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Tech Spotlight

Tech Spotlight: Will Madison

The Abernathy Tech Spotlight series highlights black professionals working in tech, from freelance developers to non-technical founders. Complete this form to submit your profile.


What is your current role and where do you work?
My current role is Senior Software Engineer for Pivotal Labs (Atlanta).

How did you get into tech?
I got into technology because of a subtle suggestion by my father years ago. I was always a strong math and science student and I knew I wanted to study an engineering discipline. My father simply suggested “you should really look into something in computers”. Soon thereafter I saw a PBS documentary about Computer Engineering and I knew that’s what I wanted to study.

What’s your favorite technology to work with and why?
My favorite technology is the Go programming language. I feel incredibly productive and happy when developing applications in Go. It is a very unobtrusive language and it allows me to be extremely expressive and really get to the essence of the problem I’m solving without a lot of ceremony and boilerplate.

What project are you most proud to have worked on and why?
I’m probably most proud of a product I worked on during my time at Amazon.com subsidiary Fabric.com. We built a pretty sophisticated fulfillment center automation system which resulted in substantial lowering in variable costs in the warehouse.

What do you see as the most interesting technology on the horizon?
The most interesting technologies in my personal opinion are the technologies aimed at abstracting away container orchestration (i.e. Cloud Foundry, Kubernetes, et al). I’m interested to see where the community lands in terms of developing open cloud/container orchestration standards and how that effects each of these products.

If you weren’t working in tech, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t working in technology I would totally be teaching.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your tech career?
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that continuous learning is the lifeblood of your career. Everyday you have to be soaking up something. Staying current. Otherwise you stagnate. Additionally, the most resourceful and passionate team members are often most highly regarded and valued and you certainly want to be in that number as a professional.

What can companies do to create more inclusive environments?
The biggest thing in my humble opinion that companies can do to create more inclusive environment is a multi-thronged approach: 1) ensure that the interview/onboarding/recruiting pipeline reflects the diversity you desire to see in the organization. 2) Be intentional yet not patronizing. 3) Foster good, honest, and healthy relationships between team members which allows us to all freely learn about each other and embrace our differences and similarities.

What keeps you busy when you’re not being a technologist?
I’m a father of two beautiful little girls who keep me pretty busy.


The Abernathy Tech Spotlight series highlights black professionals working in tech, from freelance developers to non-technical founders. Complete this form to submit your profile.