Today I am sharing with you an interview I did with Estefannie, from Estefannie explains it all! You might know her from her Instagram account or her YouTube channel! I asked her questions about her life but also about work. I hope you will enjoy our interview!
She is very kind, so it was awesome to do this interview with her! 🙂
- What made you want to have a career in tech? Is there someone who inspired you or what made you choose technology?
I don’t think I planned or thought about wanting to have a “career in tech”. But I can tell you the events that brought me here.
I credit Pixar as my inspiration to pursuing a career in computer science. When I first watched Toy Story, I knew the film had been created using computers. So at a very early age, I associated computers as the tool that can create anything in your imagination. Many years later I saw a documentary about Pixar in which I learned that it all started with a group of computer scientists. This was the moment I knew I had to pursue a career in computer science to be able to do what they did. Ever since I have been able to produce anything in my imagination using software (and now hardware!) and make the world my playground 😉
- What is your academic background?
I got a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science and a Minor in Mathematics from The University of Houston.
- Which programming languages do you know? Which ones do you enjoy the most?
- How many hours do you work per day? Because you have a day job, and then another job at night with your YouTube channel! What’s a typical day in your life?
Every day in my life is completely different. But I do have dedicated hours for work and YouTube work. For example, I know that Monday – Friday from around 8 AM (sometimes earlier) to 5 PM (sometimes later) I will be at the office working. After work, I make sure I put in at LEAST 3 hours of YouTube work. It could be either prototyping my next build, writing the script, shopping for parts, filming, or editing. On weekends, I work full-time on my YouTube channel. I put in at least 8 hours each day, and I usually reserve film days for weekends. I try to workout at least five times a week, and I meal prep to not lose time (I just get tons of vegetables and chicken at Costco and eat the same for lunch every day).
- What are you doing in your day job? (if you can talk about it!)
The project that my team and I are working on is really big and exciting at my company. We are building a system to automate control systems. It is such a complex but amazing project… think of it like a self-driving car but a self-driving big robot 🙂 I recently became software engineering lead, and I have an amazing team and love working with them.
- How do you balance work + life? #workafterwork
I will not lie and say that I am balancing it right. I am working very hard on my YouTube channel (#workafterwork) as well as I am at my day job. That makes it a lot of work hours a day, but I honestly don’t see myself doing anything else. I do squeeze in workouts to stay healthy and try to sleep about 6 hrs every night.
About robotics and all those cool things
- As someone with a Computer Science degree, how did you get into DIY electronics? What is the first electronic project you made?
One day, I wanted to make a BB-8 ‘Jack O’ Lantern’ for Halloween that moved its head and had sounds. I did it with an Arduino, a servo, a photoresistor, a buzzer, and some LEDs. After that, I was HOOKED. I needed to learn more and make more.
- Where / How did you learn to do embedded programming?
I was inspired to try it by work. I was able to move around and choose the engineering group I wanted to stay in. So I tried a few different things, from machine learning to desktop applications and websites (front-end and back-end), to automated control systems. The last one made me get interested in embedded programming. I went for it and learned it in my free time.
- What are your suggestions for someone who would like to start learning Arduino, robotics, and electronics?
My first suggestion is to just go get a board or an electronics kit and dive into that world. There is a huge and amazing community online that is very helpful and make all sorts of tutorials. My favorite board is the Raspberry Pi since it is a mini computer and you can basically do whatever you want with it.
- Do you have any resources you could suggest for newbies?
I do not have a go-to place for resources because everytime I start a new project I find a new resource. I do know that there are a lot of tutorials online, and my favorites are YouTube, Rapsberry Pi’s resource section on their website, and Adafruit’s tutorials.
- Any future plans you can share with us?
No spoilers!! But know that I will be making more YouTube videos and take over the world muahahahahah!!! jk.. not jk 😀
Watch Estefannie’s Smart Conductive On Air Sign project!
Even though I wasn’t able to get us some spoilers for her next projects (sorry!!!), you should follow her on YouTube channel to watch what she builds next! She’s also pretty active on Instagram. Now, tell me in the comments below… who should I interview next ?! 😉