We had the good fortune of connecting with Yuan Xiao and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Yuan, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
Girls are bad at tech :\

We all have our own shortcomings and strengths, I never thought it a good idea to judge a book by its cover. Despite the physical difference, I hope all the girls will be able to pursue what is right for them without being judged. Such an environment is important to everyone.

I’ve been at a job where my manager sometimes revealed he believes girls will more likely quit their careers to find an easier one or become full-time houseworkers. This makes me really anxious and unsure, for I think he may tend to give more important jobs to others. I left that job finally. Now I’m happy with what I have now – I’m in a career where all I need to focus on is the work itself, instead of fighting back the bias.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It’s never easy when starting a career, at least for me. I fail a lot of interviews at first. The lessons I learned is don’t give up and to learn from failure. Sometimes it’s quite embarrassing to keep answering “no” in an interview, but on the other side, you would be able to know what’s the important quality of this job. I’m not a computer science major and I can’t answer some hardware-related questions due to that. To make up for this shortcoming, I took some architecture or operating system-related lessons, either through the free online courses or auditing. After that, I feel I’m more confident not only in the interview but also in writing more optimized code. Getting an internship also helps a lot, working in the industry is quite different from school work, and will give a better idea about what real work is like.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Disneyland and Universal are good starts. I won’t wanna miss it!

I also would recommend the Getty if they are museum fans. The buildings are super fancy.

Griffith Observatory is another highly recommended place, it’s beautiful at sunset and night.

Foodwise, I like sweet bites so I like Beard Papa’s and Melo Melo Coconut Dessert in Sawtelle~ They are close to my apartment too lol.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First of all, my mom. She is the person who affects me most. She grew up in a little town, where all her other sisters quit school at high school, but she carries on and finish college. The thirst and respect for knowledge really affect me and build me the habit of studying on my own. This habit gives me more opportunities for career building. Besides, she is the one who always supports me in any decision I made. My major, my graduate school choice, my career, I got the choice to freely make my decision, she is the one who should take the credit to.

Second, I need to thank the movie The Shawshank Redemption. When I first watch this movie, this is really an important point in my life – I’m deciding whether I should apply for graduate school aboard. This is a decision that affects the several years afterward and will keep having its influence. I know being here I’ll have the opportunity to accept the world’s top education and be in top game studios, but my poor language skill and the fear of the unknown really pulled me back. The movie is an alarm, telling me what life would be like if you stay in your comfort zone forever – you will be used to it and never get rid of it. So I feel I really should make some changes and embrace the unforeseen. That turned out great and I really thank that decision.

Website: https://sites.google.com/view/iris-website/about-me

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yuan-xiao-iris97/

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