My journey into Software Engineering


*slurp* Mmmm, still good. Hey, everyone. What’s happenin’ ? It’s mayuko. Thank you so much to the love on the last two videos. Every time I saw a comment about how excited you all are about tech and software engineering it made me soo happy. So many of you asked me questions about how I got into tech and software engineering so today, I’m going to dive in and tell you my story. Here we go! I never coded before college. My high school never offered computer science classes and I never thought that I would be a software engineer, ever. I went to college at UC San Diego where I started my freshman year as undeclared. I actually was considering being like a chemistry or neuroscience major But I took an intro course in each and I quickly noped out of there because I realized it wasn’t for me. I was hanging out with my dorm friends one day when one of them suggested I try computer science. He was a CS major himself and he said that with my logically minded brain and my desire to do something sciency, computer science would be perfect for me! He also mentioned that there’s more software engineering jobs than there are software engineers and as someone who really wanted to have job security and be financially stable right after college that sounded really awesome! At this point in my freshman year I was basically willing to try anything because of my two failed attempts at declaring my major previously. To find out a little bit more about computer science, I went to the campus library to do some research and by research, I mean check out any books that have the word computers or software in them or anything that had code. I flipped through them to see if I would enjoy absorbing the information that was presented in these books. I wasn’t exactly like, “Oh my gosh, linked lists are like the coolest thing, how did no one tell me about them?” But I was having a much easier time absorbing the information than I did my chemistry and bio classes. Literally the next day I signed up for my intro to computer science class. And after getting through that class and being like “that wasn’t too bad, I think I can do more” I declared my major as computer science! After taking a couple more classes and becoming friends with my classmates and tutors it became clear to me that internships are pivotal in getting a job after college. Now to preface, I worked part-time jobs all through college to support myself financially and through my freshman year, I worked at Jamba Juice and the campus bookstore. In my second year, I found a job at UCSD Department of Biomedical Informatics. They were a department that uses data analytics to sequence genes to help save people. Pretty cool stuff! I started working there as an office assistant being paid close to minimum wage, helping organize files and folders, and also helping with the conferences that the division put on. I knew they had a summer internship program, so I was hoping this job would serve as a foot in the door to that program. When the internship program started accepting applications, I want to go talk to the program lead, and he gave me a spot in the program, thanks to my foot-in-the-door technique. My project there was to create a webpage that would help scientists visualize the data that they’re getting. I used a lot of JavaScript frameworks and PHP. Looking back on it, I literally had a 2,000 line PHP file because I didn’t really know what I was doing. But that’s okay because I learned a ton about software development! After my three-month internship ended, I gained some confidence in that I could actually build something that people would use, and so now I wanted to use my skills to something that I was more personally interested in. At the time, I was watching a lot of Doctor Who and Neil Degrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan, and so my next endeavor was going to be space. My friend actually had an internship on campus that was run by the Sally Ride foundation. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space and her company was hiring! I went to the typical interview process where I talked through my resume and talked about different projects that I worked on and I got the job! I think it was actually one of my coolest jobs to date. Not only was I finally being able to use my coding skills for something that I was interested in, but we had this cool mission control room where we ran “missions” for this project called Grail MoonKAM. There I made a Java-based game intended to teach middle school students how the Grail spacecraft worked It was a lot of object-oriented programming and learning how to use Java’s rendering library: Java 2D swing. This job was also great because I could work during the school year part-time while I was continuing my studies. Now summer was approaching quickly and at this point, I was in my third year of college. I really wanted some experience working at a big tech company, since I set my eyes on working at one right after I graduated. I went to the tech job fair on campus and faced rejection after rejection, from I’m handing out all my resumes. After lots of applying and interviewing at tech companies and also applying through my friends who worked at them, I got an internship at Intuit. a financial software company that makes Turbotax. During my 3 month internship there, I worked on Turbotax.com and used a lot of JavaScript and HTML and I learned a lot about software development and its processes. and after that was done, I went back to school for my fourth and final year of college. I successfully graduated from UCSD in 2014 with my Bachelor’s in Computer Science. *yayy!!* Now, to take a step back, and I know I’m really fortunate to say this, but college is one of the hardest things that I’ve ever done. I worked part-time to support myself financially, and I was also a part of a lot of student organizations to network and also have a community of friends who were also studying engineering. Balancing all of that with a demanding computer science curriculum was really tough, but I somehow made it through and it’s still one of my proudest accomplishments to date! I rejoined Intuit after I graduated, and was part of a two-year rotational program that would give me the opportunity to rotate between different teams and projects and products and work on different technologies. especially because I didn’t really know whether I wanted to work on web, or mobile, or backend or infra [infrastructure] stuff quite yet. It just so happened that my first rotation was on the Turbotax iOS team, where I had my very first introduction to mobile programming, which I still do today. I was fortunate enough to join an awesome team that showed me how fun work can be and how rewarding it is to work on a project that has a positive impact on people’s lives. When my rotation ended, I decided I wanted to move up to Silicon Valley to be fully embedded in the tech world and also experience what it’s like to be a software engineer working in the Valley. I thought maybe this was like Hollywood for actors or like Broadway for musical stars, so I was really excited! I felt so excited to be taking such a big step in my career, and dive head-first into the tech world. I still worked at Intuit, but I worked from their Bay area office, and I was still doing mobile development. After my rotation ended and writing a lot of Swift code, I decided that I wanted to write something other than financial software. I just so happened to stumble upon a job opening at Patreon a company that creates a membership platform that makes it easy for creators to get paid via membership tools and recurring funding from their fans. Since I’ve always loved the YouTube community and always loved to music growing up, I saw this and I thought, “I have to have this job!” And so I submitted my resume that same day. I interviewed with the typical three-stage interview process: the phone screen, the technical phone screen or take-home project, and the on-site. And! I got the job! *yay!* This felt like getting my dream job and everything I had done led up to this point and this job. *fast forward* Fast-forward to now, I still work at Patreon as an iOS engineer helping to build Patreon’s iOS apps. I absolutely love what I do, and it’s awesome to be a part of a project that helps fund the emerging creative class. So that’s it! That’s been my career path so far. It’s been highlighted with a lot of hard work, a lot of asking myself, “What would make me happy to apply my skills to”, and constant change. And I’m really proud of how far I’ve come. Needless to say there are so many different paths and ways of getting into software engineering that are so different from my own. Several of my friends have had completely different journeys into software engineering that are different from my own, and they’re all achieving their goals and dreams. Mine is just one data point that I hope will help you somehow. There isn’t one right way to get into software engineering! So go with your gut and do what you’re passionate about. Thank you so much for watching again. Thank you to every single one of you who has commented or reached out to me on my last two videos. Like I said in my previous video, my intent is to hopefully help foster a interest or career in technology, and so it really means so much to me that you all are enjoying this content. If you have any questions for me at all, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below or reach out to me via Twitter or Instagram, and if you like this video please give it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel if you’d like to see more! Anyways, I hope you all have a great day! I wonder how level my head is… oh- It’s like a game!

