SoundHound Inc. engineer, Alixandra Ramos
Feb 16, 2020

Engineers Week 2020 Spotlight: Alixandra Ramos

The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) is celebrating the 66th Engineers Week (EWeek) from February 16 to 22. Founded by NSPE in 1951, EWeek is dedicated to “ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.” The society’s overall mission is to motivate youth to pursue engineering careers by promoting recognition among parents, teachers, and students of the importance of a technical education and a high level of math, science, and technology literacy.

SoundHound Inc. is celebrating all week long by throwing a spotlight on five of our own talented engineers from our offices around the world, and the amazing work they’re doing. To kick off the series,we spoke to software engineer Alixandra Ramos, a recent computer engineering graduate from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Known by her colleagues as “Ali,” she was a member of the EWeek committee at her school and continues to be excited about encouraging more women to pursue STEM careers.

Q: What Inspired you to take on a role in engineering?

A: I’ve always loved building things and putting things together. In high school, I participated in building a robotic car. I pursued my love of building things by taking engineering, computer science, and computer engineering classes.

Q: What was your experience as a young woman taking STEM courses?

A: I felt that there was a big gap in the number of girls in my classes. For instance, there were only 3 girls in an engineering class of 30 in high school. But, the other female students in my classes shared my passion for science and math and that really encouraged me to continue. I hope those numbers continue to grow.

Q: What led you to SoundHound?

A: Firstly, it was the culture and the shared passion for voice technology. When I came in for my first interview, I sat down at lunch with members of the engineering team and everyone was so engaging and excited about the work they were doing. I learned that we shared the same interests and that gave me a lot of confidence.

The time I spent as an intern before I joined SoundHound was really valuable because I learned how to work with diverse groups of people and it gave me the confidence I needed to feel comfortable in larger groups of colleagues.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job at SoundHound Inc.?

A: The best part of my job is collaborating with the team. They are such talented and smart people and we get to work on really interesting projects. I have the opportunity to do a little bit of everything and work cross-functionally with a lot of different engineering teams. I am able to see a tangible impact from the work I do on partner projects and that is really rewarding.

Q: What Inspires you to continue working in tech?

A: In college, there was only a small percentage of women in the computer engineering program. My best friend inspired me because I saw her keep going and remaining passionate. Finding other women in engineering to be your mentors is really important.

Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?

A: I rollerblade to work. Not all the way — just to the light rail. I also play tennis and ski. I grew up in Chicago and started skiing when I was six years old. I also love music and use the music room at the SoundHound office to play the piano.

Q: If you could have one engineering super power, what would it be and why?

A: To be able to build something with my mind. Just to think about it and have it appear, completed.

Q: Tell us one fun fact about yourself:

A: I juggle for fun. It’s a great party trick.

By her own account, Ali does a little of everything for the engineering team, enjoys the opportunities to interact with multiple teams, and work cross-functionally at SoundHound Inc. Although this is Ali’s first job since graduating college, she had already garnered considerable experience in software engineering during various internships before she started here. Her passion for voice AI is reflected in her desire to have a coffee maker that she can simply say, “Make me a double shot of espresso” to and it does the job. We welcome Ali to the SoundHound Inc. team and look forward to everything we’ll build together.

Learn more about the SoundHound and Hound apps and our independent Houndify Voice AI platform.

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