School districts worldwide are gearing up for the launch of the new national education standards in fall 2014, including the Los Angeles Unified School District which has plans to purchase 660,000 iPads so that every student and teacher can enjoy the benefits of software designed specifically to help facilitate the learning experience. In recent years, social and mobile has began to take precedence in the way people are searching for information and staying in touch with friends, family and loved ones. People everywhere are trading in their laptops for smartphones and tablets as everything moves to the “cloud.” It’s no surprise to learn that even kids in Los Angeles are being introduced to educational software, causing the field of software engineering to be a very lucrative one for years to come.

Vice President of Web Applications Tommy Vo (photo courtesy of Tommy Vo)

Vice President of Web Applications Tommy Vo (photo courtesy of Tommy Vo)

As the vice president of web applications for a very fashion-forward tech company, Tommy Vo is responsible for the design, implementation and maintenance of scalable web applications to support his company’s mission to provide custom solutions for brands and retailers. After earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science from UC Riverside, Vo found himself falling into the field of software engineering in which he plans to make some major contributions to society one day.

What are some of your biggest responsibilities in your current position?

“My background in computer science led me naturally to software engineering because the theories and concepts I learned are useful in designing and creating software,” says the software engineering professional. Vo feels that his education in computer science ties in very closely with what he is doing now because it gives him a deeper understanding and better insight as to what good software design should look like.

How has your education helped contribute to your overall success?

“My education has helped me become successful by giving me the knowledge necessary to tackle complicated problems. By knowing the fundamentals of computer science, efficient solutions that have the potential to be scaled up can be created,” says the South Bay resident.

What was the most memorable class you took when earning you degree?

Vo says the class he remembers the most would have to be his compiler class because it was one of the most challenging classes he had to take. “I learned a lot about how code is turn into a running computer program, which helped me understand what’s happening behind the scenes when I write code, and how that code is translated into something the machine can run on,” he says.

What are some words of wisdom you can offer others who are career focused?

Be as involved as you can be with the open source community. It’s a great way to learn from others in the form of joint collaborations. Vo recommends visiting GitHub and offer to contribute to a project. “This will give you the opportunity to work with real code and learn what it is like to collaborate with different people for a project.”

Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on


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