100 thoughts on “My journey into Software Engineering

  1. Hey friends! My good friend Jarvis made an awesome video that answers a lot of questions y'all have about Software Engineering. Go check it out! https://youtu.be/c_YdfnTDgPY

  2. I still have a flip phone I hate the way tech is everything and everyone worships their smartphones . I really hate it . What if there is total destruction of all power in this world . you better learn to build a fire LOL.

  3. M , I have played around with programming ( C and PHP) but the most I've done is just create batch files – no big deal but my then employer gave me some rewards b/c it saved so much time. You are amazing, u have a great presence, are very smart and sooo pretty on top of all that – u my dear will go places, may God smile on you M.

  4. Hey thanks for sharing your journey. It is quite exciting. I'm also a UCSD Alumni! Congrats on your success.

  5. Heyy mayuko !! I got a query here.. im in high school final year..and i was thinking to go for aviation industry. .but I've got a lot love regarding coding! So is it possible for me to still get to learn about new languages, coding. .building new stuffs..while am still in some other stream! !?

  6. What would you say is the difference between Computer Science and Software Engineering, if any, or are the terms interchangeable?

  7. I was in tech during great recession and saw quarterly rounds of layoffs. It's not true that software engg jobs are secure. They get outsourced to India as soon as the stock price is not rising, gets flattened or goes down. Expect FB to outsource to Bangalore if the stock price doesn't come back up.

  8. Mayuko, thank you for the inspiring video! The way you found and developed your passion for software engineering has given me the courage to continue developing a passion of my own.

  9. hey Mayuko!
    where you learn programming language? and what programming language is suitable for beginners?
    thank you:)

  10. Hello Mayuko,

    Thanks for sharing your journey to become software engineer. Now I have some questions from you and I hope I will get response soon

    1). During this journey from Ist year of graduate to this time, How many languages you have learned?
    2). In your video, you have mentioned "I learned a lot about Software engineering". So my question is, what are the roles of Software engineer and What process needs to follow or topics to cover to become a software engineer?

    Thanks

  11. I am from in china of student college,my major is Applied electronics technology education.Just started learning studying html,css,javascript,and java.

  12. in US you do not have programming in school? wow! I had it in Russia back in 2002, it was QBasic, Visual Basic. My brother is 10 years old now and he have some kind of microcontroller programming in robot construction class.

