My Favorite Mistake — 110: Software Engineer Moses Harris Tried Bowing to Power and Got Fired Anyway

Show notes:

My guest for Episode #110 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Moses Harris, a software engineer and technical leader at IBM, and the co-founder and Head of Outreach for Tech Can [Do] Better, an organization that helps technology companies create equitable outcomes for underserved populations, starting with the Black community.

Moses graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago with a degree in architecture. Born, raised and schooled in Chicago, he now lives and works in Austin, Texas.

In today’s episode, Moses shares his “favorite mistake” stories about being fired two different times as a young professional.

We talk about that and other topics including:

  • His mistake: He tried to bow to power instead of having conversation and keeping pride more intact
  • Q: Was it a racial component to interactions with the VP?
  • “The lessons you learn are the fuel…”
  • Is being told “you’re not a good fit” a code for other things?
  • Should we look for “culture fit” or “culture add”?
  • Tell us about Tech Can [Do] Better — why was it founded?
  • Controversy about Black people fired by Google
  • Mistakes companies make when trying to close gaps in racial equity?
  • “ERGs [Employee Resource Groups] aren’t a mistake, but there’s a risk they become social clubs”

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