Tony Tam’s Life’s Work: Sprint 1

tony tam life's mission

I believe computer science should be taught as a core skill, much like math and English. Not all children will grow up to pursue computer science, but I believe that all children should be exposed to computer programming because it is a skill that will help them increase their impact in whatever they career path they choose.

Impactful Engineer is the first step I’m taking towards my life’s work. After reading Amber Rae’s article on 8 signs you’ve found your life’s work to ensure that I am on the right path, I am more convinced than ever that this is the right first step towards being able to teach children computer science.

Software engineers like to refer to the “end state”. What does the end state look like for me? What is my endgame? Where is this all leading to?

Rather than answer the very difficult question of what my life will look like 20 to 30 years from now, I will borrow from my software engineering experience to validate this first step.

Software engineers like to experiment with different projects, learn from these projects, and create new iterations. We call this agile software development. Borrowing from agile software development, I’m calling Impactful Engineer “Sprint #1”.

In Sprint #1, this is what I plan to achieve in six months:

  • Acquire permission from my employer to work on Impactful Engineer in my personal time.
    • Working with Legal
  • Publish at least three interviews with software engineers who have made a significant impact on their industry
    • Herri Gunawan – done
    • Rick H. – done
    • Tenni
    • Lyn C.  – done
  • Talk to at least 20 people about Impactful Engineer in order to gather feedback for Sprint #2 and plan for the next six months
  • Figure out a gift I can send to the interviewees that is not priced (a stylized drawing of them that I can use for published articles)
  • DONE Build out an editorial team to help me with what my weaknesses are, with editing and proofreading. (Hunter, Cate, Robin)

Sprint #1 Progress

I will be recording my progress over the next six months on this page. For the sake of privacy, I will be using initials when referring to people.

  • I have talked with JC, KC, CT, KT, JH, RH, RB, HG, GD, RP, HS, BB, BB, AH, MT, Charu Sharma, ZY, CP, RH, AW, JC, CT, AW
  • I have sign up Cate T, Hunter S. and Robin P. on my editorial team
  • I have paid for the first iteration of the website content, $25 to Cate T., Editor at large
  • Herri G. has filled out answers to all the questions
  • I’m waiting for Tenni to schedule
  • Rick H has finish the audio interview
  • Lyn has finished the audio interview
  • I have reached out to 25 women in tech who are not my first connections on LinkedIn and gotten 4 new connections


I’m using Trello to track my status on a kanban board

See Also