Keeping Youthful In My Programming Skills

2021.9.6 Interviews by COCOS

Cocos has fantastic staff members with their own personality characteristics. Be it funny, professional, and artistic. All in their respective positions, their shine makes our company and product unique. Today we were able to interview one of our female programmers, Cocos Evangelist Director – Kristine (Li Yang). What makes her different than our other staff? We asked her.

Working years with the engine, I know the technology

In 2011, Cocos2d-x became famous for the Chinese game “Fishing Master.” That year, Kristine just left her college campus to join Bling Storm, a company that used Cocos2d-x and participated in developing her first game.

Fishing Man 3 Gameplay
Fishing Man 3 Gameplay

In 2014, “Fishing Man 3” was launched. This game was the first game to explore 3D within Cocos2d-x. Kristine was one of the “Fishing Man 3” team members and was mainly responsible for constructing the game framework, Game main logic, modules, and other small jobs. The game achieved 10 million downloads within 24 hours of its launch.

“As early as 2014, when I was working on “Fishing Man 3, I met many developers from the Cocos engine team,” said Kristine. “The way they deal with problems has given me a lot of inspiration. Programmers seem to be paranoid to get up close to the engine.”

Kristine Yang
Kristine Yang

“During my time at Bling Storm, I also met Wang Zhe, who guided my career. I say this because I started learning the Cocos engine and read articles written by him all the time. So when I had the opportunity to join Cocos, I accepted the job interview without question. “

Kristine currently works in the Cocos Evangelist Department, responsible for technical evangelism and building a developer ecosystem.

Evangelism is a job that requires comprehensive skills and qualities. It requires not only having technical accumulation but also project experience. It has requirements for team management, communication skills, eloquence, and image. The team needs to record tutorial videos, do live broadcasts, and write documents.

 Kristine giving a speech at the salon
Kristine giving a speech at the salon

“I have never encountered this type of work before. It’s the first time I’ve had to do it. It is very challenging for me. I think every aspect is worth learning and trying.”

I haven’t done it, I want a challenge

The reason why Kristine joined the game industry could be seen as very “self-serving.”

“I thought, ‘Hey! Be a programmer in the future. The salary is high, and there are many men in this industry.’ When I was in high school, my cousin who was doing game art told me this. I thought, ‘Wow! Double dip with what I love and have a career in it?!’ So I applied for the college entrance examination. When choosing a major, I decisively chose computer programming. “

“Looking back at this moment, it seems that I didn’t get either of these. Haha, I’m kidding. At least the high salary is real. Since my first job as a Cocos programmer, the compensation has been good. “

After engaging in game development for several years and successively developing different game genres, including chess, card, SLG, parkour, racing, and others, Kristine left her high salary and her well-trained team to start a new adventure. She chose to go to graduate school.

“During graduate school, I learned different knowledge including vision, algorithms, AI, intelligence, etc., which was very helpful for my later work. Two years of graduate experience has made me a lot of gains. The biggest experience is that probably my skills were a bit poor than I thought.”

“Because the artificial intelligence college is next door, our two colleges have many cross-cutting courses. There are many doctors in that college, and their entire knowledge structure was so good. Compared with them, I still had a huge gap.”

Perhaps this mentality of pursuing better and becoming a more powerful person has promoted the continuous growth that reignited her push in the industry and allows us to have an excellent, self-disciplined, and exciting evangelist. She has rich project experience and loves to study technology. To free up more learning time for herself, she moved from her home with 40 minutes of commuting time to a place with only 5 minutes commuting time, even though the rent has doubled!

Know more so I can grow faster for the team

In addition to focusing on technology, Kristine began to turn to management. As the director, she is leading a team of more than ten people.

“I was very worried at the beginning. After I took on management, I was afraid that the technology side of me would be left behind, and the work would eliminate my time for it. But after being in management for a while, I found that this was not the case. When I was a programmer, I just needed to solve my own problems. The management team needs to solve the problems of the entire team now. I need to know more and grow faster. It seems that suddenly, my mind opened a lot more. “

Now, as the evangelist director at Cocos, Kristine and her team has built a system from scratch that lets them do live broadcasts, give tutorials, offline speeches, go to various parts of the country to develop and exchange technologies, and help game developers solve problems and advance their projects online. After just joining Cocos for more than half a year, Kristine has made outstanding results. 

 Kristine preparing for an offline event
Kristine preparing for an offline event

Speak with practical ability, don’t worry about gender

You may not tell by just looking at the picture, but Kristine is a very petite girl. Some worry she needs protection. But anyone who has seen and talked with her will find that her small body has a lot of energy and real determination.

Kristine paragliding in Cappadocia, Turkey
Kristine paragliding in Cappadocia, Turkey
Kristine in Sipadan, Malaysia
Kristine in Sipadan, Malaysia

When we asked her, “It’s said that the proportion of women programing in the Chinese game industry is only 8%. Are female programs generally regarded as the not favored for job opportunities?” Kristine cringed, but laughed saying, “These are all stereotypes.”

“During my college and graduate studies, the proportion of women in our class was more than 30%. Now the ratio of men to women in computer departments in many colleges and universities has reached 1:1. Many companies I visited recently have almost reached this ratio. The gender ratio of men and women in this profession is not as unbalanced as it used to be. “

Kristine in Turkey and Japan
Kristine in Turkey and Japan

In addition, everyone speaks with actual abilities, not gender, age, and other factors.

“It’s not because you are a girl, you’ll be assigned a particularly small and easy job. All tasks are assigned according to your abilities. If you are competent, you will also have opportunities for promotion and salary increases. “

I’m of higher value if I don’t stick to my younger self

There are several leaps in the programmer’s growth path: Graduating, becoming a skilled worker, accumulating project experience that nothing is a problem, and so on. But in the future, learning to look at issues from the bottom up and then jumping out of the game engine and going to the source itself becomes a more significant challenge.

“Only skilled workers who do one thing repeatedly will be afraid of them being the first let go at a company when they hit the 35-year-old threshold, and the company starts to look for cheaper, younger talent. “

“But technology is a vast ocean, and the speed of new technology is fast. You may not be able to understand the existing technology at any age fully, so it does not matter how old you are. If you don’t want to be eliminated, you must keep learning. It is not a passive information industry. Enter the industry small, but keep thinking and study. “

On the day that Kathrine interviewed her eldest cousin, she had just been to the library studying. She had moments of anxiety at that time, but now she looks confident and aggressive.

“For example, when I was in the fishing project team before, I was apprehensive that this is the peak of my position and salary. I hope that my highest achievement will keep coming. Of course, in the back of my mind, I thought one day I would be eliminated. Replaced by a newcomer, but I hope I can push that day a bit more. “

If you don’t want to be anxious, you can only continue to grow. What is growth? Growth is self-improvement. On the one hand, it is your ability, and on the other hand, it is your social recognition of you. In the end, your position and salary can be improved as you grow. Many people have misunderstandings about growth and feel that growth is a matter of course as the number of years of work increases. This is a misunderstanding.

Staying in the same position and repeating the work of moving bricks cannot achieve significant growth. Moving bricks for five years is still just brick moving. No matter how you can design a skyscraper, you can only continue to enjoy the work if you challenge yourself to grow correctly.

Kristine Doing Her Incredible Job

“I want to race against time, hoping that my growth can pass the time, so aging or getting older is not so fearful for me, and I even feel pleased because I am worth more than the younger me. “ – Kristine

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