What It Takes to be a Google Software Engineer with Shirwa Mohamed
Shirwa Mohamed grew up in the East Side of Saint Paul. At an early age, he wanted to study Biology and eventually pursue Medicine. However, during his high school years at Saint Paul Central, he started taking Computer Science courses. From there on, Shirwa began coding and his hunger to change the world through Tech began.
Can you tell us the story of how you transitioned from an interest in medicine to computer science?
During my junior year of high school, I began to think about what I wanted to do after graduating. I knew I wanted to go to college, but I had no idea what I wanted to study. My parents were encouraging me to do something in the medical field so I began researching that and seeing what my options were in that field.
During this time, I decided to take the two year IB biology courses at my high school to help better prepare me for a pre-med track when I got to college. As I was taking these courses, I started to realize that it wasn’t something I was interested in, but I didn’t know better so I continued to take them.
About a year later, class registrations for senior year came around and I had to figure out what I wanted to take for an elective. Luckily the computer science teacher at our school came by my calculus course to speak about the AP Computer Science course and how it could be a good elective to take. I was immediately intrigued by it and signed up for it that same day. That class changed everything for me.
From a very young age, I had always been interested in computers and tinkering with things around the house, but never thought about turning it into a career until I took that computer science course.
Tell me about how you built your first Android App?
I had an Android phone at the time and was curious about how some of the applications on it worked. I had an idea for an app so I did a bit of research online and found the Android developer tutorials on “developer.android.com”. I learned the basics from there and just did a bunch of googling to figure out the rest while building my first app. I definitely think this is the best way to learn app development because it’s more engaging than following a lengthy tutorial and at the end of it, you’ll have built out an app that you can be proud of.
What courses did you enjoy in college and why?
Aside from my core computer science courses, I enjoyed math and physics. I also really enjoyed the literature course I took which was about stories of resistance and change. It was really fascinating and relatable to read literary works of authors who went through immense challenges in their lives and overcame them.
What do you attribute your success?
I don’t know if I would say I’m “successful”, but the little success I’ve had so far came from working hard and having a deep desire to leave a positive impact on the world.
Any advice for Future Masterminds?
Honestly, I think the best thing you could do to ensure that you become successful in whatever you do is to choose something you are passionate about. If you’re doing something because of materialistic reasons or societal pressures, you won’t be as motivated to do the extra work outside of your daily job needed to succeed. However, if you pick something you genuinely enjoy, you’ll find yourself spending time on it outside of work which will lead you to be happier and more successful. The average human spends about 1/3 of their life working so might as well be happy while you’re doing it :)
Follow Shirwa Mohamed on LinkedIn and Instagram at team_shirwa