Danielle Yu

B.S. Informatics, 2012

Why did you choose this major?

When I was in high school, I liked to build websites with nice user experiences, and I wanted to become better at it. Informatics teaches the “human” or psychological side of computing as well as software engineering, and it seemed more applicable to real world applications I wanted to encounter in this field. In the end, design and code have a purpose that affects those using the application, so I wanted to learn how to make this experience a good one.

What has been your career path since graduating with your B.S.?

I’ve worked at two consulting companies as a front end developer, before moving on to my current gig as a front end developer at Apple working on Apple.com and internal libraries that the Apple.com team uses.

What do you enjoy most about your current position?

Working with nice, energetic, and brilliant people is what I enjoy most because it opens up a positive environment for teams to work well together to create something amazing. Being around my coworkers has helped me grow as a developer, and it’s good to constantly learn and improve on yourself.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

Once I get into the office, I read up and respond to emails. Then we have our daily scrum meeting and I work on my tasks from the Sprint board. Some tasks are research-related and some are coding tasks. Throughout the day, my teammates and I collaborate and communicate to make sure our code will work together. Afterwards, I have lunch with my coworkers, code review a teammate’s code or send mine for review, take a walk with a coworker (sometimes that clears your head), continue on my tasks, then go home after a day of hard work!

What was the best part of your experience at UCI?

The best parts of my experience were the team projects and the people I met in those projects (specifically the Portfelo project that my friends and I entered into the Butterworth Entrepreneurial Competition). You learn so much in the process because everyone brings something different to the table. There’s also a special kind of camaraderie that only stems from working on challenging projects with crazy, sleep-deprived, like-minded individuals like yourself. 😉

In what way(s) did your studies at UCI prepare you for your career to date?

I learned how to learn on my own, and that’s important in the real world when you’re given problems to tackle. My experience with Informatics also made me learn how to work with teammates, how to give and receive feedback to get a positive outcome, and how to step out of my comfort zone.

What would be your advice to incoming students who might want to follow a similar career path?

a. This sounds cliché, but go for your dreams! Go with the path you think will take you there, and try to soak up as much knowledge as possible along the way.
b. Learn how to learn. When you don’t know something, try not to be intimidated. Instead keep an open mind and ask questions because this is the time to do so! Everyone has to start somewhere and everyone learns at different paces. And once you learn something, be able to explain it to others. This really helps solidify your knowledge.
c. Set some realistic goals for yourself and contribute toward those goals with mini achievements on a regular basis (whether it be contributing to Github if you’re a developer, building up a portfolio if you’re a designer, teaching others, or keeping a blog of your learnings). The point is to constantly practice and grow towards your goal of the future, and you’ll get to where you want to be.
d. Pay it forward and be nice to people. They’ll remember your kindness, and people would much rather work with nice person compared to a rude person.


“The best parts of my experience were the team projects and the people I met in those projects.”