There’s still a perception that the most successful computer scientists learn programming at a young age, study engineering at a top school, and then get a software development job right out of college. While that’s how many people enter the field, it’s not the only path. Microsoft Software Engineer Rebecca Nzioki is living proof. She started out studying business but switched disciplines because she found IT more interesting. She decided to switch disciplines again after she started working and discovered a passion for solving customer problems. She then dedicated herself to learning how to code so she could find permanent fixes to issues that were frustrating the customers she supported.
In my experience, no matter what path they followed in the field of computer science, the best engineers are those who, like Rebecca, focus on solving problems for customers and making sure their experience just gets better and better. There’s no reason to think that, just because you weren’t a “child genius” who already knew how to program before you reached high school, you can’t enter the field now and still be incredibly successful. Rebecca impressed us so much that we tried to recruit her multiple times. Now she’s a software engineer in theidentity and network accessgroup, working from her native country, Kenya, as part of our Africa Development Center (ADC). While she’s only been at Microsoft for a short time, her contributions are already notable. I can’t wait to watch her grow.