Hi! My name is Kim and I am the digital content engineer for TI’s Education Technology team –the team that makes graphing calculators like the TI-83 and TI-84 Plus that are used in the classroom.
On the job
As a digital content engineer, I help create and maintain the educational resources and activities that teachers can use with their TI calculator in the classroom. We have more than 1,000 activities on our website, so I stay busy making sure these work with our calculators and also aid teachers in their classroom instruction.
Lately I’ve been working on our coding content for the calculator, including the 10 Minutes of Code activities. Some other cool things I’ve gotten to do in my role include meeting celebrities, a behind-the-scenes tour of Mission Control at NASA and even getting an app published in the Apple App Store. I love that I can say I’ve had an app published in the Apple App Store!
How does coding play a role in your job?
I have a degree in computer science so I’m glad that programming still comes up in my job. If I’m not coding my calculator in TI Basic, I’m tweaking Lua code for the TI-Nspire™ CX handheld.
How did you learn to code on your calculator?
In high school there were other students that programmed their calculator to help do their homework faster, so I wanted to be able to do that too. I taught myself how to code and then tweaked the programs they made until they did what I wanted. It was a lot of trial and error.
I loved math in school, so computer science seemed like an obvious choice to apply my love of math. After graduating from MIT, I went to graduate school at UT Austin to learn about educational technologies and it led me to an internship at TI, then a fulltime job after graduation.
Why do you think learning to code is important?
Most jobs will deal with technology in one way or another. It’s easier to develop or market new ideas when you at least have a basic knowledge of technology and how programming works.
What is one piece of advice you would give to students?
I always tell students, if you decide to study engineering and computer science, it will be tough but well worth it. My advice to girls specifically is to stick with it. Everyone struggles even if they don’t show it. Find a support group of other women and together, you can do it!