A way of life and thought
Programming is a way of living and thinking, according to Zhang Danli, a 32-year-old software engineer in Beijing.
Zhang, who works for Mtime, a movie portal, said she has felt passion about the subject since she was introduced to it in college. The subject fascinated her so much that she made the difficult transition from majoring in geographic information sciences to software engineering.
“I was simply interested in computer science, and the opportunity to use computers attracted me,” she said.
After graduation, she found a job at a web-mapping, navigation and location-based services provider where she was able to learn more.
The rise of mobile internet presented another learning opportunity and another major challenge. “It was a totally different programming language, so I had to start all over again to learn it,” she said.
She recalled having to get up at about 3 am every day for more than six months to learn mobile-application coding.
“If I want to keep up with the latest industry developments, I have to learn about coding for mobile applications,” she said.
“You can fail all the time. The anguish can go on and on and on .
I was simply interested in computer science, and the opportunity to use computers attracted me.” Zhang Danli, female software engineer in Beijing
— and then, out of the blue, you discover a solution. That joy can override all of the past gloom,” she added, describing her work as an algorithm designer.
Zhang has also discovered that her job increasingly shapes the way she thinks.
“The other day, my boyfriend asked me to buy some oranges at the supermarket. I took it as a direct order and went to fetch them. The oranges were sold out, so I simply came back home,” she said, with a grimace at the painful realization that she could have bought other fruits.
“But that is the programmers’ way: Think straightforwardly. I was thinking in strictly technical terms, which is ‘if X then Z’,” she said.
Zhang Danli (right), a 32-year-old female software engineer, works with a colleague at the offices of Mtime, an online movie portal in Beijing.