Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.
Hey Hackers! I’m Stanley Lim and I’m a Software Engineer at Snap.
First of all, a huge thank you to the HackerNoon community and staff for nominating me for a 2021 Noonies award! I’ve been nominated in the following categories please do check out these award pages and vote:
Learn more about my thoughts and opinions on front-end, back-end, and security and my journey in the tech industry via the interview below.
I’m currently a software engineer working at Snap. Although much of the work I did in the past while learning how to code was with front-end/Windows applications, I now primarily work with back-end technologies building scalable services that power Snapchat. I decided to switch to doing back-end since it was a new and challenging part of software development.
At university, I took a cloud computing course that taught us distributed systems, the web as a whole, and what cloud technologies are out there. Our capstone project was to build a scalable Stack Overflow clone. After completing that project, I knew that this is what I wanted to do.
I’m quite early in my career, but that does not mean I don’t get chances to set standards, shape architectural decisions, and lead cross-team initiatives. And yes, the prior front-end experience I have is a lot more useful than I thought especially working with front-end engineers.
Outside my work at Snap, I also spend time on a few personal projects that can be found on my Github. The main project I actively develop is Cirrus - a component and utility-centric SCSS framework designed for rapid prototyping with over 800 stars! Another large project I maintain is Polarity - a fast, secure, and highly customizable web browser that supports the latest web standards.
A few other projects I’ve launched in the past few years I’m proud to include are:
And last but not least, my blog that contains random bits and pieces of tech that I find interesting.
As a kid, I was a huge fan of online Flash games. I wasn’t allowed to have the gaming consoles that my friends had at the time, so I typically played games on websites like AddictingGames to keep myself entertained. Unfortunately (or fortunately for that matter), I was also introduced to the concept of computer viruses. I have, not once, but twice, infected my parent’s laptop due to drive-by downloads and social engineering attacks that I wouldn’t know any better to avoid as a kid.
After that, I vowed to never get any machine infected ever again. I became invested in studying malware, trojan horses, XSS, and other attack vectors which eventually led me to become interested in programming. My first ever project was Polarity and that became something I worked on in my spare time as a high schooler to learn about Windows and web development.
Automation to me is a huge asset but can also be a huge liability. There are many examples of tech today that automate existing jobs such as self-checkout at stores, robotic packaging and logistics, and soon driverless vehicles. Robots that automate these jobs make current occupations obsolete. The question now is that will the number of new jobs that automation creates (e.g. robot maintenance, software, etc.) be enough to replace the roles that were lost?
I am a strong believer in giving more students access to learning computer science at any level of schooling. Everyone should have the ability to try learning about it (even if they dislike it later on) because it gives people a better understanding of technology and logical thinking. I think that the Grace Hoppers and Dennis Ritchies of the future may already exist and can fundamentally change computer science and technology as a whole if they were given a chance to learn about it.
Being in the software engineering field often means spending some time outside to learn new technologies, frameworks, etc. to keep up with new trends. A couple of things I am focusing on are:
Consistency is crucial to improving on anything. You can spend 15 minutes to an hour a day focusing on just that one thing you want to work on and you can definitely see results over time.
“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.”
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