Quang Tran is a lead software engineer at Flywheel Building Intelligence in Dallas. During the spring semester, he volunteered as a mentor with 3rd–5th grade students at the Wesley-Rankin Community Center.
How did you become interested in tech and programming?
I started learning programming back in my high school in Vietnam. I didn’t really like programming back then because students mainly studied to compete. We had to remember boring algorithms and always programmed in Pascal. Fast forward to college, I decided to give programming another chance and it worked out beautifully. I enjoyed creating programs that actually help people. Understanding the magic that makes the computer work and overcoming programming challenges were also fun.
What did you study in college?
I earned my bachelor degree in Computer Science from UT Dallas. I majored in Biochemistry but after the first semester, it was clear that I am not interested in theoretical work. I wanted a career track with more hands-on experience and quicker iteration cycle. That’s why I switched to Computer Science (partly because of my high school background) and stick with it ever since.
What are you working on now?
I am a software engineer for Flywheel Building Intelligence Inc. We are building a cloud-based platform that offers real-time people, energy, and building management service.
What have you gained from being a mentor? What was your most memorable moment while mentoring?
Being a mentor confirms my interest in teaching, especially teaching programming to kids. Funny enough, my most memorable moment doesn’t come while mentoring. It was when Robyn and Ben brought in the programmable robots. The kids were so excited and immediately started to play with the robots on their own. That’s when I understand how important it is to gamify and brainstorm interesting activities in order to attract the kids.
Is there anything that you wish you could tell your younger self about coding?
Being able to code something does not mean you should do it. You should always think about the big picture and align your work with the ultimate goal of the project. Your work must bring value to the product and your team.
Is there anything about our mission that really connects with you?
I always believe children are the future. Vietnam is a developing country. In order to reach its full potential, education and children must be the #1 investment. Bold Idea’s focus on developing and empowering young minds, especially through computer science - something related to my background, really resonates with my belief and personal interest.