“Sometimes, you run into a road block and you’re stuck, but that’s what engineering is all about: finding a better solution.” — Amy Villasenor
A digital clock in my parents’ room was the first object that got me interested in technology. I was seven years old, and I’d stare at it and wonder, “How does that clock know that that number needs to change? How does it know that 60 seconds just passed?”
I was about nine years old when we got our first home computer. It was around the same time that they started introducing them in schools. I’d spend hours on it, just trying to see what it could do. I wanted to know everything about how to use it, I started with this program that was basically a competitive typing game. I’d play it to see how many words per minute I could type because back then even typing quickly wasn’t yet normal
In my junior year of high school, I thought I was going to be an accountant. I really like numbers and because I was into math, I thought that accounting would be the best use of my interests. I didn’t really know there was such a thing as computer science or computer engineering.
Then a few recruiters from Georgia Tech came to visit my high school. I met them and when they started talking about engineering, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. That was what opened up that world to me — just hearing about it. I hadn’t been exposed to it before.
I ended up attending Georgia Tech, where everyone has to take computer science regardless of their major. Since I was undecided, I took the class my first semester. By November of my freshman year, I knew that was what I wanted to do. The course was very introductory level, but I loved the fact that you could write a program and have it do whatever you want. You immediately knew if it worked or if it didn’t, which I thought was pretty cool.
Now, I’m a software engineer and I love learning from the people I work with — I love watching how they work and how they approach problems to get to a solution.
My day-to-day job is mostly in development. I work on one of the modem software teams here at Qualcomm Technologies, and we work on the SIM card protocol stack.
As an engineer, the best advice that I’ve been given is: There’s always more than one way to do something. Sometimes, you run into a road block and you’re stuck, but that’s what engineering is all about: finding a better solution.
Amy Villasenor has been working at Qualcomm Technologies as a software engineer for a little over two years. She received her B.S. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has recently enrolled as a student in their OMSCS program where she is working towards her Masters in Computer Science with the Computing Systems specialization. On campus, Amy was proactively involved in outreach initiatives whose goal was to expose underrepresented minorities to the benefits and opportunities that come with a career in STEM. This work has carried over to her everyday life post undergrad. She is currently on the board of LatinQ, an employee network at Qualcomm Technologies, where she helps drive similar initiatives on a larger scale.