Angelica Pando

Backend software engineer at Google

The beautiful thing about computer science is that you can apply it anywhere! I think that everyone, no matter what their passion or focus is, should know a little bit about computer science.

Sure, there are people who study and research the fundamentals of computer science, but it also provides everyone with the toolset to go out and build things they’re passionate about.

I have been hooked on computer science from a very young age. I have an uncle who used to let me play his video games whenever I visited, which was always awesome because my parents didn’t let me have my own console as a kid. I got my first computer around middle school, and my uncle helped me fix it – eventually we built a new one from scratch.

My first experience with computer science in high school was building websites and user interfaces, and I hated it! Once I studied computer architecture and slowly learned the skills that helped me work my way to backend programming, I loved it.

I realized computer science is a lot more about puzzle solving and logical thinking than troubleshooting. It also involved a lot more math than I originally thought.

From tinkering to software

Since I always liked tinkering with hardware, I studied electrical and computer engineering in college, but I realized I liked actual computers slightly less than I liked computer science. For the rest of my collegiate career, I took more and more computer science electives.

I also learned a lot outside of class; whether it was on the job during internships or on my own time, I was constantly trying to absorb as many advanced concepts as possible.

I really like to travel on my own. It gives me a lot of freedom to do whatever I want, or really, to not do anything at all if I feel like it. My favorite trip was driving all through Texas in five days, from Houston to El Paso and back to Austin through Big Bend. A lot of BBQ was involved!

Working as a Google software engineer

As a Google software engineer, a large aspect of my job is writing and reviewing code. Oftentimes, I do data analysis to research an idea for a potential solution or I’ll compare different solutions to the same problem. We use machine learning and big data frameworks to find businesses around the world (restaurants, spas, pet stores, you name it!).

We help small business owners get added and noticed in Google Maps, so people can find them in their neighborhood or when they’re visiting.

If I could do anything in the world I would build the perfect system that allocates resources globally to places and people where they are most in need. I’m very politically active and driven by social change. I get very excited whenever I get to help others, or at least make their day.

My dream career is to be in a position where I can make a lasting impact at Google, and eventually go off and build my own all-out feminist startup.

Angelica’s path to becoming a Google software engineer

>> Began working on computers with her uncle

>> Attended Tec de Monterrey High School, in Juarez, Mexico

>> Graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering

>> Interned at General Motors, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley

>> Became the Optimization Engineering Team Lead at AppNexus

>> Started working as a Google software engineer

Meet frontend software engineer Kenechi Ufondu

Angelica Pando

I think that everyone, no matter what their passion or focus is, should know a little bit about computer science.”

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