The San Francisco tech industry continues its upward surge amid recent news that every local office building currently under construction has been completely pre-leased by tech companies. Leading tech businesses such as Linkedin, Uber and Salesforce – the largest tech employer in San Francisco – have gobbled up the available office space and Google is expanding along the Embarcadero. With enormous growth expected in the coming years, many tech jobs will be made available to the most talented candidates. For career advice, local entrepreneur Natalia Burina, speaks from her extensive experience in the industry to hopeful job seekers.
What is your background and education?
“I am a co-founder at Parable, a visual story telling platform for iPhone and shortly, iPad. Users can express and share their thoughts by customizing text with backgrounds, fonts and filters. Previously I worked at Samsung, eBay and Microsoft managing technology product teams. I started my career as a software engineer after having completed a B.S. in applied mathematics with a computer science focus at University of Washington.”
How has your education helped you in your career?
“I gained the confidence that I could successfully tackle any problem. The applied math program was challenging. I learned to struggle through coursework until I mastered it. The degree required intense focus and discipline. Later on I knew to persevere when I ran into tough situations in the workplace. My second education was studying and working abroad over a period of a year. I learned to manage on my own, became fluent in a new language and befriended people in a foreign country.”
What career advice can you share with students interested in a career in computer technology?
“Use technology to realize a real-world project. Start with an area you are passionate about such as sports or photography. Solve a specific problem, make an improvement or create something new. At first what you’re producing likely won’t be very good. You may be disappointed. This is completely normal! Everyone goes through this phase in the beginning. It’s important to continue working until your creation becomes remarkable. Regardless of how small, insignificant or boring a project may seem at first, do it well and with pride. Get involved with the local technology community by attending hackathons and small events. Finally, find accomplished mentors to guide you as you learn and grow.”
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.