Women Talk Tech: Taye Vaval, Tech Project Manager
April 2, 2018
At Maximus, there’s a team of diverse minds that designs, builds, and maintains our software. With this series, we’re proud to highlight the developers and innovators behind the Maximus technology.
Taye Vaval is an integral part of Union Square Media’s office in Miami, Florida. There, she oversees and helps with a variety of projects for Maximus and Union Square Media, two companies under venture capital company Global Agora’s umbrella.
Can you tell me a little bit about your role and what you’re working on?
I act as a Project Manager/Server Administrator for various tech projects. I’ve just finished working on setting up my first mail server from scratch on a new OS with the necessary bells and whistles.
What is your technical expertise?
Since I’ve been with Union Square Media, I’ve developed expertise in server setup and management. Outside of USM, I have some technical expertise in penetration testing.
What inspired your career in tech?
Knowing I’d always be employed. Actually, I got my first computer when I was 5 and always had to have the latest gadgets growing up; I’ve always loved working with all things technology. As time went along, I started to discover the importance of technology and how it was used in just about every aspect of my life — in high school, I’d spend hours on Friday nights redoing my friends and I’s MySpace pages. I should actually be a developer right now.
What’s your favorite thing about working in tech?
I love the innovation. There’s no stagnation in tech — there’s always something new to learn and in so many areas (coding, testing, networking, etc.)
What excites you about your field?
The future of security. No matter the area of interest, security plays a huge part. As more technologies are emerging and they’re being put out on the network for users to use, it all needs to have a certain level of security and there are many pieces that play a part in making sure that it happens.
What does your day-to-day look like?
Usually assisting where I can when it comes to various projects. That’ll include helping in the interview process for our overseas teams, setting up events for us to attend, or keeping the developers in line. I started out in USM as a Help Desk specialist so I cover that as well when needed. Also some days I’m setting up a new server for an upcoming project/managing an existing one or catching up on updated services we use and how we can implement them.
Do you have any major inspirations in your field?
There aren’t many African American women that I can look to for inspiration in cyber security. I do have a few male friends that are making moves as penetration testers that keep me inspired, though.
What is one piece of advice you would give yourself five years ago?
Apply yourself more — make yourself known and go after what you want. No one is going to give you anything. Stay ready so you’ll never have to panic about not being ready.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who is starting out?
Be willing to put in the work outside of the office. Make sure it’s something you enjoy and always be open to go the extra mile to learn something new. Technology changes daily, you need to be flexible enough to change with it.