Apps, websites, and tools used by one soon-to-be software engineer

Photo by Rob Hampson on Unsplash

I recently saw this post by Charlotte Grysolle about her “Life Tech Stack,” and while I can’t rewrite history to make it so that I came up with that adorable title first, I can share the technologies that make my own life more productive and enjoyable.



I’ve only recently hopped on the Notion train for personal use, but it’s easy to see why Notion is so popular. Notion is a highly customizable application that can be used for anything from project management to journaling.

I personally love the clean design and the convenience of being able to create templates to…

Find your next tech microhabit.

I’m using this picture as a metaphor. Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

As someone who was once a walking train wreck and has managed to reel myself in to become only a dumpster fire thanks to the power of microhabits, I’m a staunch supporter of finding little ways to improve yourself.

Self-improvement doesn’t always come easily to me, and sometimes I need that external validation of ticking off something measurable. For me, I’ve been able to achieve that through keeping count of how long I’ve been keeping up with my habits. …

A play-by-play of a semi-average day

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

A while ago, I wrote a blog detailing the breakdown of my day as a SWE intern last summer working for a company on the west coast while living on the east coast.

This summer, I’m working on a team that’s split across all time zones of the continental US, but my mentor — the person I interact with most on my team — is also on the west coast, so that much hasn’t changed. …

Because done is better than perfect, and a little is better than none.

Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

We’ve hit the halfway point in the year, and I recently just passed the 6-week mark of my 12-week internship.

This summer has been busy. On top of the 40 hours I spend on my internship each week, I took two online asynchronous summer classes which just ended last week. I’ve also been picking up new habits on top of maintaining old ones, and in general, I’m trying to figure out how to be a “real adult” because graduation isn’t too far beyond the horizon.

There’s a lot to learn during your internship, and I think one of the most…

A 3-step guide to boosting your professional profile without getting sucked into a scrolling spiral

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LinkedIn makes me tired.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve read:

I failed but got back up, and that led me to even greater success later.

It was me against the world, but I persevered and came out on top.

I won’t settle for a job just for money. I want work-life balance, too.

I mean, real posts are usually (but not always) phrased a little better that what I wrote above, but a lot of LinkedIn posts can be boiled down to short summaries like these. Don’t get me wrong. …

And why I’m taking it.

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I had a coffee chat recently with an alum from my university. As I asked her questions about life after college, our conversation circled back to our school.

UNC, as I’m sure many other schools do, has a rampant hustle culture. Throughout my past three years at UNC, outside of my academic work for my double major and minor, I’ve been on the executive boards of five computer science clubs, volunteered with a sixth, and participated in a seventh. I’ve also been a computer science undergraduate teaching assistant and a CS student ambassador. …

Lessons learned over the summers about working in tech, confidence, and how to make the most of an internship

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

“The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination.”

Fred Brooks

This quote was written on one of the first slides in my Intro to Programming class. I remember it vividly, partially because this quote has had a huge impact on shaping my view of computer science, but also because it wasn’t all that long ago when I first heard it.

I’d never written a line of code prior to college, and although it feels like a lifetime has passed since my…

Because yes, even programmers have to talk to people.

Photo by AltumCode on Unsplash

Computer science — and software engineering, in particular — has long been thought of as the ideal field for introverts. After all, unless you’re a character on NCIS, writing code is something you mostly do by yourself.

As it turns out, actually working in tech or even just studying computer science as a student requires collaborating with others. Even being a developer isn’t a completely introvert-safe job.

Why do CS students have to talk to people?

Well, I guess as a student, you don’t have to. You can technically make it all the way through your degree with minimum interactions other than emailing your professors from time to time…

These mottos from Facebook, Microsoft, and Google are integral parts of my expectations for the workplace.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

I don’t think I need to convince you that technology has radically transformed the workplace over the last few decades, even just the last few years. In a world where we’re constantly reachable by technology, work-life balance is a critical aspect to consider.

I’m still very much figuring out this work-life balance thing for myself, but one thing that I do know is that work will never be the main part of my life, and I know I’m not alone there. …

An easy way to keep track of deadlines, contacts, and more.

Overview of what your Trello board might look like.

Summer is here. Whether you’re taking on an internship, doing research, taking some classes, or just chilling, you might have to think about applying again in the future.

Internship applications often operate on a cycle with the majority of roles being offered for the summer. The biggest recruiting period tends to be in the late summer and early fall for the following year, so now that it’s almost June, recruiting season’s not too far around the corner.

Internship applications are a numbers game. You probably won’t hear back from the vast majority of companies — not necessarily because you’re a…

Lindsay Zhou

Tech enthusiast. Hobbyist writer. Lover of languages. Building cool tech, art, and worlds from nothing but air and ideas. (Ok, and a laptop.) She/her.

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