The "Senior" Junior Engineer

Access and opportunity; Educational equity, frugality, and financial independence w/ Juan Carlos @ Apple

March 15, 2021 Season 1 Episode 14
The "Senior" Junior Engineer
Access and opportunity; Educational equity, frugality, and financial independence w/ Juan Carlos @ Apple
Show Notes


This week I got the chance to interview a long-time friend, Techie, and designer Juan Carlos. Hailing from the great state of Nebraska, Juan graduated from Creighton University in 2017 with his Bachelors in CS, before moving out to the Bay area to "grab a slice of the tech industry" and begin his career as a Software Engineer at GE. Following GE, Juan moved to Apple and has since landed the title of Lead UI Engineer. Juan currently works remotely from his hometown of Omaha while keeping himself very busy with his many side hustles and projects. 

In this episode, we dig deep into how educational inequity, income inequality, and privilege impacts access to and within the tech industry. We dive into frugal living, and how to chart a path toward "retiring early". 


  • Making the transition from fine arts to CS
  • What it's like moving from the midwest out to Silicon Valley
  • Tech and startup culture, how to navigate it without losing your mind
  • Navigating the pressure and imposture syndrome as a new dev at a tech giant

"It is up to us as developers to share the process we took to get into this industry"

  • The importance of education - specifically CS & Technology 
    • How to leverage exp. in the tech space to impact low-income, marginalized communities.
    • Being the person that says "You can do this" is the gateway for people who might not even know that this career path is an opportunity they can pursue.

"Life is more than just working and earning money."

  • Living off your investments by living frugally and sticking to a plan.
    • It's not about getting rich quick schemes, it's about intentionality
  • The Fire movement (Financial Independence Retire Early) - you have enough money in investments that you can live off these investments
  • How the experience as a software engineer has influenced his approach to saving and investing
  • How to balance all of competing priorities as a leader, entrepreneur, mentor/coach

Three biggest takeaways

  1. These things (tech, code, etc.) are built by people who are no smarter than you are. you are good enough, you'll figure it out.
  2. Read a lot more! Documentation, code, supplementary resources. Don't beat yourself up.
  3. beware of the hustle culture, burnout is real. The late nights and the "grind". Take care of yourself.


Juan Carlos — Twitter, Github, Linkedin, Website, Youtube

Andrew Locke — Twitter, GitHub, LinkedIn, Medium