🍨 The Inside Scoop — Tania Udomsri🇹🇭
Get to know your mentors: Tania Udomsri
Welcome to ADPList’s mentor interview series 🎉
My hope is that these interviews will serve as a useful resource for mentees who are looking and getting to know their mentors on our platform 💬
- The amazing design mentor: Tania Udomsri
- Favorite Emoji: 😆
- Pet Lover: My dog — Ringo
- Current favorite song: Ed Sheeran — Photograph
- Currently binge-watching: Series: (Goblin) Guardian: The Lonely and Great God
- Current favorite movie(s): Fear street trilogy
👋 Hi Tania, can you share a little bit about yourself?
My name is Tania. I’m currently a senior design technologies at Amazon. So these are technologies that might be new for someone but some other company calls it UX engineer as well and I have a very diverse background. My undergrad was in Chemical engineering and I have two master’s degrees, one in industrial engineering and another one in computer science. Before joining Amazon my first job was as a web development engineer at a small agency in Australia.
2: Tell me something that would never come up in conversation.
I’m a big fan of horror movies and I love playing horror games. However, some games are too scary and I don’t have the guts to play some of the scary games by myself. So I spend time watching other people like streamers on YouTube rather than playing games by myself.
3: What was the pandemic hobby that you picked up?
I always love to do outdoor activities, especially hiking and because of the pandemic not much I could do, I’ve been hiking much more than usual. I got to spend more time with Ringo, my 6 years old Corgi as well. I took all the places I could. Rain, shine, or snow never bothered him.
4: What kind of impact are you making in the world using your design skills?
My passion is to make everyone’s life easier using technology. For example, this is the reason that I have joined the Alexa team at Amazon, so people can use technology and also help their life easier by using their voice.
One example is, when they wake up, they just say, Alexa, good morning, and then Alexa will do everything for you. Like turning off the heaters, opening the blinds, making coffee, etc.
5: What kind of mentorship do you wish to provide and why?
I wish to provide a long-term relationship with mentees. So I could see them through all the steps of their process. Like becoming a UX designer and growing into their careers. And yeah, I love seeing people going from students getting their first job and then growing to the next step in their career.
6: Tell me about a time when you didn’t know if you would make it and how you overcame it.
I think it is back to the time when I was doing my master’s degree in computer science in Australia. So I took a computer science master’s degree without any computer science background because my background was in other engineering.
I needed to work harder than others in terms of studying and also I had to work overtime as well. My family can only support me for the student fee so I need to do part-time jobs so I can find my cost of living.
I think looking back at that time. I remember having two or three coffees a day and Red Bull is my best friend. I only have like a few hours of sleeping and I never go out to hang out with my friends. I needed to work during the day and then study at night. And yeah, I’m so proud of myself, looking back at that time.
7: What are the three most common questions you get as a mentor, and how do you usually answer them?
The first one, obviously: What is a UX engineer? Yeah, I would say 80% of mentees that booked a call with me. I told them, basically what UX engineering is like, I think the short answer here will be like UX engineer is the bridge between UX designers and front end engineers. So it is the role to fill the gap of what is missing from UX designers and what is missing from front-end engineers.
The next one is, this is also related to how they can become a UX engineer? Then I asked them what their background was. The reason is that there are no university courses, no boot camps that can teach you to become a UX engineer. There’s no course to teach you to be in this role and most of the time, people are from either side. They can be from a UX designer or they can be from a software engineer. So I give them advice based on where they’re coming from. If they are coming from UX designers, I will give them advice that they need to learn how to code and if they are from a software engineer, I advise them to learn how to design.
The last question I got is: can I critique their portfolio/resume? But most of the time when I am seeing their portfolio or their resume, they really did a great job.
I think there are lots of examples of good resumes, and a good portfolio is out there. So what I’m doing is from the standpoint of myself, or especially from Amazon’s point of view.
I’m looking for someone’s resume. What do I think about that? My quick feedback for them is don’t put everything in your resume. Try to optimize your portfolio. Think about the person who is going to read your resume or your portfolio and that they would have many more to read.
For me, I will just spend one-minute reading through your resume so just try to put the top things that you want to put on. Don’t put all the details and your resume should be limited to one page. I would give myself two minutes for each project to read to your portfolio so try to be precise and try to be optimized as well. That is like one of my top feedback to them.
8: If there is one thing you could tell every single mentee you meet, what would that one piece of advice be?
For mentees who want to transition, especially transition from UX designer to UX engineer or either, Most of the time, I see they are still holding back from trying because they are not sure what will happen. They do not know what is coming, I like to suggest they have nothing to lose if you don’t like it or if you finally find out the job is not suitable for you, you can always come back to your previous role. Back to your comfort zone again, so there’s nothing wrong with that.
Also, please be kind to others. So, I will say that for the junior UX designer, you are so lucky to have something like an ADPList. Or you have technologists who help you to find a mentor to help you.
So, I would also say please remember to be kind to other people, to your mentors. Respect their time. They spend time talking with you, and you can pay them back by writing a review for them. And then in the future, when you are progressing in your career, you can be kind to others by giving back to the community by being a mentor.
9. How was life working in the Amazon office?
One thing I love about Amazon is that everyone can take their dogs to work, and I really enjoy the environment like seeing dogs around me and I can bring Ringo, my dog, to work with me. He enjoys being in the center of attention. Because he is a cute Corgi, and he knows that he is cute.
He kind of knows that he will get a lot of attention because he’s cute and he loves to beg for treats from others.
He knows how to act with different people as well. Like oh, this person loves me, and then he won’t care about you. Because he already knows that he already got you. But, if you don’t like him then he will try to steal your heart until you fall for him.