Before enrolling at North Carolina State University, Joy had never taken courses in computer science or engineering. She however, excelled in math and science and with the encouragement of her advisors she soon transitioned from an undeclared major to a technological innovator.
According to what Joy told Park Scholarships “When I took my first programming class, I thought it was the most mind-bending, difficult class I had ever taken.”
Summer internships at Cornell University; where she did a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Undergrad Experience and built an optical lens made out of water, which had the potential to be used in equipment and at Intel ; Johnson built one of the first particle-scale models and experimentation techniques for nanoparticles used for chemical mechanical planarization, a seminal process used to build computer chips . These exposures helped validate her as an engineer.
As a doctoral degree candidate in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, Johnson was one of the first team members hired to assist in the formation of a new startup: AudioCommon; a platform that helps artists, producers, and music companies create music and engage fans with interactive music experiences.
Joy single handedly built the first iOS app for AudioCommon and is now the VP of mobile at AudioCommon, Inc. The AudioCommon team were named the Best-Bootstrapped Company at the South by Southwest (SXSW) an annual Austin, Texas-based set of festivals and conferences focused on film, music, and interactive media.