My Facebook University Engineering Program Essays

I believe mobile technology can empower community builders in two main ways:
Mobile technology helps build communities of tech learners and builders. I know that the most popular software products in the world are all built by a community and for a community with an enormous amount of mentoring and learning involved. I’ve first learned how to code in JavaScript and build software with the Hack Club community. With the help and encouragement of my mentors, I turned my open source browser game, Shouty Flap, into an iOS game. It soon got quite popular among Hack Club students. For me, the fact that I am sure what I’ve built has potentially made at least a small number of students think that “if she came in barely knowing how to code and built this in a day, I can build it too” is truly exciting and empowering. This is why I am striving to become a community-oriented tech builder.

Mobile technology helps build communities of tech users. No piece of useful technology is built without valuing the voice of the user and putting the needs of the user at the center. Sadly, we still have a long way to go in genuinely valuing the inputs from students as a community. My college’s official student course registration system was not only not mobile-friendly but also painfully difficult to use. A group of students had formed a coalition calling for a better system until the introduction of SCU-Classes, a schedule builder in the browser developed voluntarily by two students provided a temporary solution. Unfortunately, with the graduation of the developers, mobile SCU-Classes didn’t work out because of worries of the app’s compromised usability in mobile. So our students had to continue the fight for a mobile course reg system. Recently the administration finally decided to build a mobile version of the course registration system. What I appreciated the most from this story was the power students gained to fight together because of mobile tech. I feel extremely fortunate to be in the middle of a highly progressive community built by people who believe in the power of tech, and I am eager to join this rank of builders and engage in my communities through the medium of mobile technology.

My Twitter Academy Essays

It’s getting closer and closer to internship season. I’m preparing for my onsite with Twitter next month and I want to share my responses to the questions on my application and hopefully this would be helpful for some of you.
#TellYourStory: In 280 characters or less, share with us who you are through a hashtag and explain why you chose that hashtag.

The hashtag I choose is #WeTheStudents. This is a hashtag Hack Club uses, and my friends there are making a movement to change the landscape of how high school students engage with computer science and coding. I am extremely fortunate to be a part of this movement. It has changed many of my long held personal beliefs: growing up as an only child, I was used to being protected by my parents and believed that students and young people have little to no say in making important decisions for themselves because of the lack of knowledge and/or experience. To me, the title “student” used to indicate powerlessness. But my experience learning to code and interacting with Hack Club’s members liberated me from constraining myself within the circle of my own family; it made me dare to adventure, live differently and always open to new knowledge. Now I am more than proud to be a student because this title signifies that I am forever a learner who uses knowledge/power to empower others and the power multiplies with #WeTheStudents.

#ShipIt: Our engineers are constantly shipping (launching) new features and functionality on the platform. In 280 characters or less, list one idea you would ship that would impact the way diverse users interact with the platform?
Twitter’s accessibility efforts have already greatly enhanced the usability of the platform for disabled groups. For example, Alt Text is one of the best features that enables a blind user to be able to access images on Twitter. However, its usability is compromised when content providers are unaware of this option, when it takes too much effort for them to manually provide the descriptions for every image, or when descriptions provided are not detailed enough. The use of machine learning algorithms and image recognition technologies can solve this problem by recognizing elements in the image, generating a detailed description. After the basic feature is implemented, further optimizations such as natural language used in descriptions can be done, but content providers can still use the manual input option during the transitioning stage of this feature.