As an iOS Software Engineer, I have developed and published well over 20+ apps in the iOS App Store over the course of 8 years, both as a freelancer and an independent developer. While my academic background is in the area of Mathematics and Statistics, my career path is in the world of iOS Engineering, with a central focus in programming design and architecture.
Software Engineering Philosophy
Software Engineering is usually marketed–particularly in Universities–as a problem solving profession that requires great problem solving skills; and it is evident in the types of classes a typical Computer Science student are required to take for their degree. While this is largely true, I find it very limiting of what one person can achieve and demanding of the person for what they can do. Instead, I see the profession as an art form with artistic value in not just the visuals and experience of the end product, but the implementations and the development process of the application. This idea is evident in the different types of sorting algorithms we see from Bubble Sort, Merge Sort, and Heap Sort. All of which achieve the same thing, but run more efficiently than others given different scenarios.
Kobe Bryant is one of my biggest role models, not because of how great he was on the basketball court, but because of his work ethic. I’ve modeled my work ethic to Kobe Bryant, not in the sense of competing against other developers for a job or trying to create a better version of an existing app, but to better myself as a developer.
Kobe started playing in the NBA at the age of 17; the youngest guy in the league at that time. He was not even at legal age to drink or go to the clubs. So whenever his teammates are out at the club having fun, he’d be in the gym practicing and working on his game. Kobe’s ultimate goal is to win as many championships as possible, which meant being the best player in the team and in the league. So Kobe’s mentality (or famously known as the Mamba Mentality) is centered around competing, and that drive to compete made him work extremely hard to be the best player he can be; which ultimately led to 5 NBA Championships and many more accomplishments.
In contrast to what I do as a developer, my mentality is centered around being able to make a difference and contribute to a team. During my time at Pandora as an intern, I knew that I was still being interviewed, not for the internship position but for the full-time position. My mentality wasn’t so much about convincing my manager and team that I was worthy of a full-time position, I want to make sure that my 20 weeks as an intern at Pandora would give me the advantage to eventually do great things if I become a full-time engineer at Pandora. The effect of my work did convince my manager that I was right for the role and eventually led to a post-graduate full-time position!
Over the years, I've learned that your goals are never the same from when you first set them to when you were suppose to have met them. While many are able to accomplish the goals they've set for themselves, I have not. However, while I am unable to meet half the goals I've set for myself, I've benefited from the effects in the pursuit of those goals.
For instance, when I started college, I wanted to land an internship at a major company–particularly at Apple–to learn from those most senior to me and improve on my skills to elevate myself as an engineer. I've developed countless apps from games, a simple design focused app, an app that demonstrates my programming profeciency, apps that focus on machine learning, and many more. If you've seen my resume, that never happened. However, the work I've done to try and meet that goal has in effect made me a better developer.
So instead of setting concrete or objective goals for myself, whatever the case may be, the impact of those goals would ultimately lead me to happiness and pride. In the end, I want to be able to work at a company that will accept me where I get to do what I enjoy doing and to be able to make a difference in the team I work with. In terms of which company that will be is irrelevant. By the end of the day, I just want to be happy.