Ayodele Duyile, CST ’15, has seen the future of technology, and it’s more inclusive. The senior product manager at Google dedicates his free time to mentoring people of color seeking leadership roles in tech, and creating more access to tech education for underrepresented youth.
Byte by byte
Growing up in Hyattsville, Maryland, Duyile discovered his love for computers at his uncle’s IT shop. As a result of that early exposure, when it came time to enroll in college, he knew he would major in computer science. He chose Temple for its academic rigor and urban setting, but he got even more out of his four years on campus than he expected.
“Temple was my icebreaker into actively networking with people who are like me and those who aren’t,” said Duyile. “I also learned my work ethic and how to bring my whole self into whatever I do.”
As an undergraduate, he immersed himself in campus organizations, including the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, where he served as president. He was a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and was also involved in the Organization of African Students. As a first-generation Nigerian American, he valued the opportunity to build community among other African students.
“The leadership opportunities I found in Temple’s clubs and organizations were really, really important in terms of me staying in touch with my roots, being able to stay grounded and having that feeling of home while I was away at college.”
After graduating, Duyile accepted a systems/software engineering job at Lockheed Martin. Later, at Facebook, he led the development for Oculus, Facebook’s virtual reality (VR) program (a precursor to Meta) which included the first VR TV show. For that project, Duyile’s team won the first Emmy for Outstanding Innovation in Interactive Media. Now based in Atlanta, Duyile works as a senior technical product manager at Google, enabling external coders and developers to code on Google products. He oversees a team of nearly 40 people, but that’s only during his 9-to-5 hours. On his own clock, Duyile pursues his vision for improving diversity and inclusion in tech.
Algorithm for success
“I have been successful, but what good is it if I can’t enable more people that look like me to break into these roles?,” Duyile explained. “I want to make it more equitable so that we’re not just consumers, but we’re also producers.”
Thus began Backdoor Tech, a consultancy he launched for tech professionals of color. In the first year alone, he has mentored and coached more than 100 people, many of whom have landed high-paying jobs.
“The back door is usually the path that we have to take,” he said. “At Backdoor, we’re focused on helping people tap into the places where they didn’t know they could go.”
Duyile continues to volunteer at the nonprofit he co-founded in 2018 to promote access to tech education for underrepresented youth in the U.S. and Nigeria. In 2021, the organization gave tech tutorials to more than a thousand students and distributed 250 laptops in underrepresented communities.
In the coming months and years, he wants to scale up both his nonprofit and his consulting to reach even more people.
“I would ultimately like to develop and create products that impact more underserved people in the tech space,” he said. “The way I want to be remembered is as somebody who was not just a leader at Google, but who also took it upon himself to impact others.”