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Maya Bello, Software engineer and YouTuber

Hi, I'm Maya Bello!

What do you work on?

I recently wrapped up working on Intuit QuickBooks Live, an online bookkeeping service that connects small businesses with virtual bookkeepers. These virtual bookkeepers help to keep customers' books up to date.
When I joined the team, QuickBooks Live was not yet released. That means I had the opportunity to build and grow key features of this service from scratch!
As a full-stack software engineer, I touched multiple parts of the system. Some of my contributions include building the onboarding experience for new customers as well as creating several A/B experiments in order to rapidly iterate based on customer behavior and feedback. I was able to utilize JavaScript, React, Java, and Spring Boot to help build a robust QuickBooks Live experience for our users.
Maya with her colleagues in the Intuit office.

How did you learn to program?

I attended University of California, San Diego where I earned a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science. It was in college where I began my journey of learning to code. Even though I took my first coding class the first semester of my freshman year, coding was difficult for me and for the first few years I wasn’t grasping core coding concepts. I often wondered if I would ever learn to code.
However, developing a growth mindset helped me to persevere. Each day I made it my mission to focus on progress and not perfection. One technique I used was writing down what I learned each day. It was encouraging to see a visual representation of how much I was learning and it helped me to internalize that I was improving and growing in knowledge.
Even though learning to code was rough, I walked away with three life lessons: “slow progress is still progress”, when it comes to learning something new get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and with hard work you can do anything.

What do you do when you’re not programming?

I enjoy introducing others to tech and teaching people to code!
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I volunteered at StreetCode, a non-profit where I co-taught Game Design to kids ages 7-12. During the pandemic, I volunteered for a course offered by two Stanford Professors called Code In Place, a community service project that taught 10,000 students from around the world to code. Recently, I created an online community for Black programmers where we can share resources, advice, and encourage one another in our coding journeys.
Other than that, I have a passion for creating YouTube videos! On my tech-focused YouTube channel, I create both educational and motivational videos that I hope will inspire others to learn to code and become software engineers.
From a tutorial video on learning to code in Python

What’s your one piece of advice for new programmers?

My one piece of advice would be to not give up because we can all learn to code! Looking back, my 18-year-old self would be so proud of all I have accomplished. If there is a small part of you that thinks coding might be for you, I encourage you to try it out and you might find yourself surprised with all the great things you can explore, learn, and create. Learning to code can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Keep trying, keep going, and never stop learning.

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