Friday, January 31, 2014

The 'Butterfly Effect' and BDPA Co-Founder David Wimberly

When you do an Internet search on the acronym "BDPA" you often find the following statement:
"Black Data Processing Associates was founded by Earl A. Pace, Jr. and David Wimberly in May 1975."
Everyone in BDPA knows about Mr. Pace. He has been a speaker at all 32 national BDPA Technology Conferences ... he has been at over 100 quarterly national BDPA board meetings ... he has been a member of the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) board of trustees since its inception in 1992.  You can't miss Mr. Pace ... after all, the brother is 6'5" tall and towers above any crowd that he's in.

I think it's fair to say that everyone in BDPA knows about Mr. Pace.

On the other hand, we know very little about David Wimberly.  Think about it.  Have you ever seen a photo of Mr. Wimberly?   All that we know about him is that he joined Earl Pace to create BDPA back in May 1975.

It turns out that Mr. Wimberly worked on the same floor as Earl Pace in the mid-1970s. The two men talked about the idea of an organization like BDPA.  Those discussions led to a decision to call together some other like-minded Black information technology professionals to talk about whether or not it would help to organize in some manner.   David and Earl shared the expense of renting a hotel room for the first organizational meeting.

Unfortunately, David Wimberly met an untimely death before the official bylaws were created. As it turns out only a handful of BDPA members ever met David Wimberly in person.

That being said, it is important to acknowledge the importance of David Wimberly in BDPA history.  I tend to think of our BDPA co-founder as the embodiment of 'The Butterfly Effect'. The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere Earth's atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in a certain location. The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different. While the butterfly does not "cause" the tornado in the sense of providing the energy for the tornado, it does "cause" it in the sense that the flap of its wings is an essential part of the initial conditions resulting in a tornado, and without that flap that particular tornado would not have existed.

In other words we may never have impacted impacted tens of thousands of people who have benefited from BDPA over the past 35 years without David Wimberly sharing in the expense of that hotel room back in 1975.

Rest in peace David Wimberly. Your legacy is secure with BDPA.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

BDPA Welcomes State Farm as Gold Level Corporate Sponsor

State Farm has become the latest Gold Level partner at the highly anticipated 2014 National BDPA Technology Conference and Career Fair Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana, 5-9 August 2014.
Dr. Craig Brown
Dr. Craig Brown, National BDPA president said: "On behalf of the National Board of Directors and the National Executive Committee It is my honor and privilege to welcome State Farm as a returning Gold Level Sponsor. We could not provide the member services that our professional and student members receive without the support of organizations like State Farm.”
The event has grown tremendously in both size and recognition since inception, and has become well known for its unique networking style and high value content and creative social events.  BDPA is pleased to have substantial State Farm funding to pilot its 1st Annual BDPA Mobility Application Showcase this year in Indianapolis.
Theonnie Shields, State Farm systems manager, commented: "State Farm is proud to be a Gold Level partner of BDPA. We continue to value our partnership with BDPA. We look forward to being a sponsor of the BDPA Mobile Application Showcase Pilot at the 2014 National BDPA conference in Indianapolis Indiana."
BDPA is recognized nationally as a global member-focused technology organization with over 45 active chapters in the United States. BDPA continues to stand as a leader in delivering 21st century technological programs, college scholarships, mentoring, support and services for youth and adult Information Technology professionals.

For more information on 36th Annual National BDPA Conference, contact Wayne Hicks, Director, BDPA Corporate Sales Department,, (301) 584-3135 ext. 108.
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Where Are They Now? Personal Digital Assistants

I had a Palm personal digital assistant (PDA) back in the day. I thought that I was quite state-of-the-art at the time. I still have the PDA in the back of my desk drawer. Oddly enough, I think it was my experience with PDAs that made me somewhat gun-shy about getting a smart-phone. My 10-year old son received a smartphone for Christmas. I guess it's time for me to let go of my PDA memories and move into the 2010s!

