The focus on the lack of diversity in technology has become a hot topic over the last several years, with technology companies coming under fire for not being more representative of the markets that they serve. Even The White House and President Obama has made this issue of technology diversity and recruiting more women and people of color a topic of discussion hosting several events at The White House aimed at finding solutions to this issue. The issue has become so prevalent in the news recently that technology companies have been asked to publish report cards disclosing the demographic breakdown of their employee workforce. Most of the major technology companies in Silicon Valley have vowed to dedicate themselves to becoming more diverse, and have instituted programs to do such. However, progress has been slow and the results have been disappointing. Although many attempts to fix this problem has occurred for decades there has been no panacea to emerge. Why are there so few minorities pursuing careers in technology? The answer to this question at the moment is unknown. Although many experts have offered theories, there is little in the way of agreement. As the numbers continue to dwindle and more women and people of color continue to pursue careers in other fields or depart from the technology industry, technology companies are challenged to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in their workforce and to come up with solutions that address this issue that has become so important to the future economic growth of the United States. Qualitative by design, this study examines the perspectives, insights, and understandings of African American software development engineers. Accordingly, participants in this research study provided key insights regarding strategies, best practices, and challenges experienced by African American software development engineers while developing and implementing application programs at American corporations. Participants’ perspectives provided an insightful understanding of the complexities of being an underrepresented minority in an American corporate information technology department.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational technology; Computer programmers -- African Americans -- Case studies; Minorities in technology -- African Americans -- Case studies; Diversity in the workplace -- Case studies

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Madjidi, Farzin;