Noreen Fong

Noreen Fong

Vice President of Software Engineering


DIRECTV

El Segundo, CA USA


If you don’t know what you want to do, start with what you know you like and then bridge out and try something else...Just keep following the passion of what makes you feel good.

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Noreen Fong

Highlight
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00:55
Noreen Fong HighlightInterview Highlight
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03:22
InterviewThe Interview
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00:56
Computer Science Isn't Just About ProgrammingWeb Exclusive
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02:28
Day In The Life Of A Vice President Of Software EngineeringWeb Exclusive
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02:25
The Definition Of Computer ScienceWeb Exclusive
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01:32
Advice For Students Interested In Computer ScienceWeb Exclusive
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01:25
Stereotypes In Software EngineeringWeb Exclusive
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01:33
Problem Solving Is My PassionInterview Excerpt
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02:12
My Career PathInterview Excerpt

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
I come from an engineering family—my mother, father, and grandfather were all engineers—so I didn’t think I would pursue that.
I started college as a pre-business major and considered focusing on accounting, but my prerequisite math classes didn’t stimulate me as much as I hoped they would.
An introductory programming class I took early on in college sparked my interest in computer science because of its problem-solving nature.
I ended up getting both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science.
I started my career in aerospace because it merged both of my passions in computer science and space.
One of my first professional programming positions involved writing software for satellites at Hughes Space and Communications Company.
Moving through various positions, I found that everyone always competed for the programming role while I gravitated toward the coordination roles, which led to more professional recognition.
I moved on to work for DIRECTV and worked my way up from staff engineer to vice president of software engineering—I helped build the set-top box engineering team from seven engineers to 650 employees!
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Computer Science
California State University, Long Beach
Graduate
Computer Science
University of Southern California

Career

Vice President of Software Engineering

I oversee development and maintenance of software applications in accordance with business needs.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Technology
Engineering
Problem Solving

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Creativity is important in software engineering because the field is all about solving problems. You need to be willing to come up with creative solutions to problems.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Every role in computer science is equally important, so don't feel like you have to just strive for the programming roles. Figure out what you're most passionate about within the computer science field and feel empowered to go down that path knowing that every role is important. Don't be afraid to go for the coordination, communication, testing, or other pivotal roles.

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"Computer science is so structured and not creative."

Challenges I Overcame

Changed Major