A Day in the Life of...
MS Computer Science, University of California, Santa Barbara
BS Computer Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing
Intern: Programmer at Panasonic Speech Technology Lab
Senior Development Manager at eBay Inc.
Working for eBay in the engineering department is a very rewarding experience. I am surrounded by the most energetic, devoted and smartest people. I am provided with the most technically challenging problems in the world to solve in terms of the volume of data, a codebase that rivals many of today's popular operating systems in its size and complexity, and a business unit that demands short time to market for its initiatives. But most importantly, I know that my efforts benefit millions of eBay community members all over the world. Do you know that more than 1.3 million people make their living on eBay (excluding ebay employees)?
I am a senior development manager at eBay. I joined eBay two and a half years ago. My team is responsible for building asynchronous systems to meet eBay's scalability, performance and reliability needs. We developed and patented many of the infrastructure components which outperform anything commercially available. Part of my typical day as a leader and a manager in the development organization is to help the team to prioritize the tasks, to provide the vision and strategy, to collaborate across different organizations to reach a goal, and to do resource and project management. I also spend a fair amount of time drilling down into the details of the technical issues, monitoring our code in production to ensure high availability and that we are efficiently utilizing our systems. Another interesting task is to provide a fun work place for the team(s). My team enjoys going to Yoshi's Jazz club in Oakland or playing Bocce ball in Los Gatos as much as white boarding complex problem resolution and sharing laughs over non-work related activities. My job really unites my passion of working with people and my drive for cool technologies together.
I started programming in Panasonic as a part-time employee when I was in graduate school. Finding my first job after school was very straight forward. I joined a few start-up companies, then later a few bigger companies (like Compuware and Netscape/AOL), and I finally landed at eBay a few years back. What motivated me besides the technological challenges the most is the influence I can make. It is extremely rewarding to know every day that tens of thousands or even millions of people may depend on what I do today.
Back in college in China, women in the engineering school were called oasis. In the work place, woman engineers are still the minority. However many of the woman engineers I have known are the best engineers and the best engineering managers. I see many great woman engineers who are very detail oriented and they make few mistakes in design/coding. This makes a huge difference to the mission critical business. I also observe that great women leaders do fabulous jobs with collaboration tasks, people management and mentoring. Many of them are the best made managers.
Now, it's up to you to go search your passion, build your credit, be aggressive and enjoy your success in all aspects of your life.
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