For Hispanic Heritage Month, we are celebrating Henry Ruiz, Machine Learning GDE, and Latin American and Hispanic developer voices.
Henry Ruiz, Machine Learning GDE, originally had aspirations of becoming a soccer player in his home country of Colombia, but when his brother got injured he knew that he had to have a backup plan. With a love for video games, Henry decided to pursue an education in development and eventually discovered the world of computer science.
Today, Henry is a Computer Scientist, working as a Research Specialist (Data Scientist) at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and finishing his Ph.D. in Engineering at Texas A&M University.
Henry, who barely spoke English before immigrating to the United States, has now progressed to the point of preparing to defend his PhD, thanks to the assistance of the Hispanic community.
As a first-generation college student in the United States, Henry was looking for a community where he could feel connected. He received a lot of support from international students and mentions that he always received a warm welcome specifically from the Hispanic community. Joining different clubs on campus, Henry connected with others through food and shared experiences and they served as a support system for one another by creating study groups. Through these connections, he began to notice the impact of developers from Latin America which deeply inspired him. Henry reflects, “We are considered a minority and don’t always have the same opportunities that developed countries have. So we have to be creative and put in an extra effort. So to see these stories of minority developers making an impact on the world is very significant to me.” Henry views Hispanic Heritage Month as a celebration of what Hispanic people have accomplished and it drives him in his work.
"Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of the hard work, the resilience, and the work that people in the community have done,”
- Henry Ruiz, Machine Learning GDE
Henry has seen progress being made in recognizing Hispanic contributions in the tech industry. “Big companies have been aware of the challenges that we have as minorities and they started creating different programs to get community members more involved in tech companies,” he explains. Well-known corporations have hosted conferences for the Hispanic community and Google in particular, gives out scholarships such as the Generation Google Scholarship. This makes him feel seen and gives the community visibility in the industry. When he sees Hispanics in leadership positions, it shows him what can be accomplished, which fuels his work.
Today, Henry has worked on generative AI projects and leverages Google technologies (Cloud, TensorFlow, Kubernetes) to tackle challenges in the agricultural industry. Specifically, he’s working on a project to detect diseases and pests in bananas. With the strong foundation of his community, Henry is actively helping communities with his research. On his advice to the Hispanic community, Henry imparts the following words of wisdom, “Although some might not have access to the same tools and technologies as others, we have to remember that we are resilient, creative, and are problem solvers. Just continue moving forward.”
The Google Developer Experts (GDE) program is a global network of highly experienced technology experts, influencers, and thought leaders who actively support developers, companies, and tech communities by speaking at events and publishing content.
from Google Developers https://bit.ly/46JTcfH