Name: Andrea Vieira
Hometown: Born in Venezuela, raised in South Florida
Degree/major: Bachelor’s degree in computer science
Where are you working? Title? Facebook, software engineer
How did you get your job? The best way to find a job after graduating is through internship experiences. Before joining full-time, I interned at Facebook for two summers. During my sophomore year, I was accepted into Facebook University, a program that equips minority students starting college with strong technical skills and development training in IOS or Android, all while exposing them to the industry. I picked up Android, contributed with this new skill and received a return offer at the end of my junior year. I’m happy to see more FIU students taking part in Facebook University every year!
What was your greatest fear going into your first job, and how did you face it or overcome it? The challenge was working alongside some of the brightest and most experienced people, and being trusted and encouraged to take on equal responsibility and ownership of my work. As scary as this can be, it’s an extremely positive feeling to know I’ll be given the opportunity to learn. You seek the resources and mentorship you need to grow.
What surprised you the most about your first job? It surprises me how well the company is able to manage remote work during a difficult pandemic. Most importantly, it’s heartwarming to see how kind and supportive people can be to a newcomer despite the challenging times.
What advice do you have for those beginning the job search process? To take any opportunities to learn different skills relevant to the work you hope to do after earning your degree. It’s also important to stay “current” during application processes (resumes, technical interviews, etc.). Make connections with students, professors and professionals – even if you’re connecting online.
What does a day on the job look like? Right now, it looks like many virtual meetings, focus blocks, and a lot of collaboration in code review and the writing of documents. We also hang out with teams by playing online board games.
How does your job connect back to your coursework? The time spent on debugging assignments was useful. For those who don’t know, “debugging” is a common term in all things programming. It refers to the way an error in a program is fixed, for example when we see an error or glitch in a program on Facebook, we could call it a “bug”, and to debug would be to remove that error.
While you may very well be doing entirely different work, the projects and presentations you work on in FIU carry on, especially on the collaboration front of asking your professors for help and their ideas.
Even technical writing is important. Technical writing was important for me when it came to documenting and sharing project updates within a large company. The course taught me how to get information across concisely and break it up into sections to make it more helpful for others, and to also get more help and feedback from others when you need it. It was definitely not the only class I appreciated, but can sometimes be overlooked by engineers despite its value.
How was your transition from school to work? How do you balance your time? I've transitioned to a different learning journey, one that doesn’t end. I'm developing in areas I have the most interest in. Gaining a formal and rounded education in computer science was fundamental for me, though. Now I may have less time to try vastly different things as I did in college, but I know the time will come when I do again, and I’m finding balance every day.
What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far? At Facebook, employees get to choose the team(s) they join based freely on their interests. Reaching out and getting a feel for my role in different teams before officially joining one was a memorable time. We were also given Portals (Facebook’s smart-video calling device) to try out!