April 30, 2017
Senior software engineer at LinkedIn, Jamaica-born Kamilah Taylor has been ranked at Number 42 on Business Insider’s list of the 43 most powerful female engineers in the US for 2017.
LinkedIn, a popular social networking site for professionals, has more than 380 million members around the world. It was recently acquired by Microsoft.
She joined the LinkedIn team in 2012 and currently leads infrastructure and flagship app integrations on the new LinkedIn Learning app. She previously worked on the flagship LinkedIn iOS app as an iOS lead on various projects, and in 2015, she helped build the next big thing for LinkedIn — Project Voyager, a complete rewrite and redesign of the flagship app.
In its announcement of the list back in February, the Business Insider said: “The tech industry is doing a well-documented terrible job of attracting women into engineering. And once they enter this male-dominated world, some women are subject to some appalling sexism and sexual harassment.
“But that tells only part of the story. There are women who are leading important tech teams at important companies. And there are women who are building cool, cutting edge technologies at start-ups. In other words, there are women having fabulous careers as engineers, building the technology that millions of people use on a daily basis. With that in mind, here are 43 powerful American women who are developers, designers, engineering directors, bio scientists, nuclear scientists, and rocket scientists.”
Taylor participated via Google chat in the Girls in ICT Caribbean hackathon which was staged simultaneously in Jamaica, Trinidad and Barbados on Thursday — International Girls in ICT Day. She, and user experience researcher at Google Dr Deana Brown, also Jamaican, fielded questions from the high school and college girls about their experiences in the industry and advice on emerging tech jobs.
“My happy place is solving impactful problems. I love dreaming up and engineering cool products that can transform millions of lives worldwide,” Taylor says on her LinkedIn profile.
“As a grad student, I thought about scenarios in which we deny a robot powerful sensors like GPS, and found non-conventional sensors that give less information but still allow it to do something useful. These days, while working on iOS applications, I think about what tools the world’s professionals need, and how to make the existing ones better. Working in the mobile space is an opportunity to be intimately connected to the end-user and to work end to end full stack on applications. iOS development in particular is an opportunity to work with always-changing and improving tools and languages, in a problem space that just keeps growing,” she says.
Kamilah Taylor holds a Masters degree in computer science, specialising in robotics, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a bachelor’s in maths and computer science from the University of the West Indies. She attended Mona Prep in Kingston until Grade 5, then Holcomb Bridge Middle School and North Springs Charter High School in Atlanta, and did sixth form at Campion College.
Taylor credits her Jamaican roots for the determination she needed to land a tech job in Silicon Valley.
“I think that Jamaicans have this belief that we can do whatever we want, and it doesn’t really matter if the odds are against us or that we’re a small island,” she said in a previous interview.
Kamilah Taylor has co-authored Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories, and is involved in several volunteer tech projects, including the inaugural Tech Beach Retreat which was staged in Jamaica in December, and Black Girls CODE.