Do you remember Palm Pilots and other PDA devices?

What they were: The handy-dandy, pocketable gadgets that started as organizers in the early 1990s and blossomed into full-blown computing devices, from the pioneering Apple Newton and Casio Zoomer to the enduringly popular Palm PalmPilot and Compaq iPaq lines.

What happened: By 2005 or so, stand-alone PDAs were rendered almost entirely superfluous by their close cousins known as smartphones, which started out big and clunky but eventually did everything a PDA did, and a lot more. Despite occasional attempts to reinvent the PDA -- such as Palm’s ill-fated LifeDrive -- almost nobody chose to purchase and carry a phone and a PDA.

Current whereabouts: I’m not sure when any manufacturer last released a new PDA, unless you want to count the iPod Touch as one. (And come to think of it, I can’t think of a strong argument against calling it a PDA.) HP, which acquired the iPaq line when it bought Compaq, still sells four aging PDAs under the name. Palm, meanwhile, maintains an eerie ghost town of a handheld store, which still lists three models but says they’re all sold out. Amazon still has Palm PDAs in stock, though, so they’re not quite dead. Yet.

SOURCE: 'Where Are They Now? 25 Computer Products That Refuse to Die' by Harry McCracken.
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

BDPA iRadio Show: January 28, 2014 (Dr. Craig Brown)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very proud to be the creator of the BDPA iRadio Show. You can listen to the archive version of the show using the widget shown in the right-hand sidebar of this blog. FREE download from the iTunes Store is also available for our listeners!

Listen To Technology Internet Radio Stations with BDPA on BlogTalkRadio

The guest on the January 28th show:

Dr. Craig Brown - President, National BDPA - Craig Brown has served as a business owner, entrepreneur, educator, philanthropist and mentor for more than two decades. He has been a front-runner in the technology industry and has received multiple technology and community service awards. Craig has been elected to serve as the national president of BDPA for 2014-2015. Our BDPA iRadio Show listeners learned first-hand from Craig on his plans for the next two years as BDPA's penultimate leader.   Craig can be found on Twitter - @craigbrownphd

We hope you enjoy the insights and commentary on the show from each of these guests. Please take a moment to post a comment to let us know that you care!

Monday, January 27, 2014

With a Shortage of STEM Graduates, Accenture Hopes to Grab Them Early

Accenture has been a BDPA corporate sponsor over the past two years. They recognize that BDPA provides an excellent resource as they recruit diverse information technology talent via our career fair or job board.

2012 report by President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology stated,
Economic projections point to a need for approximately 1 million more STEM professionals than the U.S. will produce at the current rate over the next decade. … Currently the United States graduates about 300,000 bachelor and associate degrees in STEM fields annually. Fewer than 40% of students who enter college intending to major in a STEM field complete a STEM degree.”
The stats above should go a long way toward explaining why Accenture is launching a global mentor program for college students majoring in STEM-related fields. The consultancy, which does a load of algorithmic-dependent work for clients, wants to grab students when they’re young, help shape their professional and leadership development, and, obviously, feed its own need for tech talent. Accenture’s Future Technology Leaders program is aimed at first- and second-year undergraduate students, offering them career guidance, networking opportunities, and a senior executive as a mentor. The goal is to have 400 students in the program by year’s end, with 1,600 students within four years.

Read the rest of the Bloomberg Businessweek article.
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Sunday, January 26, 2014

This Week in BDPA (January 26 - February 1, 2014)

BDPA offers strong programs in 46 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar:
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 
You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events.
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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Newsletter: BDPA Washington DC (January 2014)

BDPA Washington DC chapter published its 32-page newsletter - bdpatoday - again this month. Great articles and insights that would be of interest to any BDPA stakeholder. Please check it out!

Which article did you like best this month?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Message from Atlanta Chapter President

Derrick Brown
On Wednesday January 15th we turned up the heat!

