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Career Story: Software Engineer At A Large Computer Hardware Company

Software Engineer At A Large Computer Hardware Company

Job Title: Principle Software Engineer

Education: Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE), Boston University •• MS/BS in Control Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, China

Previous Experience: No previous working experience. Landed the current job right after graduation in 2000.

Job Tasks: I work at the engineering department of my company, which provides hardware, software and services to store, protect, manage and leverage information. My company is one of the largest in the industry and has about 20,000 ~ 30,000 employees worldwide.

My responsibilty is to design, develop and maintain embedded software on a proprietary operating system, running on micro-chips of large storage systems, which are used by credit card companies, banks, hospitals, etc. to do their business. These days, more information is generated rapidly every day, and need to be stored on hard disks. The storage software I am working on will enable customers to store critical information safely, retrieve it whenever needed and recover it when a disaster happens, such as fire or earthquake.

As you can see, my job is very challenging because if you develop something that doesn't work, the customers will have problems with no access to their information databases and cost them millions of dollars. This requires my team to develop high-performance, high-reliable and high-quality software with no or minimum down time.

On a typical day, I work on the software using C programming language, either write new code, debug existing problems with QA (Quality Assurance) or meet with various engineers to discuss new ways and techniques to improve the software. My organization has more than 100 developers and the software has reached millions of lines of code over the years and continues to become more complicated. I can have coffee breaks of course, but sometimes I even don't have time for lunch if an emergency happens. I don't need to travel to do my job.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that it's very challenging and I can learn a lot of new technology, which are beneficial for my long term career growth.

The worst part of my job is that, sometimes I have to sacrifice my family life because I have to work very late.

Job Tips:
1. Respect your co-workers, even you think you are smarter than them. It often turns out that it's not the case.

2. Help others when they are needed, even if you are busy at the moment.

3. If you think the work you are doing isn't interesting to you anymore, move on to find a more challenging one.

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