Spotlight: Kaiying Liao

by Hfbtech

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In honor of International Women’s Day we decided to interview backend developer, Kaiying Liao, for this week’s team member spotlight!


Q: Where did you go to school?

A: MIT, B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering and a M.Eng in Computer Science

Q: What is your position at RapidSOS?

A:  Backend Developer

Q: Why did you want to work at RapidSOS?

A: The idea sounded really interesting. I was getting a lot of recruiters talking to me from the Bay Area about some ideas that I didn’t think were as interesting or as useful as what RapidSOS wanted to do. I think RapidSOS has the best mission and it felt like something I could be proud to tell everyone I was working on.

Q: Have you faced any challenges as a woman in tech?

A: At RapidSOS I haven’t really seen too many challenges. It’s mostly just hard to get candidates that are female. In fact, over the course of my year here we have only seen 2 female tech candidates. At RapidSOS we are working hard to diversify the team and I don’t ever feel like I am left out of anything. But at other companies I have heard that it is a huge problem.

Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: I like programming a lot! After I got my Masters, I had the option to either stay at school for another semester or look for a full-time job. I decided to come to RapidSOS because I figured I would learn a lot more at a faster pace. There is a lot to learn in terms of how to build a really robust and reliable backend system. As a student you only see parts of things, but when you are in a company this small you have to look at all the parts and there is a lot of learning that goes into that.

Q: Outside of RapidSOS, what is the most interesting project you have ever worked on?

A: I interned for a month at Hadron Industries and I got to work with their 3D in-air gesture computer interfaces to detect intentional user mode switching. The interface was actually based on what was used in the movie, Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise. We worked with a real life system where you put on gloves and interacted with a bunch of different monitors.

Q: Do you have any advice for young girls who are interested in tech?

A: It’s really important to keep in mind that there are people who will say, “this is too difficult for a girl to do.” Ignore this! Girls should never get the impression that only boys can go into this field. 


Happy International Women’s Day to all the women who are helping make RapidSOS a reality!