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From Adelaide to Silicon Valley

How SpiralData became the turning point for a successful career in software engineering

When Yi Chen joined SpiralData as a software development intern in 2017, she couldn’t imagine that just a couple of years later she would be working as a software engineer at Facebook. Her first experience developing software at SpiralData was the start of her career change from investment banking to big tech.

Born in China, Yi came to Adelaide after finishing her undergraduate studies in Economics in Beijing. She was admitted to Carnegie Mellon University’s Master of Information System Management global pathway, which offers one year of studies in Australia and one year in Pittsburgh, USA. During her time in Adelaide, Yi joined SpiralData’s internship program and helped develop the front end of a machine learning mapping tool.

“SpiralData was the starting point of my career shift. Being part of the whole process of software development allowed me to gain valuable knowledge and skills in the corporate world. From design, ux and product development, SpiralData gave me the experience needed to develop my career in software engineering”, says Yi.

She then moved to Pittsburgh for the second year of her Masters, but she wouldn’t stay much longer after her graduation, because she packed her bags and moved to California in early 2019. Yi had been admitted to Facebook as a Junior Software Engineer.

“It’s exciting to be part of the big tech companies here in the Silicon Valley. Despite having to work really hard to achieve your goals, you get rewarded by pushing yourself to a higher level”. And so she did, dropping the Junior title and being promoted to Software Engineer, her current role at Facebook. Yi’s expectation for the next 2 years is to become a senior software engineer, being the tech lead for a particular product or project.

Yi believes that students have a great opportunity to experiment with different career pathways: “There are great internship opportunities for data scientists and software engineers. You should give it a try and understand what areas interest you most. At SpiralData, I had the opportunity to try all areas and get closer to my career choice”.

SpiralData offers internship programs for Data Science and Software Engineering in Adelaide that lead to a variety of career pathways. The full-service data analytics agency provides data strategy, enterprise technology, data science and custom AI solutions for organisations of all sizes looking to make data-based decisions.

To learn more about SpiralData’s career opportunities, please click here.

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