Software Engineer

    Lily Xia

    By Laura Boness

    Google software engineer Lily loves being able to show her family and friends a product like Google Docs and say: “See what happens when you click that button? I did that!”

    Lily decided on her career in high school after she went to a computer science summer school run by the University of Sydney. There she learned the programming language Python and how to write a browser.

    “I was amazed by how much I learnt in that two weeks and what I could do with it! It became clear to me then that software engineering was what I wanted to do.”

    While girls are under-represented in computer science, once they start they excel at it like Lily has – even though she “never played computer games or did any hacking or programming before my studies.”

    At UNSW Australia in Sydney, Lily did a double degree in Engineering (Software Engineering) and Commerce (Finance). The finance part was to put her mum at ease, who was worried that the field of computing changes too quickly.

    When she graduated, Lily landed a job with Google. So far, her six-year career has taken her to 25 countries, including five years working for Google in New York and San Francisco. While the job has fulfilled her desire for travel, it’s the work itself that keeps her going.

    “What gets me up each day is the chance to create something out of nothing,” she says. “To make things that millions of people are going to use.”

    TO GET THERE:
    Bachelor of Engineering (Software)/ Bachelor of Commerce (Finance)
    UNSW Australia

    STEM Contributor

    Author: STEM Contributor

    This article was written by a STEM Contributor for Careers with STEM. To learn more, please visit our contact page.

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