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Alexander Figueroa, BENG '14

Electrical & Biomedical Engineering | Developing a profile at Facebook

Some jobs make it easy to show off your successes. Alex Figueroa has one of them.

“My favourite part about iOS development, especially at Facebook, is seeing how many people are impacted by my code,” he says. “I love showing the app to my family and friends and saying, I built that.’”

The 2014 Electrical and Biomedical Engineering grad didn’t originally see himself working in software development but an internship with BlackBerry exposed him to app development and convinced him to pivot his goal to be an iOS engineer.

He launched his career working in software development for Toronto-based companies Wealthsimple and Wattpad.

At the social media platform Wattpad, he built a software library called Schematic to improve the process of building iOS User Interfaces. It is now open-sourced and heavily used in the main app, he says.

With about five years of experience as preparation, Figueroa moved to San Francisco to join Facebook’s iOS team.

“Startups prepare you for wearing many hats and working fast under pressure,” he says. “Facebook operates the same way but at a larger scale in both company and user size.”

He says he enjoys working in the challenging world of software development, where every day brings a new problem to solve.

Figueroa urges students to seek out internships and take part in hackathons and conferences, to gain an understanding of the industry.

“Also focus on improving your writing,” he says. “As you try to become a more senior engineer, you'll realize that your problems are less about engineering and more about communication. Being able to write in a way that communicates your ideas to others can at times be as important as your actual coding.”