Rolling Out

How Jaycee Holmes became a Spelman professor in her 20s

Diving into the mind of a phenom

Jaycee Holmes wasted no time.

After graduating high school in 2013, she earned her bachelor’s degree in math from Spelman College in 2016. Then, she went to grad school at NYU before earning her master’s degree in the institution’s interactive telecommunications program. Once she received her graduate degree, she spent two years speaking on panels throughout the country and worked at Microsoft.


In 2020, her career saw a new chapter.

That was the year she co-founded CodeHouse, a nonprofit focusing on building a student-to-tech company pipeline. It was also the year she became an official professor at her alma mater, Spelman College. Now, as a co-director at the school’s innovation lab, she enjoys pouring into the next generation of students who aren’t too much younger than her.


Recently, rolling out had an opportunity to speak with the intellectual superstar.

What is it like being a professor in your 20s?

I’ve been a professor since I was 24; I’m 28 now. It is the best job ever. The students are amazing. My work is so much fun. They say, “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

What is your advice to anyone wanting to enter the tech industry?

Do it.

The tech industry is only going to grow. You’re never going to escape technology, so learn it now and learn it early. Get into the tech industry in one way, shape, or form, and bring your talents in the tech industry. It’s an awesome place, especially in moments like this.

What were some takeaways from your panel at the 2024 State of Atlanta Black Ecosystem Summit Powered by UNCF?

An emphasis on STEAM. Bring the arts and creative practices back into the tech industry. As we’re seeing AI being able to handle low-level code. It doesn’t matter if you know what an IF statement is; it matters more if you know how to apply an IF statement and what you’re doing with it. I’m excited to see the creative aspects of tech being brought back into the conversation, especially with things like AI entering the chat, as well.

Also, support your teachers, support your educators, and go give them some love. If you have any bandwidth, come to a school and talk if you can.

What was your panel like overall?

My panel was awesome. I was on stage with a bunch of amazing Black educators and nonprofits. It’s always so fun to see them; the work that they’re doing is amazing. I always get charged up and fulfilled when I’m around them.

What was it like to see a room full of Black tech professionals tonight?

Joy.

I love seeing us. I love seeing us being successful and thriving. Being in a space of Black tech professionals and educators is so nurturing for me. I just love being here.

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