Richard Wong: Coursera’s Chief Engineer Shares the Best Advice He Ever Got


Coursera's educational platform has over 22 million users and offers a wide range of topics, some of its courses are from top institutions and keeping the site in top shape and ready to serve it users take a lot of work. Behind all that work is Richard Wong, Coursera's head engineer.

Having spent over 20 years in the IT industry, working for the computer giant Microsoft and then joining the professional networking site, LinkedIn, Richard wanted something different. When the opportunity to join Coursera presented itself, he took it without hesitation wanting an adventure in the startup scene.

Wong also believes in empowering others and shares Coursera's mission of making education accessible to everyone.

As a child, Wong told LifeHacker, he's always been fascinated by computers. He remembers writing his first code at the age of 10 after his uncle taught him how to write some commands. After months of begging his parents, he got his first computer and the rest is history.

This fascination led him to take up a master's degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Richard is also committed to improvement and spends time in Coursera and Quora to learn about a variety of things that interests him like leadership, policy, technology and science.

A huge fan of technology, Richard says he is a fan of Apple these days, using a Macbook Pro for work, keeping a Mac Mini at home and walking around with an Apple iPhone 7 Plus and loves how everything works seamlessly. He also has an automated home and a 60, yes, 60-inch monitor on his desk at work that feeds him all the information he needs to know about the Coursera website.

In order to remain productive, he likes to keep his meetings confined with small groups. He also takes a break to recharge. Travelling keeps his mind off work and gives him the break he needs.

Richard says he got the best advice from Jeff Weiner, LInkedIn's CEO. 'Act like an owner.' That was Jeff's advice. Taking ownership empowers us more than we think. When we take ownership, we take responsibility for challenging our limits, changing our present situation and coming up with a different outcome.

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