East West

Last year, in 2017, software engineer Hui Min Wu’s parents were reluctant to send her to South Florida Regionals, even though she was a part of the Chairman’s team. This is where Jeanne steps in. Jeanne wrote a letter herself and got it translated into Chinese by her coworker, asking Hui Min’s parents to let Hui Min go to South Florida. Hui Min Wu, now Vice President of Software Engineering, says that “had it not been for Jeanne to take that extra step and write to my parents, we may have never won Chairman’s, I would’ve never led Mobility Missionaries (a group of people who help struggling teams write auton code during competitions), and I probably wouldn’t have become Vice President.” 

Jeanne has dedicated herself to our team since 2010, the first year Java was available as a programming language for FRC teams. Being a professional Java developer in the banking industry, she has given multiple presentations on Java at several places (find name of places). She has even written three books on Java, in which she has mentioned 694 in all of them. Her experience has enabled her to communicate effectively among our team members, and teach our software engineers Java/SE concepts such as version control, unit testing, build path problems, and software debugging practices. As software engineering student Bryan Lai says, “Jeanne is very knowledgeable. Whenever there’s a problem, she always knows how to fix it”. 

Jeanne’s ability to make all of our shy and inexperienced newbies become independent, hardworking software engineers comes from her patience and friendliness. “I remember writing auton routines with her my freshman year and I knew nothing. Jeanne guided me step by step to write the auton, without having to write a line of code herself, or explicitly telling me what to write. Jeanne is extremely patient when working with everyone and makes sure we truly understand what we do. Because of this, many of them learn Java in a month (while in school it takes a year)” says Hui Min Wu. 

Aside from teaching us Java, Jeanne also supports us on a personal level. She talks to her students, and listens to their interests. She reaches out to them, and helps them get things like internships. Hui Min is interested in robotics, but also cybersecurity. Even though Jeanne doesn’t work in cybersecurity, she has shared internship opportunities to Hui Min, which as Hui Min says, “encourages me to pursue this field even more”.

Jeanne’s involvement with FIRST goes beyond our team as well. She has co-founded/co-run FIRST robotics’ presence at World Maker Faire, has volunteered at the NYC regional, and has been a judge for several FLL competitions. Not only has she encouraged more female students to join FIRST and recruited new students to rookie teams, but has even assisted team Steel Hawks when hearing that they did not have a programming mentor. 

Jeanne’s reason staying dedicated to our team and FIRST can be described as this: “seeing that growth in students because it shows that FIRST is working. The students are actually learning and becoming stronger individuals”.