to your career?

For now, my plan is to stay technical as long as I can! I am really excited about future leadership opportunities (like tech lead, architect, etc.) in this space! Along with that, I would eventually like to be self-employed full-time, working on projects with my own consultancy! My biggest dream is to start my own STEM-focused charter school one day!

How has your family influenced your journey and provide support?

From day one, my family instilled a passion for education in me. I know this has been key to my career because my original obsession with becoming a college professor led me to discover undergraduate research. This, in turn, led me to software consulting!! All of this would have never happened without their guidance! Along with my love for learning, my family has constantly supported everything I do! From buying my clothing when I started a fashion line to telling anyone who will listen about Joye to the World, they always are my biggest fans. All in all my family is one of the most important things to me. Making them proud is what keeps me going!!

Contact Joye Nettles for any further questions:

Email at Joye@JoyeToTheWorld.com!

@joyenettles on Twitter

@joye_ttw on Instagram

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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