Alumni Interview: Hyangelo Hao

Hyangelo HaoIn our first ever interview, we talk to Hyangelo Hao, Computer Science graduate from 2008. Hyangelo currently works from Florida.

Where are you working now?
I’m currently working at MICROS Systems Inc. We’re the world leader in software solutions for the hospitality industry. Specifically, I am working at their wholly owned subsidiary, Fidelio Technologies located at sunny Naples, Florida. Our primary product, Opera, is being used at over 18,000 hotels worldwide including big name chains like Hilton, Shangri-la, and MGM.

What you do at your job?
I am a Software Engineer. My job includes design and implementation of the next generation version of Opera which will leverage Web 2.0 technologies.

What types of tech are you’re handling?
Generally, my work involves the J2EE stack. We are using Oracle’s Application Development Framework (Oracle ADF). It is a J2EE top-to-bottom MVC framework featuring a robust ORM-enabled model layer, a page-flow based controller and a RIA type of view technology using JSF and AJAX.

I am also in charge of building in Javascript-based client functionality that our chosen framework does not offer. At the moment, I am working on an SVG-based site map module that is built using RaphaelJS and jQuery. This provides new user interfaces to the old business logic.

That’s outstanding. What other work have you done?
Prior to my current company, I have also been working on a Comet/Reverse Ajax application as well as an network-enabled Android application.

How did the Ateneo education prepare you for your work?
I owe a lot of my current success to the strong computer science fundamentals at Ateneo. While it is still true that college does not really cover half of what one needs to know in a real world IT job, having a good grasp of basic principles helps tremendously.

For instance, the analytical ability I gained from Discrete Math, DSAlgo, and Prog I & II gave me the capability to understand complex business logic. The hours of rigorous programming I experienced under Sheila deserves special mention. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important in this industry than good programming skills.

What advice you’d give to our students today?
Learn to love what we do. Do not look at the complex algorithms in DSAlgo or the programming exercises we write as just another hurdle to get a passing grade.

Grades do matter, but not by much. I got my first job because I had the ability and the drive to learn new things. With this in mind, do not make the mistake of approaching your studies as a linear path to getting a diploma. It is neither a sprint nor a marathon. In fact, it is not a race to the finish line at all. It is exploration.

By this, I mean read up on stuff that the curriculum does not cover. Try technologies that aren’t being required in your subject. Explore and experiment. Why? Because no matter how comprehensive the course outline is, it is still just the tip of the iceberg.

Thanks for the time and the insights!
You’re welcome!