Meet Bold Idea volunteer Todd James: a Bank of America business analyst on weekdays and a mentor for our east Dallas middle school coding team on Saturdays.
Todd is passionate about increasing the diversity found on most IT development teams and enjoys supporting the diverse student teams at Bold Idea — "Anyone can code and everyone should have a chance to learn these skills which have real world applications."
What is something many people don’t know about you?
I was a foreign exchange student to Brazil in High School. It was an amazing experience and has fueled my passion for travel as an adult.
How did you become interested in technology and programming?
I’ve always had a natural curiosity in technology. As a kid, I used to take apart my electronic toys when I got bored with them. When I was in 5th grade I burnt out an old hand me down computer by forcing an even older Atari game cartridge into the expansion slot, needless to say my parents weren't too happy. I took a deeper interest in programming when I began a job performing application support at a telecom which paired me with development teams to troubleshoot and resolve a number of problems. The satisfaction of resolving these issues has been a motivating force.
What did you study in college?
I got my Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology in college.
What are you working on now?
My latest position is as a Business Analyst with Bank of America.
What have you gained from being a mentor? What was your most memorable moment while mentoring?
For me, mentoring has been a chance to shake things up a bit and give back to my community. It’s rewarding to watch students successfully tackle problems with the tools and advice we’ve taught them. My favorite part of the program is watching students perform their demos at the end of the semester.
Is there anything you wish you could tell your younger self about coding?
I would have changed my major in college.
What is it about Bold Idea’s mission that really connects with you?
I love the diversity in these Bold Idea classes and they do not match the typical IT development departments I’ve worked in. Anyone can code and everyone should have a chance to learn these skills which have real world applications.