Meet Eugene Wang, a software engineer at IXL! We connected with Eugene to discuss why he joined IXL, what skills it takes to be a successful engineer, where he would go on a dream vacation, and more.
Name and title:
Eugene Wang, Software Engineer, IXL Mobile
Has been at IXL for:
About 1 year
Hometown and current city:
Taipei, Taiwan. Currently lives in San Mateo.
Life at IXL
Why did you join IXL?
I was looking for software engineering roles and felt IXL’s mission was the one that stuck with me the most. I’ve always really cared about education but still wanted to do something tech related. Working at IXL seemed like a great opportunity, particularly to serve children and families.
What do you do at IXL? Give us a taste of what a typical day at work is like for you.
I’m a software engineer on the mobile team. A typical day involves team meetings where we go over short and long-term goals and work to resolve issues, which usually revolves around writing code or investigating a new technology. There’s also a lot of communication between project managers and engineers, so I’ll find myself asking PMs questions about specific specs they’d like to see. In addition, we have a “daily stand-up” where we briefly talk about what we’re working on. If we’re having any problems, these daily stand-ups are a good forum to talk to others on the team about them.
What skills/qualities does it take to do your job?
Strong technical skills – you have to write good code that can last a long time. Communication is also very important. There have been times where I should’ve asked a question and didn’t, but you learn over time that you can reach out to anyone for answers. Additionally, everyone is very helpful and not competitive. I know at some companies people can take too much pride in the code they write, but that hasn’t been an issue at IXL. It truly feels like we’re working together to make a great product.
Life beyond IXL
What do you like to do in your free time?
I play soccer, usually after work in San Francisco. I played in college and typically am a midfielder. I also try to cook and although I don’t think I’m good, I still enjoy the food I make.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Taylor Swift’s music, which I’ve grown to embrace. Also, I watched The Bachelor for a time. I don’t think it’s a good show at all but there’s something addicting about it—maybe it’s the comedic value!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a professional soccer player, but clearly that didn’t work out! I also wanted to be a teacher, partly because I really liked the teachers I had growing up.
Just for Fun
What’s your ideal vacation?
I’ve never been to Africa or South America, so I think going to one of those two continents would be pretty interesting, especially since many people have misconceptions of what those places are like. Doing a safari in Africa would be pretty cool and is on my bucket list!
What do you bring everywhere you go and why?
I have a fortune cookie note that I keep in my wallet. It says, “You’re a positive influence on everyone around you.”
If you had to put one thing on a billboard for all to see, what would it be or say?
Do something that you like and work on things you’re passionate about. Don’t do things just because you think it’ll make you more money or raise your social status. You should worry about things you enjoy!