Song Bo, Zijingang Campus, June 2013

My name is Bo Song (宋博). “博” means erudite and doctor in Chinese, so my friends used to say that I was born to be a doctor. However, I am a master student rather than a Ph.D. 🙂

I am currently a Software Engineer at Google. Before that, I received my Master degree of Computer Science student at Yale and my bachelor degree at Zhejiang University (ZJU).

Click here to see my stories at ZJU.

I was nominated for an one-year exchange program at the University of Hong Kong during the academic year 2013-2014 where I met many new friends from all over the world and listened to their ideas and opinions. Click here to see my stories at Hong Kong.

(Taken by Yifan Xue, this photo is always set as my profile photo in my social-media accounts. This is another profile photo of mine I also liked very much.)

My mom held me when I was about 5 years old.

My mom and I, Meihekou, 1997

I was born in July 1992 at Meihekou, a small town in the northeast of China. When I was a child, all the knowledge about computer I learned was from my father, who was a complete digital fan. My father bought the first 386 computer in my family that I began to fiddle with. Gradually, I learned how to type characters and read newspapers online. However, the Internet was not that popular in China and only a few websites were available at that time.

My experience with coding starts in 2008 when I opened a VBS file during the prime stages of Windows XP. The file was a prankster. It shut down my computer because I refused to enter ‘I am a pig‘. This fun incident ignited my interest in coding and I began to learn VBS on my own. Modifying and sending the file to my friends, I became the center of discussions after they each received a strange file and their computers were shut down since they refused to enter ‘I love song bo‘.

Though interested in computer skills, I didn’t receive any training programs in computer science in my high school. Neither did I know there was another way, winning the National Olympiad in Informatics in Provinces (NOIP), to enter university apart from taking the fierce university entrance exam in China. Nevertheless, I was trained comprehensively for all subjects in high school and shared memorable days with my classmates preparing for the exam. I can hardly find another scenario in my life where scores of my friends all struggle for a same goal for nearly three years.

Luckily, I ranked the 133th in the university entrance exam among one hundred and sixty thousand examinees in Jilin Province in 2011. However, my scores couldn’t open the door of Peking University or Tsinghua University for me, let alone the University of Hong Kong, which is one of the top universities in Asia. The year 2011 has witnessed the bloom of estate in China. Providing lucrative job opportunities after graduation, Architecture became the most popular speciality when I was entangled with choosing my major and university. Frankly, I was not clear which subject I really like and to which field I can devote my whole life. However I believed firmly that I should study what I love, rather than sacrifice my interests for the sake of earning more.

In fact, life is always a compromise between idealism and practicalism.

Fascinated by the charming scenery of Hangzhou and the good reputation of Zhejiang University, I entered ZJU in the Fall of 2011. Students in ZJU do not need to bother with choosing their majors in the first year. Therefore, I have more time to take courses offered by various departments and choose the major I really like.

(Read more stories of mine at Zhejiang University.)