Welcome back to edX Insider, a series where we find out more about people at edX HQ. Today, we chat with Bessie, Software Engineer, as she tells us about the best career advice she’s received, her own advice for aspiring software engineers, and more.
Name: Bessie Steinberg
Role and department: Software Engineer, Enterprise (B2B)
Hometown: Farmington, CT
Favorite song: I think my favorite song changes every few weeks! Lately I’ve been listening to ‘1950’ by King Princess a lot.
What do you think makes edX different?
Because edX is an education company, I think we attract a lot of people who are very excited about learning and teaching. I feel really comfortable asking questions here and my coworkers always seem enthusiastic about helping me. There are a lot of opportunities to learn and teach. Ned, who knows a ton about Python, and I started a Python study group. Every two weeks someone researches an aspect of Python and teaches it to whoever wants to come. There is a lot of freedom and support here to do something like that, which is awesome.
What’s your best advice for someone pursuing a career in software engineering?
I got a great piece of advice from my first engineering professor. He said, “You may be afraid that if you ask a question you will sound dumb, but if you don’t ask the question, you will stay dumb.” That has really stuck with me. It can be really scary to admit you don’t know something, especially when you are just starting out and feel like you need to prove yourself.
So, my advice is two-fold:
1) Learn to be okay with admitting to people when you don’t know stuff, you will learn faster and usually earn other people’s trust faster.
2) Create an environment around yourself where asking questions like that is less scary. Work with people who are supportive of asking questions and be supportive of question askers.
What’s your favorite course you’ve ever taken?
I recently took two comic drawing courses at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and it was awesome! I learned so much and the teacher was great.
Best advice for edX learners?
Carve out time for learning on edX and make it part of your routine.
One thing your colleagues may not know about you?
I take a lot of art classes in my free time! I took the comic drawing class that I mentioned above, but I’ve also taken classes in still life drawing, watercolor painting, tap dancing, and garment sewing. I always loved arts and crafts but I didn’t have time for it in college—I’m making up for it now, though!
28 Jun 2020
16 Mar 2020