In 2013, Jessica Mong arrived in the Bay Area with $100 in her pocket and a desire to enter the field of software engineering. Fast forward two years, and Jessica is now a software engineer with SurveyMonkey, a tech company that creates and designs custom online surveys. Jessica works on the billing side, writing code to ensure that customers can access and pay for surveys.

Growing up in Nigeria, Jessica excelled at science and math.  She received a scholarship to attend college in the United States at Claflin University in South Carolina to study computer engineering. When she started applying for software engineering jobs, she realized she lacked hands-on software engineering experience.

She made the decision to attend Hackbright Academy, a software engineering school for women in San Francisco. Not only was she able to broaden her programming skillset, but she was able to make connections with other people in her field.

“I don’t know where I’d be without mentors who supported me,” says Jessica.

Her advice to others interested in becoming a software engineer? Build a network and don’t get discouraged.

“If you love it, stick with it,” says Jessica.

Career Spotlight: Software Engineer 13 July,2016Derek Lartaud


Derek Lartaud

Derek Lartaud came to the Bay Area after nearly five years of researching schizophrenia and diabetes at Yale University. Determined to tell visual stories, he’s worked for the BBC, Al Jazeera America, TIME, PBS, and the Center for Investigative Reporting. He has a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and a master’s degree in journalism. When not holding a camera or editing a story, he’s trying to rebuild his 1969 Honda CL350.

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