Makinde Adeagbo splits his time between being a software engineer at the San Francisco company Pinterest and running /dev/color, a nonprofit group for African-American engineers.
The group brings together engineers from top companies such as Facebook, Uber and Airbnb to provide support for each other and a voice to African Americans in Silicon Valley companies who make up a tiny percentage of technical workers.
Born in Nigeria and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Adeagbo became interested in software engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He landed summer internships at Microsoft and Apple. His first job out of college was at Facebook.
Adeagbo says he was drawn to solving big problems in the tech industry and beyond, in search of ways to make people’s lives “tangibly better,” working on software for schools in Kenya and coaching track in East Palo Alto, Calif.
Now he’s working to match young engineers with role models to guide them.
“Those examples help lead someone to believe: I can do this because someone like me is doing this,” he says.