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  • Study this, not that

Joan Yin

Engineering Manager, Bolt

What did you study? Was it your choice or outside influences? What was the formal education experience like for you?

I am very curious, and I followed my curiosity throughout my life and my career. When I was little, I loved science (I still do today), I went to public libraries to read science Journals every week, eventually I went to university and studied Chemistry and Biochemistry.

When I came to the United States for grad school, I came across the opportunity to do gene sequencing using powerful mainframe machines. That’s how I got curious and started to study computer science.

Unlike many engineers who wrote their first line of code at age 8 or 5, I wrote my first line of code at age 26. I loved it and completed formal education of computer science and started my career as an engineer.

I didn’t stop learning after completing my formal education. I was a very early adopter of Coursera. I started to take MOOC courses from 2012 (Coursera, MIT, Harvard etc) and was one of the Coursera global translator volunteers to translate the material into Chinese. My curiosity also led me to bitcoin. I read the Bitcoin white paper and couldn’t be more amazed and spent three whole weekends fishing through Wikipedia to learn it. That led me to scale crypto wallet in Coinbase, today I am leading the web3 strategy for bolt, the oneclick checkout platform for e-commerce. Curiosity is your best teacher, it’s the north star that guides me to my next adventure. Learn like a child, as if everything is new.

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