It’s been pretty cold in Atlanta so the need to bring the heat was more than appropriate. The evening was all about what BDPA Atlanta would be doing in 2014 and how those activities might actually do something rewarding, like putting money in your pocket.

Now, as I have said time and again it is not about me putting my own personal money in somebody else's pocket. It’s not about a prospective member showing up and expecting to get paid off the cuff. No, it’s about engaging in activities that will give a member the ability to go and find that money where it is accumulating in the industry and grab their share of it, and of course, put it in their pocket, savings account, investment account, whatever is appropriate and best.

We are embarking on an ambitious program of professional and technical development in order to add value for our members. We took the time to walk through this plan with our members and they were more than pleased.

Our approach to 2014 will be holistic in nature. We’ll be providing critical information about personal branding, the image you maintain for yourself as well as the image you present to the world, and why it is critically important. We’ll be talking about the importance of networking and how you do it well. DON’T HOLD THE WALL! Get off the wall and shake someone’s hand. And once you’ve pressed flesh follow up with conversation about what you do, why you do it, and how you do it differently, which clarifies why you do it better. Remember, build a network, leverage a network, create an opportunity.

With the effective elevation of soft skills our members will be ready to engage people from a position of confidence, assured that they have the requisite skills necessary in order to communicate effectively.

In addition to soft skills we will promote our Technological Superiority Themes. These themes are centered around some of the most innovative and hottest areas in technology. The year will cover mobility applications, hybrid clouds, smart machines, and 3D printing. Moreover we will not just offer an introduction. We will provide our members the means to actually get involved with these technologies. We will give them the information they need to make a choice. Do they want a career in one of these areas? If they do, we’ll help them find out who they have to talk to, what they have to read, what certifications are available, and who is hiring.

Tie our professional development efforts with our efforts in technology and we are providing our members with the tools they need to go out and Lock The Job, and in turn build a supremely satisfying and rewarding career.

But that’s not all.

As ever BDPA Atlanta will maintain the organization’s motto, ‘From the classroom to the boardroom. We will continue to improve our efforts with our Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. We will field a winning High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team to compete in the 2014 National BDPA HSCC championships being held later this year in Indianapolis.

In addition to all this, we will address the issue of getting our youth engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). We recognize this is a cultural issue, and we will address it by hosting our first-ever BDPA Atlanta STEM Forum for students and their parents. We will put STEM at the forefront of our community and in so doing, maintain the trust that is implied in our motto. We are dedicated to the community and the task of getting us engaged in technology for the benefit of all.

The Aspiring Critical Thinker
Derrick 'D.S.' Brown, president
BDPA Atlanta Chapter
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Message from BDPA Greater Birmingham President

LaDonna Crum
I will start off by saying that if you missed this meeting ('BDPA Greater Birmingham – A Look into 2014'), you missed a wealth of information. Thank you for those of you that was able to attend. Also, thank you Mahari McTier!

As always, let’s remember to RENEW our membership. Based on the question posed by Cedrick, we do believe that networking is important.
This Kick Off Meeting added new avenues for our chapter to grow.
  1. We touched on Membership. We discussed more aggressive ways to RECRUIT new members. This includes a marketing strategy that will allow us to identify locations throughout Birmingham and distribute fliers/postcards and to approach our local college and introduce ourselves.
  2. We touched on building a Network of local entities that rely on BDPA Greater Birmingham for IT professionals and IT Services. And as a result, this will create value for our members at the local level.
  3. We touched on creating Programs (in addition to the current programs) such as, workshops at our local churches for computer literacy and career assistance. Other programs, like IT Boot Camp at Miles College during the summer. And Internships for our students.
  4. We discussed local funding and potential corporate sponsors, as well as, alliances with other non-profit groups.
  5. We acquired a number of contacts in different capacities that have been known to support a healthy cause, such as ours.
So, we covered a broad number of topics and I must admit that the feedback from this meeting was phenomenal!

