Newbie Feature: Joy Ray / Application Engineer

Monday, January 24, 2022

WHO: Joy Ray

WHERE: Atlanta, GA

WHAT: Application Engineer

She considers herself a Techie and Geek

SALARY EST.: $71,000/$91,000 (old salary/new salary)

NIT Staff: Not all techies are created the same. Sometimes we are made into the professionals we are by the people we love the most. Joy discusses her path into tech and how her family helped get her there without even knowing it. She also had courage and decided to try out many areas of engineering before deciding a career path. Here's her story and we hope it will inspire you to just start where you're at and go from there.

Joy was willing to tell us a little more about her background:

I grew up in Columbia, SC in the suburbs in a very low middle class family. My mom made sure I went to the best school in the district no matter if we were zoned for it or not. She always made sure that even though she had no idea about tech that I was able to pursue the best opportunities for it.

Joy has worked for Schneider Electric/Cox Communication (transitioning companies)

NIT Staff: When did you start getting involved in tech? Why did you choose to enter the tech field?

Got started in middle school when I was able to take STEM classes and was introduced to robotics and coding. I was amazed that I could right instructions and they be followed. If something was wrong there was always the ability to trace back problems and come up with the solution with given criteria.

How did your traditional education (or non-traditional) prepare you for your current job?

When I took my first STEM class I ventured into all disciplines of engineering to figure out what really spoke to me. The duality of hardware and software engineering captivated me and I pursued computer engineering for my undergraduate career.

What do you do to stay up-to-date on your technical certifications and knowledge?

I stay up to date on technology I'm involved in at work or if I’m working on a project that comes to mind.

What coding language (if any) are you most comfortable with?

Python is my go to language

What is your biggest challenge working in tech?

Being a young black woman around middle aged white men who are used to only seeing themselves.

When I took my first STEM class I ventured into all disciplines of engineering to figure out what really spoke to me.

What is the coolest project you have worked on?

Coding wise I took an Algorithms in Bioinformatics class in college and the homework and projects were always intriguing. Work wise I was able to work with my company’s building automation team on the re opening of the TWA hotel.

What are you passionate about outside of tech?

My cat, cooking, my garden, crocheting, and Marvel (comics and movies).

What are your goals for the future?

Become a Senior Systems Engineer

Who’s your favorite Tech celebrity and why?

Joy Buolamwini. She’s is so inspiring and a genius! Her discovery with coding bias has been so revolutionary


Best advice you have for Newbies trying to get into tech?

There’s so many avenues of tech. Do not follow the money follow what captivates you. Money will never be sufficient for the stress that comes along with tech.