Meet Yuchen Sun, senior software engineer and car enthusiast! We spoke with Yuchen about working his IXL role models, what daily challenges he faces as a software engineer, and his passion for sports.
Name and title:
Yuchen Sun, Senior Software Engineer, Content team
Has been at IXL for:
2 years 8 months
Hometown and current city:
Shaanxi, China. Currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Life at IXL
Why did you join IXL?
I always wanted to find a way to use modern technology to have an influence on people’s daily lives. And edtech is one of my biggest interests because I believe that it’s important to give teachers and students a better educational experience. When I grew up, I didn’t have too many tools other than books and lectures to help me learn, so I can see how nice it would be to have a program like IXL to use.
IXL also provides better resources compared to other programs. You don’t need to have a teacher in front of you to successfully use IXL, and it’s relatively affordable, which makes it more accessible to people.
Some of my friends had used IXL before and they spoke highly of it, so I decided to apply right out of college.
What do you do at IXL? Give us a taste of what a typical workday is like for you.
Mainly I write code and serve as a point of contact for answering content related questions. Together with my team, I look over plans, discuss roadblocks, and test and review code. It’s cool because we write code that students get to use every day.
What are the 2-3 skills you use most in your job?
I would say the primary skill I use is the ability to constantly be learning new things about the product. The responsibilities of my team have kept growing. We are getting more opportunities to work on tasks from areas that we didn’t work on before. Also we are trying to come up with new ways to help expand the learning content we produce.
Another skill I use a lot is trying to be creative when you are solving a problem. There is almost always more than one way to solve a problem, so I try to combine the benefits from each of the different ways to get to your final solution. Generally, our solutions are based on our experience and past knowledge solving similar problems.
If you had to describe the ethos of IXL in one sentence, what would it be?
Everyone at IXL shares the same mission: we want to make education better for students, teachers, and parents. Everyone is very talented and mission driven, so it’s easy to see how passionate people are about this topic.
Who is someone you look up to at IXL and why?
Not just one particular person, but the entire Content Engineer team. Everyone has unique, special, and good qualities. Since the time I joined the Content team, I’ve been learning many things from my teammates. I am inspired by their passion and dedication.
Life beyond IXL
What do you like to do in your free time?
When there isn’t a pandemic, I love to play basketball with friends. I also go to the gym a lot to practice my heavy weight lifting.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Playing video games. Especially if I am learning a new game, I generally spend way too much time playing.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I love cars, so I always sort of thought I might want to be a mechanic. I actually work with cars now, not as a mechanic, but I modify cars. I drive a Mustang that I modified!
How would your friends describe you?
I think they would describe me as funny — I like to make a lot of jokes — and trustworthy.