Thank you!
A message from your local Prez.
LaDonna Crum, president
BDPA Greater Birmingham
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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

University of Cincinnati Subscribes to the BDPA Job Board

Join us in welcoming back the University of Cincinnati as a BDPA corporate sponsor.

We rec'd the paperwork today that will allow UC unfettered access to the BDPA Job Board - They are looking to hire IT professionals and faculty from the growing database of BDPA members that have placed their resume into the BDPA Job Board. Have you done so yet?

BDPA Cincinnati is an active strategic partner with the University of Cincinnati. In fact, the chapter's guest speaker for the March 19, 2014 program meeting is a UC professor who is going to share 'The History of Computing in Cincinnati' with us!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

This Week in BDPA (January 19-25, 2014)

BDPA offers strong programs in 46 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar:
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 
You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events.
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Tech Expresso Cafe': BDPA Atlanta Chapter Kickoff for 2014 Computer Camp

Technology Expresso Cafe' Internet radio show continues to break new ground. The show went outside of the studio for a field trip to Morehouse College in effort to showcase the students, sponsors, volunteers and leaders who participated in the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

David & Derrick Brown (Tech Expresso Cafe')
BDPA Atlanta chapter has provided meaningful science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) experiences to hundreds of young people in the past. This webcast provided all of us an opportunity to learn about the magic of the youth training programs implemented by BDPA Atlanta and 45 local BDPA chapters around the nation.

Please enjoy the webcast!

Listen To Technology Internet Radio Stations with Tech Expresso Cafe on BlogTalkRadio

What did you enjoy most about this webcast?
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Tech Expresso Cafe: Derrick Brown (BDPA Atlanta)

One of the fastest-growing media outlets for BDPA information is the Internet radio show, 'Tech Expresso Cafe'. This show is hosted by BDPA members Jacqueline Sanders and David Blackman. Our blog is pleased to promote the good works of Tech Expresso Cafe whenver possible.

BDPA Atlanta chapter president Derrick Brown was the featured guest on the January 16, 2014 webcast. Derrick laid out the programs and services being offered in 2014 by the BDPA Atlanta chapter. A major part of the agenda this year will be focused on providing tangible return for BDPA members and sponsors by leveraging the technology wave to create opportunities which will put money in your pocket. The webcast provided a great opportunity for BDPA members and sponsors to ask questions to Derrick on a wide variety of topics ... and it gave Derrick a chance to share some tips and techniques for getting a piece of the STEM and technology fortune that is out there!

Check Out Motivation Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Tech Expresso Cafe on BlogTalkRadio

What was your 'greatest learning' from this webcast?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nominations Open for 2014 BDPA Individual Epsilon Awards

The National BDPA Individual Epsilon Awards recognize members who have demonstrated exceptional results in one of the five (5) categories below. Nominations are accepted and evaluated by a team of National BDPA members in accordance with the descriptions below. In 2014, we will award one (1) recipient per category.

Nominations are due: May 9, 2014 [nomination form]
Award recipients will be announced: June 6, 2014

Nominations packages must include:
  • Career resume including education, positions held, awards and recognition and professional association affiliations
  • A completed Nomination form. Incomplete submissions will result in a candidate being disqualified from consideration.
  • A professional portrait image of the candidate, appropriate for publication with the award citation.
The Award categories and descriptions are:
  • Career Achievement - Experienced professionals who have achieved significant career accomplishments and/or made contributions throughout their career to their company or industry
  • Community Service - Significant demonstration, by meaningful results, strong partnership and collaboration with entities in the communities they reside
  • Most Promising Technologist - Individuals who have been recognized as future technology leaders based on their drive, commitment and results thus far in their career
  • Outstanding Technical Contribution - Individuals who have pioneered new or leveraged existing technology to solve a critical business or technical problem
  • Professional Achievement - Individuals who have reached or realized a significant milestone in their career, corporate or otherwise, that is noteworthy
Please submit all nominations and direct any questions or inquiries regarding the award or award categories to You will receive a response within seventy-two (72) hours.