Current Occupation: Software Engineer
Recent read: EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
Twitter handle: @commandmobile is the Twitter handle
Welcome to another installment of “Behind the Click” where I bring you a look at today’s African-American female movers and shakers in the tech world. This time, I had an opportunity to connect with DeAnna Davidson who is President and CEO of Tracen Technologies. Tracen specializes in enterprise mobile software applications, integrated mobile and web solutions, and IT Program Management support for commercial and government customers. If it sounds heavy duty, it’s because it is. DeAnna is quite an achiever and has an impressive background in the realm of math & sciences. This is my first look at someone quite like DeAnna so I think you will find her background and current responsibilities nothing if not inspiring. Here we go!
LdC: So I read that you attended North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics? How did you decide on that school?
DD: The first time I heard about NCSSM was at a summer program at Wake Forest University the summer before 9th grade. As soon as I heard about it, I was hooked. It seemed like a challenge, something rare in my academic career, and it seemed like a great opportunity to be exposed to so much more academically than was available at my local high school.
LdC: What was it like for you in North Carolina?
DD: I was in academically gifted classes from sixth grade on. That meant that all through middle school and early high school I was either the only African American student (male or female) in most of my classes or one of the very few. Programs like the Awards Committee for Education, Duke University’s Talent Identification Program and the option of attending NCSSM were excellent opportunities for a student like me. In many ways, I was very fortunate to have grown up in NC and have those resources available to me.
LdC: What led you to pursue an MBA?
DD: My husband and I started Tracen, a technology company, in 2000. With an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering, I felt very confident about my technical ability and wanted to have the same confidence in my business acumen. So, an MBA seemed like a good idea.
LdC: Tell me more about Tracen?
DD: My husband and I founded Tracen in 2000. While working for a government contractor developing mobile software applications back in 1998, way before everybody had a gadget in their pocket, I got really passionate about the advantages mobile technologies could bring to any industry. When we started Tracen, we knew we wanted mobile technologies to be a focus area for the company. We also felt very strongly that we could create a company that would be a great place for developers and technologists to work and feel valued and be treated well.