RoadTrip Nation
For Zoed Mora, the choice to pursue computer science has been met with skepticism. He’s the type of guy you’d find in a motorcycle garage working on his bike, yet he feels equally at home coding on his computer without feeling the need to fit into a “geeky” stereotype. People tend to question whether someone who looks like him would be interested in such techy pursuits, but he’s determined to prove that someone’s appearance has nothing to do with their passions, goals, and abilities. As the father of a three-year-old son, he made a lot of sacrifices to put himself through community college and earned his way into the computer science program at California State University, Long Beach. Going into the “Code Trip,” his hopes were that he’d find an equally appealing and lucrative career field—his main goal has always been to build a more comfortable life for his son. But while he gained exposure to countless areas of computer science, and talked to some of the most impressive names in the business (among them, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella), the biggest takeaway for Zoed was, “Don’t be afraid of failure.” As a result, he recently passed over a few tepid summer internship opportunities that didn’t feel like the right fit, and chose to instead spend his summer building web applications from scratch, teaching himself new skills and languages, and adding passion projects to his coding portfolio. Zoed continues to expand upon his knowledge about the software engineering process today: he’s currently in the process of creating his first Android application.