Zoom Autism Magazine Issue 8 - Page 16

fortable and supported so that they can reach their highest potential and, like me, maybe make a few friends along the way. wonder, what if I could combine my newly-gained knowledge and personal experience of Autism with my technical expertise to create a successful workplace for technically capable autistic adults? I set out to create and launch a first-of-its-kind workplace that removes the barriers to sustainable employment for autistic individuals. My dream was to create a company that offers software engineering career opportunities with competitive salaries and benefits, not a disability wage. Platinum Bay, the company I created, is designed to provide a level of accommodation most employers are unable to match today. For sensory and social challenges, our entire company works remotely so that our people can choose the environment that works best for them. Additionally, all of our 16 project managers have extensive Autism training to understand the unique challenges of our employees and how to maximize the potential of those employees at the individual level. Everything from how we interview to how we manage projects and teams to how we communicate has been custom designed from the ground up for autistic success, including non-speaking individuals. Our guiding philosophy is what I call compassionate optimism – being compassionate to the sometimes nuanced challenges that our employees face and being optimistic about their potential and supportive of them in realizing it. Ultimately, within the software development community, I was able to find friends and discover my own individual success. My vision for Platinum Bay is to create a space where autistic software engineers feel com- ZOOM Autism through Many Lenses Steve is a seventeen-year software veteran with significant experience designing, developing, and integrating business software, data, and processes for international software companies and mid-sized businesses. Steve is a four-time Microsoft MVP Award recipient for Visual Studio ALM and has served on the board of several industry groups. Steve regularly gives his time as a technology mentor in the greater Los Angeles area and beyond. Steve is a frequent technology conference speaker across North America on both technology and Autism. About Platinum Bay Technologies, SPC Platinum Bay delivers mission critical custom software so that our customers can maintain less and innovate more. We have a strong focus on the human experience and high quality code to reduce long-term code cost. We deliver personalized solutions that are simple to use, highly maintainable, and integrate seamlessly with an intense focus on detail and creative out-out-the-box problem solving. To learn more about Platinum Bay, please visit our website: http://www.platinumbay.com. Your most important goals aren’t just financial ones If you want to provide a lifetime of support for your child, we can help. We’ll work with you to address a number of the concerns — financial, social and legal — that come with caring for a loved one with special needs. Call to learn more today. Mark Friese, CRPC® Senior Vice President – Wealth Management Wealth Management Advisor Portfolio Manager, PIA Program Chase Phillips Financial Advisor Portfolio Advisor, PIA Program Merrill Lynch 1152 15th Street, N.W. Suite 6000 Washington, DC 20005 202.659.6138 Life’s better when we’re connected® CRPC® is a registered service mark of the College for Financial Planning. Neither Merrill Lynch nor its Financial Advisors provide tax, accounting or legal advice. Clients should review any planned financial transactions or arrangements that may have tax, accounting or legal implications with their personal professional advisors. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (“MLPF&S”), a registered broker-dealer and member SIPC, and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation (“BofA”). Investment products: Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value The Bull Symbol, Merrill Lynch Personal Investment Advisory, Merrill Lynch and Life’s better when we’re connected are trademarks of Bank of America Corporation. © 2014 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved. ARHTGBNH | AD-08-14-0832 | 470966PM-0714 | 09/2014 ZOOM Autism through Many Lenses 17