PhD Student/Software Development Manager
Wu Zheng
Employer: UT Austin/IBM

Position description:
At IBM, I manage software development and software engineers. I work with executives and other teams on my project, such as the marketing term, the testing team, the translation team, and the documentation writing team to make a plan developing and testing the software. The plan includes the functions of software, the people working on it, and the quality it has to meet. We have weekly meetings to verify if we are on schedule and if the plan needs to be adjusted.

I work with customers to collect their input and send engineers to resolve problems. When engineers have disagreements with other teams or do not have the things they need to do their job, the manager has to be involved. I also do hiring and layoff.

Photo: Wu Zheng
How They Got There
star

Undergrad degree:  BA Physics and BS Computer Science

Changing majors:  I started with Physics becasue my parents are physicists and I am good with physics. I switched to computer science because I needed a job after graduation. I worked for high tech companies for 18 years becasue of my computer science degree. I decided to start my PhD in Public Affairs because I want to understand where the world is going.

Graduate degree:  MS in Computer Science. PhD in Public Affairs (work in progress).

College to career:  My engineering degree landed me a job at National Instrument Corp. It is a great company, and I worked there for 5 years. I went to IBM to work on an operating system after that. IBM sent me to many leadership training programs, I would say I am made by IBM. After working at IBM for 13 years with 3 different groups, I decided to start my PhD study in Public Affairs.

Career influences:  I recommend speaking with mentors who accomplished things that you are trying to do. They will tell you how to get there and help you get there. Listen to the mentors, but it's still your own decision.

The Ups and Downs
star
PhD study:
  • Able to read a lot which I did not have time to do before.
  • Have chances to listen to many distinguished speakers.
  • Have discussion with brilliant professors.
  • Long hours.
IBM job:
  • Long hours.
  • Able to help people and make a difference.


Interested in This Career?
star