Sydney Stern Miller, March 9, 2021 | 5 min read

An Artist’s Journey to Programming

You will never meet anyone exactly like Deonte White, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. After getting to know him better we stand firmly rooted in the belief that Deonte at his core is an artist. Artists, we believe, have another layer of thinking that the rest of the world doesn’t always get to tap into. They want to create, grow, and see the things around them develop. Artists have the dedication and bravery to journey through uncharted territory.

Whether it’s improving access to STEAM education, educating about aviation, supporting social justice in the community, planning Mental Health awareness events, or studying for his next certification–we’re not exactly sure when he finds time to sleep.

Join us as we get to know artist, innovator, and Tech Talent South grad Deonte White in our Talent Tuesday interview.

What were you doing before TTS?

I have lived in Virginia my entire life. The best way to describe me is a jack of all trades. I am an artist, creative, and entrepreneur. I had an organization that taught STEAM and aviation to students from elementary to high school, I was on the CNU engineering team for unmanned drone competitions (AUVSI), and I am heavily involved in social justice and my community.

What course(s) did you take with TTS?

I took the part-time Code Immersion class that heavily concentrated on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Java. I took the full-stack course because I wanted to learn the full foundation of programming and put myself in the best position to achieve all the levels of success I’ve charted out for myself. I felt this course gave me a great opportunity to do just that.

How did taking this course remotely impact how you connected with your cohort and instructors?

Like most things in life, there were pros and cons to doing it remotely. The course itself was packed full of information that allowed all of us to learn from the comfort of our living rooms. The only con was COVID-19 impacting the world around us, and limiting the amount of personable/relatable interaction the teachers and students could have that would have occurred during in-person sessions.

Tell us about your favorite project!

My favorite project was midway through the curriculum when we learned about creating websites via HTML and stylizing them with CSS. Being able to jump from a beginner’s task to creating something that is practical in the modern world was a nice change of pace as I love to focus on projects that immediately can translate to real-life problems and solutions. As far as learning anything that wasn’t on the curriculum, I took the initiative during my personal time to look out for different ways to efficiently and effectively program as we continued throughout the lesson plans.

How has what you learned at TTS impacted your life?

It’s impacted me in two ways. First, helped me to learn different aspects of coding in a relatively quick amount of time. Being able to dive into different languages and see which one I may want to focus on in the future provided me much-needed diversity for success in my life. The second is that it has helped me to learn that I can achieve a lot and to keep pushing myself even during the most challenging times. In the midst of a pandemic, loss of income, and social unrest that impacted my community, I was still able to find success and solace in the opportunities that presented themselves to me. Tech Talent South was one of them.

What has been the biggest challenge in your tech journey?

The biggest challenge has been the lack of diverse opportunities around me.

What have you learned about yourself over the past year?

I learned that I am mentally ready to take my talents to the next step, and focus on bringing everything together to have tangible results.

What are your personal and career goals for the future? Dream job?

I have a few lifelong overarching goals and some short-term ones. For the long term, I aim to help unify Virginia in STEAM. I’ve always called myself “logically creative” as I excel on both sides of what would be considered traditional “career paths”. For the short term, I aim to use all of the different mediums I currently use (such as film, music, computer science, aviation) to create a unique and successful path for me that allows me to work and create outside of the “box.”

What projects are you working on now?

I am currently studying for my SEC+ certification and other aspects of IT so I can have a good foundation of hardware systems. Also am working on a concept art project that incorporates an EP, documentary, and helping my community with planned events that focus on mental health. For the mental health events, the plan is to create VR realities that will simulate different experiences so that people will be able to see, experience, and have extended compassion/understanding of those with mental illnesses.

How has your background been useful in getting you to this point?

It helped me to appreciate who I am and where I come from. Doing these things has allowed me to have the light thinking of a dreamer, but also the grit and honesty to focus on how to achieve the goals I have set for myself.

When you’re not coding, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to focus on ways to better myself. I look for people who were and are successful now in the fields I am passionate about and I study them and learn from their experiences.

What is your favorite quote, mantra, or piece of advice?

One day you will be in a position to reach every goal that you want to in life, but it only takes one day to ruin it. – Deonte White

What is something that makes you unique?

My passion for innovation. I am able to make something new out of ideas or concepts that already exist and make them personable for the individual.


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