inspiration · women who reign

Women Who Reign: Liana Lo

If you’re someone people count on, particularly in difficult moments, that’s a sign of a life lived honorably.” – Rachel Maddow

Tell us about yourself along with a fun fact!
I was born and raised in San Francisco, later attending university nearby at UC Berkeley for a chemical engineering degree. Afterward, I lived, worked, and played in Phoenix, Beijing, Taipei, Jakarta, and Budapest.

Fun fact: I had corrective eye surgery in Budapest a few months ago. Life without glasses or contacts is a lot more convenient!

What # would define your life journey?

Favorite website / app:
My first thought was Airbnb, because I love staying in local homes while traveling. My second thought is Kindara. This app has helped me understand my body on another level, and it’s quite useful knowing where I am in my cycle. As for what I use the most often, that would be Google.

Someone who inspires you and knowledge they have imparted (if any):
I feel that I owe a lot to my first dedicated mentor who helped me transition into software engineering. He guided me through building my first full stack web applications and also helped me prepare for software engineering interviews by suggesting his favorite learning resources and also conducting some mock interviews for me. Nowadays, I remember to pay it forward and provide advice for anyone who comes to me with questions about programming and the software industry.

Song that makes you want to dance:
“Distance -M-Flo Remix-” (Hikaru Utada)

Technical challenge you’ve faced and how you overcame it:
One week before 2015 winter holidays, Google finally shut off an image search API that had been deprecated for more than four years. This broke some legacy code that no on had touched in our code base for literally years, and I volunteered to fix it by integrating a new API ASAP. The stack was new to me – Flash / ActionScript, Haxe, Gradle. Figuring out the new API integration and languages weren’t difficult, but setting up the development environment and build system under time pressure and lacking documentation was frustrating!

Speaking at the inaugural REFRESH conference in Tallinn, Estonia

Ideal Job:
A job that encourages both my personal and technical growth, where I am surrounded by awesome coworkers and friends. Bean bags, comfy couches, and dogs in the office also make the workday so much better. 🙂

What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.

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