Interview with Amy Yang

by Cristina Grant

Amy Yang is an engineer who shifted from a career as an architect to a career in software development, and also loves exploring the world and making new friends.

Photo of Amy Yang

How long have you been doing software engineering? What do you love about it?

I have been a software engineer for 3 years after a career change. Prior to that I have been trained and practiced as an architect for nearly a decade (the kind that builds physical buildings instead of software architect).

I love how software engineering is a collaborative and creative building process - it still blows my mind that you can simply build something, or validate an idea out of (almost) thin air.

Most of all, I am passionate about the community surrounding software engineering that is extremely supportive and empowering in the sense that everyone tries to help each other solve problems in a better way and learn to grow at the same time.

Do you have any hobbies outside work?/What inspires you?

I am into self-improvement and new experiences (like a proper millennial elder).

Some of my hobbies include exploring new neighbourhoods in cities, seeking out worldly authentic new flavours to replicate in my kitchen, endless long hikes, people watching, art binging, podcasts, sketching, traveling​, snowboarding, swimming and running!!

Amy snowboarding
This picture means a lot to Amy. This is when she took her first snowboard from Vancouver to the alps in the Dolomites after almost 2 decades!

I am tremendously inspired by the amazing people at Tes, notably Andy Duncan and Rachel Normand who encouraged me and many others to keep on running and continue to push ourselves to be ‘scared but excited’, which is best applied to life in general.

In a broader sense, curiosity, learning new things and getting to know people continue to inspire me everyday. There is something you can learn from every single person that crosses your path, and the intersection of different ideas is where the magic is.

What is the most interesting place you have traveled?

Amy Yang in Easter Island
Amy described her trip to Easter Island as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Sunrise with the Moais at Easter Island 🗿 and being in the presence of mountain gorillas 🦍at Bwindi Forest in Uganda.

What are three things still left on your bucket list?

  1. Climb Kilimanjaro
  2. Burning Man
  3. Save enough money to go to the moon (or have my ashes be shot up to space?)

What have been your biggest challenges as a developer?

The biggest challenge of being a developer, especially in the ever changing landscape of new emerging technologies, is to stay focused in the direction of your own learning and growth.

Since I am not one of those software engineers who has been writing code since they were born, I still take to heart what my first mentor said to me: ‘Be patient and be prepared for a long road of learning and unlearning. The most important thing is to focus on going in the same direction for growth, no matter how long it takes’.

If you had one advice to your younger self, what would that be?

Don’t be afraid to appear ignorant, it’s the most humble place to connect with others and to learn.

Want to know more about Amy?

Check out this interview by WIT (Women in Tech) from 2017.