Google’s ‘Howard West’ Program, a Great Step Forward Says Software Consultant

Manus Ross earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech and his MS in Electrical Engineering from Duke University. He has worked as an Electronics Engineer and Firmware Engineer. Manus has worked as a Senior Software Developer and as an independent software consultant. He sees Google’s collaboration with Howard University to be a great step forward for diversity in Silicon Valley.

 “I believe that Google and Howard University are doing a great thing by bringing Howard University students to Silicon Valley for the Howard West Summer Computer Science residency. I feel that a program like Howard West can help the students by working in Silicon Valley and seeing that they can thrive in an environment that has a low percentage of minorities; and by giving the decision-makers and hiring managers in Silicon Valley access to a pool of individuals who may bring both ethnic diversity and thought diversity.

I feel that it is vitally important that the perceptions that some people have about minorities’ talents and abilities continue to be worked against. Since elementary school, I can remember being enthralled by science and mathematics. As I became older, I remember hearing people say that black people are not engineers or computer scientists; that black people are not smart. From an early age, I felt that the issue was partly due to a simple lack of awareness on a local and national scale. The fact that corporations like Google, Universities like Howard University, and media like TAJTalk are taking actions that may work towards changing these perceptions is heart-lifting and inspiring. Members of every ethnicity, of every category of human, have talent and abilities that can take our technical industry to its next level. Congratulations to everyone involved in putting the Howard West program together and to those who are promoting it and raising awareness.

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