Fatimah Richmond, User Research Operations Manager at LinkedIn, is the 2020 Tapia Birds of a Feather Committee Chair. We interviewed Fatimah about her career and how she became involved in the Tapia Conference.
Tell me about your background.
I grew up in a working-class household in Atlanta Georgia, my mother retired in customer service and my late father was in the trucking industry. I have a younger brother, and three older brothers who were all in some form of military throughout my life, so my household had a lot of structure and order. Growing up in the South, coming of age in the 90s, with that contrast of structure and chaos, and being the only girl are all profound forces that shaped my character today.
How did you become interested in Computer Science?
During high school I was introduced to Computer Science, while a student in our Math and Science Academy. My math and computer science teachers introduced me to the field, and nurtured my excitement for the topic by entering me into computer science competitions across the state. Additionally one of my older brothers also studied Information Technology, so he provided a good peek into the outlook of the field. I also had a desire to move beyond the environment that shaped my childhood, and a career in computer science provided that opportunity. In addition to that strong desire, I had a natural inclination toward the logical and analytical thinking required to solve coding problems. Once I began studying in college, at Tuskegee University, I found a second passion for the creative and system thinking skills that led me into the subfield of Human-Computer Interaction (H.C.I). H.C.I is the study of how humans interact with computer interfaces, known as User Experience (UX) in the industry.