Q&A with Black Technologists at The Walt Disney Studios

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February 11, 2021

This interview series spotlights Black technologists across TWDC. For this edition, we sat down with employees from The Walt Disney Studios to learn about their career paths, advice, and a little inspiration.

Meet the Technologists

Nana-Efua Essuman

Nana-Efua Essuman

(she/her)

ASSOCIATE SOFTWARE ENGINEER (WDAS)

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Stephanie Glover

Stephanie Glover

(she/her)

PROJECT MANAGER
(MARVEL STUDIOS)

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Jordi Anderson

Jordi Anderson

(she/her)

TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION ASSOCIATE (TIG)

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How did you get into this field?

NE: I grew up loving numbers and fixing things, and I initially wanted to be a doctor. I learned more about the world of engineering in high school and college, so when I took my first computer science class in college, I was hooked! It was a simple Intro to CS class, but it fascinated me how a bunch of words and numbers can create so many different complex programs and designs! I was lucky to have such inspirational mentors and friends to push me to try and succeed at something new and encourage me to go for opportunities I normally wouldn’t have.

SG: I met a woman who was an executive at Disney|ABC Television Group back in 2015. I was a producer for a FOX O&O station in Charlotte, NC at the time. I shared with her some ideas I had and wanted to know the best program to start learning code in. She invited me to work for her team here in LA and provided the first opportunities at learning code and participating in technology projects.

JA: I didn’t have a plan in college, and decided to take different classes as a freshman to find what I liked. One of my first classes was a Java programming class. I actually had a great time and decided to pursue computer science! It wasn’t the easiest journey but I’m grateful for it.

What’s a favorite Disney project you’ve worked on?

NE: When I worked at Disney Television Animation, I got to help improve some internal business tools. It was the first time I got to use React on a project and it was so amazing to see my work come to life on the screen and be used by so many people! I had so many talented developers helping and collaborating with me, that it made learning and using this new technology so fun!

SG: Building out the Digital Production Nook located in the Burbank Center.

JA: I’m currently working on a web/iOS project that has allowed me to explore and learn new development skills.

 

Any advice or resources for other technologists?

NE: Don’t let other people put you in a box. Don’t put yourself in a box. You are capable of anything you put your mind to!

SG: I’m currently working on a web/iOS project that has allowed me to explore and learn new development skills.

JA: Take advantage of every single opportunity you come across. You never know who you’ll meet or what you may learn!

 

What’s your favorite quote?

NE: “I was built this way for a reason, so I’m going to use it.” – Simone Biles

SG: “Far better to live your own path imperfectly than to live another’s perfectly.” – Bhagavad Gita

JA: “…you learn something new every day.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson