It’s Time to be a Winner

Yesterday I played soccer with several freshmen at UTD. I was myself a freshman once, 8 years ago. Boy, that’s a long time ago. It’s funny one of them actually found this blog and read it. Since I haven’t updated this blog frequently because the last two years have been totally chaotic, I feel I have an obligation to write now, to update my readers (if there’s any) about my current thoughts, and more importantly, to keep myself honest and responsible during my upcoming project.

Before revealing that project, let me talk about what I did this summer. I was a software engineer intern at Intuit working in the DevOps team. Intuit is a fairly well known company based in Silicon Valley. Its most popular products are Mint and TurboTax, which are used by many Americans to file their taxes. Intuit also produces software for professional accountants, and unfortunately, that’s the product I was a part of. To put it bluntly, I’m not a fan of professional tax software. I never used it before, and I never dream of using it in foreseeable future. That’s the main reason Intuit and I never clicked. I want to work on something that I actually want to use. Intuit does not provide that. And we part ways despite the company is great, and a lot of employees at Intuit are very happy.

Having said that, my time at Intuit as an intern was great. I really did learn a lot during my time there. It was my very first internship and first experience in the industry. I learned to focus on my work for hours. I learned to talk to people and make friends in the company. I rediscovered my love for table tennis, and was able to beat most of players there, except for one guy with USATT rating of 2000 (that means he’s a semi-pro player). I created really great relationships with a few guys in the company. Regarding technical stuffs, I learned Docker, Golang, AWS (Amazon Web Services), and microservices deployment. But the most important thing I learned was:

I must get a job where I really love what I do and care about what I create.

With this in mind, I decide to embark on a challenge in the Fall 2018 semester. The goal is to land a job as software engineer for a robotics or autonomous vehicles company. (In the worst case, I just need a job that pays rent and food.)  To accomplish the goal, I have the following four-point plan:

  • Prepare for technical software engineering interview. This task mainly consists of having deep understanding of data structures and algorithms.
  • Be proficient at machine learning and deep learning. Deep learning is the current buzz word in the tech scene nowadays. But that’s not the reason I want to get better at it. I want to see how deep learning can help with robotics, and as far as I know, the answer is not clear right now.
  • Have theoretical and practical knowledge of robotics and autonomous vehicles. Because right now I want to a job in this field.
  • Produce a kick-ass project that I can show off to the world (yeah, I mean show off to my friends).

That’s the plan for me in the next four months. I promise to myself that I will write blog posts more frequently this semester. It’s a great way for me to keep track of my progress. I will discuss how I tackle the tasks mentioned above. It’s time to be a winner.

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Author: Tri M. Cao

Music with my beloved HD 650 headphones.

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