Devin is from Brooklyn, New York, and was still living there at the time of his interview. His days were spent “being a superhero, fixing people’s computer problems.”
Devin’s Most Likely To is: Most Likely to Change the Tech World
He explained why he still gets excited when new Apple devices are released:
“I grew up a techie. I always loved having all the gadgets and stuff. So every time a new i-Device comes out, even though I might not always have the money for it at the time it launches, I get it maybe six or seven months [later], and it’s still like Christmas.
So every time I get a new device, it’s sort of like a mini-Christmas for me. I get to see what all the months of hype on blogs like Cult of Mac and iMore [was about]. I actually get to hold it and see all the work that Apple or Microsoft put in, and see what that yielded.”
We talked about some of the important people in Devin’s social media life:
“Just to be fair, all my people that follow me…they’re as important to me as anyone. My clients for my side web design business, fans for gaming, everyone’s important.”
We talked about whether the depiction of friendships between techies & geeks on the popular TV show The Big Bang Theory accurately reflects how he sees people interact:
“The Big Bang Theory is not correct in the least bit…I understand what they were trying to do with it, trying to expose non-geeky people to some of our inside jokes and how we interact.
But some of it…they took it way above what it should be. In actuality for producers of tech, for your programmers and your hardware guys, New York City actually has a very vibrant programming community and there are Meetups almost every other week.
…In a Meetup, a group will meet in an open/public space and talk about what we’re working on, share some coding tips, or things like that. Or it could just be a whole bunch of people hanging out after work at a bar for happy hour.
…All the standard societal personality types, you will find in the tech world. It is literally no different than – I hate to use this term – the normal world, or what society sees as the normal world.”
Devin shared how he found, and maintained, his love of technology while growing up in Brooklyn:
“Growing up it wasn’t that tough to keep holding on to the interests. I felt like I didn’t really have a choice because it’s what kept me sane during my middle school years. I grew up in a fairly comfortable middle-class family [with a] single mom helping me out, and she worked – and she still works to this day – in telecommunications.
So I was exposed to this computer technology lifestyle and environment since before I could walk. She would always take me to work with her. I essentially grew up in a server room, because she would always take me when she had to do stuff with the servers.
I grew friendly with the I.T. guys, and I would always sit in [my mom’s] lap while she was working on the computer. So that’s how that love was ingrained in me, because it’s something I saw my mom doing and I said, ‘hey I wanna do that someday.’”
We talked about the role that the NYC gaming community played in his youth:
“When I was super young the gaming community – taking trips to Funcoland with my brother shopping for video games, playing Street Fighter against kids at the arcade machine while waiting for Chinese food in the restaurant on my block, and even going to arcades and stuff – when I was younger it was all very supportive.
As I started getting older [and] I started going to arcades on my own, like the Chinatown Fair arcade in Manhattan…and I was playing games like Street Fighter III – 3rd Strike and Street Fighter IV, the community there was very supportive, but in a School of Hard Knocks sort of way.”
Devin shared some final thoughts for young people who may be interested in technology:
“To any young folks listening out there, if your friends say, ‘oh don’t mess with computers or video games, that’s like acting White or speaking proper’, just ignore them.
Because working in the technology field for a while, there needs to be more people of color in it. And listening to what people may say – be they friends or even family discouraging you – just ignore it. In one ear and out the other. Because you can do whatever you set your mind to.”
Check out some of the organizations that inspire Devin: