Taye Johnson is a tech educator who soothes the curiosity of those who want to learn more about tech, but who do not know where to begin. A proud introvert, her love of data has propelled her on her mission to educate the masses. She’s a data analytics manager, former coding instructor and so, so much more.
Nicknamed the Quiet Storm, this trailblazer shared more about her journey, superpowers and making her voice heard.
OwnTrail: Tell us about the “Quiet Storm”. How did you get the nickname, and how does it reflect the authentic Taye?
Taye Johnson: My nickname was given to me by a former colleague. When we first starting working together, they kind of misjudged me and believed that I was shy and timid which wasn’t the case. Once they saw my personality and how I handled work they started calling me the Quiet Storm. I believe this nickname does reflect who I am. Most of the time I’m more reserved. I like to study my environment before I respond. I’m more of a thinker.
“Sometimes we tend to get inside of our head, and we can forget what truly makes us unique.”
OwnTrail: What drew you to data in the first place, and what captivated you to build this act of your career around it?
TJ: I became interested in data when I was in college pursuing my business degree. I was working in HR and one area that caught my attention was HR Analytics. I enjoyed the reporting aspect of my job so that is when I became more curious about the field. I wanted to use data to make my job easier but I quickly realized that sometimes the more information you collect the more complicated it can become. My goal was always to make data projects more efficient and less confusing.
OwnTrail: You’ve been open about obstacles you’ve overcome both personally and professionally, including facing imposter syndrome as a POC in tech. Why was it important to you to share that experience? What advice and/or resources do you have for people feeling that right now?
TJ: I think it is important to be transparent about the effects of impostor syndrome especially as a woman of color. In a way, I wanted to give a name to the face. We have heard the term impostor syndrome but we may not understand how it can affect others. Through my experiences from working in tech, I have seen a lot and I have been through enough situations to understand when those feelings crept up and came to the surface. The advice that I would give to people who may be experiencing impostor syndrome is to be forgiving of yourself. Sometimes we tend to get inside of our head, and we can forget what truly makes us unique. Two resources that I would recommend is journaling and meditation. If you happen to be a deep thinker like I am then these are good ways to relax and calm your mind.
“Ironically, all of my various sides happen to complement each other. I’ve learned to stay true to myself.”
OwnTrail: You’re proof that being an introvert doesn’t mean you don’t make your voice heard. Have you always known and used your voice to speak up?
TJ: Actually, I haven’t. As a child, I was rather shy and didn’t speak much. I don’t know what happened along the way to make me more outspoken but I would have to say that I got tired of being misjudged. I knew that there are so many other great aspects to my personality but people didn’t see it yet. Now that I’m older I have no problem with asserting myself mostly when it comes to causes that I care about.
OwnTrail: Tech isn’t your only superpower. You’re also an LGBTQ+ advocate, cosplayer and spiritualist. How has embracing all these sides impacted how you move through the world?
TJ: Ironically, all of my various sides happen to complement each other. I’ve learned to stay true to myself. This affects the way I approach my work and how I engage with others. It is always through the lens of being authentic. This sense of realness is quickly noticed by other people. I’m like the friend in your head.