When the Hamilton Coding Team put out a newsletter that celebrated Black computer scientists, students invited Eseosa Asiruwa ’18 to write a piece for the publication. She’d graduated from college into a job as a software engineer at Adobe.
For Asiruwa, hearing from computer science students at her alma mater was a happy surprise. “Being able to reach back to students has really been important for me, and I’m glad that they feel like they can reach out to me,” she said, always on the look-out for ways to help prospective computer scientists.
“When asking her to write a story for the Coding Team newsletter, I was encouraged to find out that she too faced difficulties at times,” said Jiin Jeong ’21, team senior advisor. “I feel that people don't often talk about challenges that they went through and I really appreciated her honest response.”
Asiruwa started out premed at Hamilton, but that path soon lost its allure for her, and she needed a new direction. “Because of the open curriculum, I thought, ‘this gives me the chance to figure out what I really want to do,’” Asiruwa recalled. Her roommate, Sindy Liu '18, convinced her to try a computer science course. After Asiruwa’s first course with Professor of Computer Science Stuart Hirshfield, she’d found her future.
Shortly after graduation, she moved from the east coast to the west to begin her career at Adobe, where she’s part of the Digital Imaging Organization’s Build & Release Infrastructure Engineering Team. “We basically develop and build out the infrastructure that releases products to customers,” she said. Those products include Photoshop, Dimension, and Lightroom.
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After she builds up her technical skills, Asiruwa’s long-term career goal is to be a senior engineer and technical leader who manages a group of engineers.
Shorter term, when the pandemic ends, Asiruwa would like to continue the volunteer work she did with Girls Who Code. She’d visit a high school in San Jose to teach students about coding and host them on visits to her office to meet other computer engineers. She’s determined to mentor potential computer scientists anyway she can.
“That's something I wish I had when I was younger; I never saw anyone who looked like me, or just a woman, who was in computer science or software engineering or anything like that,” she said. She’s hoping to inspire girls to pursue the field that she loves.
As a bonus, spending time with them is fun. “They're so smart. And you know, they want to be challenged. They want to learn as much as they can,” Asiruwa said.