For a number of years now I've gone to elementary, intermediates, and high schools to talk about being a software engineer. The message is simple, "I am a Software Engineer! It is an AWESOME job! and You can be one too!" I feel so lucky to be working as a software engineer in Hawaii. It really is a great job. I love solving problems, being creative, learning, and working as a team. I love my the lifestyle that working as a software engineer provides. I am able to surf, coach my son's baseball and soccer teams, travel and spend lots of time with my family and friends. I truly am very lucky.
I teach the students about what software engineers do. Where they work. What they get paid. How many jobs there are. What they do for fun. What kind of companies employ software engineers. What kind of technologies software engineers create. Why software engineering is a great career. And MOST IMPORTANTLY that every single one of them can be a software engineer if they want it bad enough and are willing to work hard.
When I'm done with my presentation, I ask the students, "who wants to be a software engineer?" and nearly all of them raise their hands. Its great to see the hope and excitement on their faces. I know they can do it. Heck if I can make it they certainly can.
My last talk was at Holomua Elementary in Ewa Beach. I talked to 4 classes at Holomua and I just recently got a package with 44 thank you notes from the students. Here is what one of them said,
Dear Aaron Kagawa,
Thank you so much for being so nice and kind!
Ever since you taught me all about software engineering, I want to be one some day!
You told me that in order for me to get there I have to work hard in school. Even if you're not the smartest I can still get me there!
Thank you for taking your time to to teach us all about your job!
From, (A Holomula Student)
It was very touching to read all of those letters and especially letters like this one. I am thankful for being able to share my passion of software engineering with the students of Hawaii. I believe anyone can make it in the world of software if they work hard and believe in themselves.