Member Spotlight: Josue Plaza

“No product is made today, no person moves today, nothing is collected, analyzed or communicated without some “digital technology” being an integral part of it. That, in itself, speaks to the overwhelming “value” of digital technology.”

Louis Rossetto, Founder & Editor In-Chief of Wired Magazine

My name is Josue and I’m one of the co-founders of Connect BTX. I have worked as a software engineer since 2015, working my way up from a junior developer, to my current position as the sole migration engineer for Recently, we broke the record to become the fastest growing unicorn in US history.

There were many factors that led to me to my current career path, but none of these factors were important as my access to digital technology and the internet from a young age.

  • At age 10, I was hogging up much of the family computer playing online games
  • At age 12, my parents bought me my own laptop, which I used to constantly surf the web
  • At age 15, I built my own computer by following a guide posted on an online PC-building forum
  • At age 17, I got a job working at my local library after browsing for local jobs online
  • At age 18, I learned how to music a home studio and produce music from my home without the need of going to a recording studio
DJing in college at Texas State University

Having easy-access to the internet during my childhood enabled me to explore my passions. I was able to learn about computers which transformed my interest and ultimately encouraged me to pursue a career in software engineering.

But many children and residents living in Brownsville do not have these same opportunities. It is common to hear about the “homework gap” occurring in our schools. We hear about students who lack internet access at home, exacerbating their disadvantage in schoolwork, job opportunities, and general access to information. Often, these students are only able to get internet access during the operating hours of the Brownsville library or McDonald’s parking lots in order to gain access to the same information that many of us take for granted.

Access and skill in using the internet effectively have become essential for educational and economic opportunity.

“Closing the Digital Divide” by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Internet access has never been more essential to the betterment of our community, and is a necessity for success. Our society depends more on digital technology for business, education, healthcare, and entertainment every single day. Any individual who cannot participate in this growing phenomenon is further prevented from being able to gain access into it. This digital divide will separate thriving communities and stifle any economic growth that a community develops as long as it exists. If Brownsville does not make the commitment to get ahead, we will continue to fall further behind.

Expanding affordable high-speed internet is an investment into the future of Brownsville, and opens the door into a new era. We have a vision for a Brownsville that cultivates technology, innovation and develops its workforce by giving its residents the tools to thrive. Every Brownsville resident deserves an opportunity to carve out his or her own destiny.