We’re continuing our new blog series interviewing Austin community members about their perspective on Austin’s tech scene and intersecting policies.
This week we are sharing the perspective of mathematician Devon Rasch.
Hey, there! Who are you and how do you identify?
Hello, my name is Devon Rasch, and I identify as he/him. I like to identify as “Dude” because we are all dudes. “He’s a dude, she’s a dude, we’re all dudes”.
How engaged are you in current Austin policy and government?
To be honest I was heavily involved in the ongoing goals of the Austin policies during college but now I’m not involved anymore. I live in Williamson county now, so I focus a lot on some of the policies around the smaller towns around where I currently live. I like to focus on the sheriffs and educational leaders that are holding positions.
How do you value or use technology in your day to day and with work?
I use technology in my everyday work. I have to have a nice and efficient setup in my home office so that I can get all my work done on time. I work in technology as a Senior Data engineer so technology is my life.
It’s been shared that tech jobs are contributing to gentrification and pushing out Central Texas’ people of color. What changes do you think might help to mitigate these rapid changes within the Austin tech community and through city policy?
This is a touchy subject for me. As a bi-racial dude I have been in some uncomfortable situations where I have seen a lot of non-diverse spaces. I’ve never felt unwelcome though, which is a plus, but I always felt it was my duty to bring colleagues of color to these spaces to shake the place up a bit. I am very outspoken when I see problems in the tech space and I am pretty good at feeling the vibe of a room that might need words of encouragement.
What future do you imagine for the Austin community as a whole?
I see Austin becoming the tech capital of the United States. I am sure more laws need to be in place to control inflation and more civil engineering might be needed to release pressure from the traffic concerns. But I see Austin holding some of the best jobs and best talent this world has ever seen.
It’s April, we’re in warmer weather, and in the third year of the Covid-19 virus affecting our community. Do you have any thoughts you want to share on any of these subjects?
Covid-19 is very dangerous and some do not take it seriously. I wish they would because it has had a huge effect on our economy and ways of living. There will be ripples of effects for the rest of our lives from this event. Some may be good, and some might be bad.