  13. I m learning Reactjs and try to develop a skill and create App. What are my chances i get a good job in India. Help me!!!!!!!!!

  14. HELLO just wanted to say i really appreciate this video as a girl looking to get into software engineering (maybeee? something to do with computing science) I TOO thought that chemistry would be for me but i recently came to the conclusion that I hate it lol, Im good at computing science the subject but I think i need to expand my skills and practice a bit before I can like proper chase it as a career if you get me? But anyway thank you so much for this I am #inspired

  15. もしかして、まゆこさんは日系アメリカ人ですか?I’m Korean American myself and beginning my programming journey. Thanks for the content!

  16. You say so right that "do what you passionate about" this line is amazing & energize me every time when i listen….bcz to become an animation & vfx artist is my dream…i'm in 11th now doing commerce, after that i will do BBA & MBA (cuz my parents say so..) after MBA, i go with my dream "MEDIA ARTS" i will study that! It's my dream to work in Hollywood as an Animation Artist…

  17. I'm 12 and I am 100% sure I want to be a software engineer. My parents keep bugging me to code more as I don't do it that often at the moment, but I knew that I didn't need to worry as i knew that many people didn't start programming until the are in college

  18. I'm really impressed how healthy, charming, and positive a software engineering can be. In China, I've seen so many of them working 10 hours a day, not doing exercises, being expressionless and suffering from health problems like bad cardio and curved vertebrate. Again I'm very stunned by the fact that even a software engineering in the states can be as charming as an actress.

  19. i feel like guys can't watch this content. see, like jarvis, that appeals to men and women. but this all just "girly" shit. it's always that way, women just can't transcend gender into pure substance like guys can. too much emotion clouding over everything.

  20. She's naturally disposed to be a good software engineer, picking it up quickly even though she had no experience before college.

  21. Hey Mayuko. Watching this and your other videos actually helped to broaden and helped me gain more knowledge to tackle Software Engineering. I’ve been uncomfortable about it due to not so good math skills. But yesterday I gave it a try to learn a language and it actually felt exciting. I can’t wait to step on college and actually do something bigger in my career. Thank you again!

  22. Hello, Mayuko!
    I started watching your videos today and I just subscribed your channel. I want you to know that I am really happy and relaxed while watching your videos😃
    Thank you for doing these good things♥

  23. i really loved your video and your journey in becoming a software enginner…..i am studying my bachelors of sofware engineering and at this point i have no idea what i am doing in this field….but on the other side i do want to become a software engineer❤….your videos are totally awsome and they have motivated me for a while i guess😂… thanks for the info Mayoku💕…wishing you all the best….✌

  24. hi guys!
    My name is Ben and i have just recently turned 16 years old. I live in Manchester, England and have high hopes and dreams of studying CS in the states. Could anyone let me know the best university/college (not entirely sure what you guys call it, but we will go with it!) and maube the best courses / classes to take if i want to become a software engineer.
    Thannkyouuuuu!!!!!!

  25. I'm studying 2nd Mechanic Eng and I was so happy to find out you studied at UCSD! 😀 Probably gonna binge watch your videos now to maybe learn some tips! *currently struggling to get any interviews for internships"

  26. Can you please talk about the salary of software engineers in the valley? I’ve heard after a few years of experience, they make above 200k.

  27. Thanks for your videos, I have a question I am going into computer science but I am working myself to transfer. I know it is challenging and classes are hard to get into the program. Do you have any advice besides the basic information out there on what things I can do so I get into an University. I live in Seattle

  28. I totally have the exact mug you have at the beginning haha, what are the odds! I'm new to your channel and I love your energy. I'm an Aerospace Engineering student trying to learn computer science out of self interest (and I'm finishing in one more semester so I can't do a minor). Your story is super insightful and inspiring, thanks so much for sharing!

  29. マユコさん、こんにちは。世界をあっと言わせるアプリを開発してください。

  30. so essentially she did kindergarden engineering projects. these software engineers love to pretend they are engineers and smart but they actually are the dumbest of all engineers. i did more complex and impressive electrical engineering projects then she has done as a professional. of course, i don't make videos because it would be too complicated to explain.

  31. What is the first lesson in being a computer engineer or what things should I learn as a begginer, I'm a high school student that really admires your succes in your career. When I first watched your video, I knew that I want to be become a software engineer like you, so please can you tell me what's the first lesson on becoming a software engineer. Preety pls?

  32. my only one question to you is how the freak did you handle all the stress and the let downs about software engineering (i mean even teachers be disappointing students about their careers, making them think twice before entering to a new semester)? because right now i literally found your video cuz' i am trying so hard not to get out of college lol and i really need some motivation.

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