Hi there! My name is Evan and I’m a product test engineer for wireless connectivity. I work on the electronics that help engineers around the world design new “smart” versions of things we use in our homes – appliances, thermostats, smoke detectors, and many more – that can connect to each other and to the Internet wirelessly (we call this the “Internet of Things” or “IoT” for short). These new smart devices will make our homes safer, more efficient and more convenient.
On the job
My job is to test new chip designs to make sure they work correctly. This includes measuring how fast it can run, how much power it uses, and “debugging” it – investigating any problems we find and figuring out the best way to solve them.
Then, when we’re ready to produce millions of copies of the chip for our customers, my job is to develop the tests used to screen out any defective parts and make sure everything we ship meets TI’s quality standards.
One of the coolest things I’ve gotten to work on is a chip I helped develop that is now used in some of the top digital cameras on the market. Photography is one of my hobbies, so I think it’s really cool that I got to play a part in creating new technology for products I really enjoy using myself.
How does coding play a role in your job?
I write test programs to control our lab equipment and automate the chip testing process. I also write programs to help process large amounts of data. Reading, writing, and debugging code in several programming languages is an important skill I use almost every day in my job.
How did you learn to code on your calculator?
I received a TI-85 graphing calculator in 10th grade to use in my algebra II class. I’d always been interested in computers and electronics, and I wanted to learn about all the features of my new calculator. One of those features was the TI Basic programming language. I had no prior coding experience, but the built-in program editor was easy to use, and it was convenient to pull out the calculator whenever I had a few minutes of spare time at school, so I started writing some simple programs.
Learning to code helped me know for sure I was interested in studying engineering in college. Since I was interested in both computer software and electronics, I decided to study electrical engineering.
Why do you think learning to code is important?
Learning to code is a great way to improve logical thinking and problem solving skills. In particular, students interested in pursuing careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) will almost certainly need at least some basic coding skills to be successful in college and at work.
What is one piece of advice you would give to students?
I would encourage students to take advantage of opportunities and resources in school and online for hands-on experiences in engineering and computer science — like learning to code, or joining a robotics team. These practical experiences will help you know if it’s the right career path for you, and if so, will give you a great head start.