Turning a hobby into a career

Xiaoyi portrait (1)Xiaoyi C. was a photo journalist for his university’s newspaper. Little did he know that his love for photography will eventually lead him to a role on the Photoshop team in Adobe China. He shares his career journey in an interview with Adobe Life here.

Adobe Life: Why photography as a hobby?

Xiaoyi: In university, I spent any additional time outside the library capturing life on campus for the university’s newspaper. Ever since then, photography has played a huge role in my life. It’s a passion of mine, just like so many other Adobe employees I’ve met.

Adobe Life: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

Xiaoyi: My first degree was in thermal engineering. I then decided to pursue software engineering because I was extremely curious about the potential of leveraging thermal engineering for software engineering.

Adobe Life: What made you decide on a career with Adobe?

Xiaoyi: I saw an internship opportunity advertised at university. I could not pass that up. As an avid photographer and Photoshop user, I noticed that a list of names pop up whenever I open up Photoshop. I later discovered that those were names of Adobe employees who worked on the product. I’d surely like my name listed some day and that inspired me to apply for the position (Xiaoyi smiles).

Adobe Life: What are you currently working on?

Xiaoyi: I’m focused on running test cases on all the latest features of Photoshop, including cool functions like Shake Reduction. I spend a considerable amount of time on pre-release forums to get feedback from end users on the features they’d like to see in Photoshop, and then come up with ideas to improve user experiences.

Adobe Life: What do you enjoy most about your job?

Xiaoyi: I love the challenge of tackling a bug and finding its root cause. As a quality engineer, you might not necessarily get access to core code at the early stages, so it motivates me to keep on studying new developments to solve these issues. I love the sense of achievement when you’re able to resolve complicated issues.

Adobe Life: Do you have any words of wisdom for those considering a career on the Photoshop team or with Adobe in general?

Xiaoyi: Interest is the best teacher. As you know, photography has played a very important role in my life, and now in my daily work. When I work on issues, I always look at it from an end user’s perspective because I’m a user of the product as well. What would I like as a photographer? How can I improve the experience for photographers around the globe? My interest in photography makes it so much easier for me to understand how features should be designed and helps me preempt potential problems. I think that’s been my secret weapon in delivering outstanding work.