Hardware Development Engineer
Hewlett Packard CompanyFull Profile PDF
John Harding has been a hardware development engineer at Hewlett Packard for two years. He has plenty of motivation to do his job. "I come in and I play with next generation technology future technology. We're developing technology here that people won't see for another two, three years. And that's my job. I get to push the envelope of the technology, and I really like what I do - and secondarily, I'm generously rewarded for it."
To achieve success, Harding emphasizes the importance of attitude and knowledge of business and people. "For a successful career, you need to be determined. And you need to be confident. But, at the same time you need to avoid being arrogant."
Some non-engineering courses that have proved to be helpful are management, business, and entrepreneurship classes. Harding adds, "I also took a psychology class on behavior and personal adjustment which I use almost every day. It teaches you about people and about your behavior with people. These are very important because you're working with a team, and you need to understand how to deal with other people."
As a young black engineer, Harding mentors elementary school children in San Francisco. He also works with high school students and gives them the following business advice, "Don't forget that you're black, but don't make that the primary issue. Make the primary issue the goal to succeed. If you want to be successful, be technically strong and be able to prove to anybody that you can do your job. If you can rise to any technical challenge and succeed, then being black is automatically secondary because this industry is about being able to make money."