The A Team: Tracy Nguyen
Meet an Asymmetrik Software Engineer
Mar 25, 2020
When Software Engineer Tracy Nguyen looks at the world, what he sees are infinite possibilities. From his point of view, “if you think about it, almost every single thing in life can be abstracted to a problem with limitless potential solutions.” Because of this, his career in software engineering is a perfect fit.
Since joining Asymmetrik last year, Tracy has worked with both our government and healthcare teams to tackle meaningful problems. He appreciates that he gets to challenge his brain while also making a positive impact on the world.
But, that’s not the only reason Tracy enjoys coming to work every day. His favorite part of working here is actually the people and the sense of community they create. He says at Asymmetrik, “people care about what they do and about each other, and I think that’s essential for good company culture”.
We’re equally happy to have Tracy on The A-Team. Read on to learn more about this multifaceted engineer!
- He’s seen the movie Her way too many times: “Since it came out in 2013, I think I’ve watched it every single year on my birthday. The premise can basically be reduced to ‘a guy falls in love with his operating system’, but it’s a beautiful treatise on modern love, loneliness, and humanity.”
- His best friend in middle school shared the same name: “I had a best friend named Traci Nguyen. From seventh to eighth grade, we went everywhere and did everything together. The last time I saw her all those years ago, she gave me one half of a pair of jade turtles. And we made a promise to each other to always remember each other through this little memento.”
- He’s a self-proclaimed homebody: “If I’m at a social gathering more than once a week, someone probably dragged me out there!” Most days, Tracy loves settling down with a good book (preferably by Stephen King or Haruki Murakami), painting, woodworking, spending a day at a cafe with his partner people watching, or playing video games.
Why Did You Decide To Pursue Software?
When I was little, my dad used to keep a bunch of disassembled computers and machines around the house. He’s done everything from being a traveling musician to combat medic in the Army to a construction contractor, and his obsession at the time was electrical engineering. So, I remember he would always be tinkering with something on his work table. I would watch him take apart a functional computer and then methodically put it back together again before turning it on to the familiar Windows logo like a magic trick, but it seemed like real magic to me.
From then on, I’ve always loved solving problems. The challenge isn’t how to solve a problem by picking the first solution that comes to mind. Rather, it’s the art of looking at the big picture, at every single factor and variable involved, and to craft a solution that is both simple and beautiful.
What has been the most influential experience in your life?
The summer I spent with my cousin and her husband in Italy when I was nearing sixteen. We lived in a quaint, comfortable house at the foot of Aviano’s Dolomites mountain range. I’ve always craved the idea of living in a town where everyone knew everyone.
This was the perfect opportunity to have a taste of that idyllic life. To wake up to the view of those towering mountains that made me realize how small we were compared to the world. To wander around the colorful, bustling market in the square full of fresh ingredients and haggling merchants. To relish in the kindness of strangers that would give me free gelatos and cheeses in exchange for my curiosity.
Since then, everything I’ve done has been in the context of that idea of happiness. No, not the destination of a town in Italy, but rather the idea of a simple existence. The joys of the small things in life.
Among your friends and family, what are you known for?
My really close friends would probably know me for my introspection, meta-conversation (conversation about the way that we converse and think), and being able to pull those thoughts out of them when they can’t. I deeply enjoy having conversations that explore who people are, because in the process of helping them learn more about themselves, I also learn about myself. And life is hard.
Sometimes, people just need an ear and someone to listen to them. I’m glad I could be that for my friends who have needed one at 3AM. And I hope that someday when someone asks that of them, they will also listen.