PickTrace is proud to be a team of diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and interests. Each week we highlight members of our team to learn about what makes them, and PickTrace, unique.

Get to know PickTrace Software Engineer, Timo Chen!


How would you describe your role to a toddler?

  • I was actually trying to explain this to my 9 year old cousin the other day and it was so hard!
  • Basically, I’m coding human logic in a very dumb way so computers can understand what I’m trying to do.
  • There are complicated problems that humans have and we dumb them down to a simpler english and that gets translated into zeros and ones for computers

    What’s a favorite memory from working at PickTrace

    • I have a lot actually!
    • One of them is eating with [fellow engineers] Chai and Kumar – we had coworking sessions in San Ramon and Berkeley and we went to an Indian restaurant and they taught me about their culture and the food. It’s such a small moment but really memorable
    • Of course all the offsites – whale watching, Fairfield Farms, 2023 kick-off in San Diego

    When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

    • Oh – not software engineering! That didn’t even cross my mind until college. None of my family members are engineers, they’re all business people, so my head has been in the business space the whole time
    • I did think about being a dentist, then a doctor
    • I also wanted to be a violinist for a little bit, but then I realized I don’t have the musicality so it’s just a hobby

    What was your first-ever job?

    • Counting electronic components and stocking at an electronics components company
    • They have a lot of electronic components that need to get packaged – I’d be counting by the thousands, packaging it up using a heat gun to seal, and palletizing boxes of components
    • It was fun, I learned a lot about international trading

    What are your hobbies? / How do you like to spend time when you’re not at work?

    • I have a set schedule – It’s just five things
      1. I wake up, I go straight to work (I don’t eat breakfast), 
      2. when I’m done with work – straight to workouts
      3. Then I chill/ read
      4. After that I do a lot of circuit stuff (electrical engineering) 
      5. Finally, more coding, personal projects – reading coding books (shoutout to LaRose for the book I’m reading now)
    • This schedule is a work in progress -If i don’t keep myself busy I go crazy

    What’s the best advice you’ve ever received – or do you have a mantra you live by?

    • The first thing, the core thing, is give more than you receive and don’t worry about whether it will come back or not. 
    • And just smile – that’s from my Grandma.  I have so many wrinkles because I smile so much

    If you were a fruit or vegetable what would you be and why?

    • Mango – because I’m nice and chill but also a troll so it can either be really sweet or really sour. Depends on your luck.




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