Japanese engineer networks Silicon Valley-style

UCSC Extension alumnus Shunjiro Yatsuzaka

“At first I wanted to pursue a master’s degree, but then I found UCSC Extension.”

When Shunjiro Yatsuzuka moved to Silicon Valley from Japan in 2014, his two main objectives were to pass the CPA exam and to improve his Internet programming skills. He has already laid the ground work for certificates in Internet Programming and Development and Accounting at UCSC Extension—and launched an open source network in Silicon Valley.

He realized that the challenges system engineers face often have more to do with organizational factors than the engineer’s skills, or lack thereof. “I’d like to develop ERP [enterprise resource planning] systems for startups—and the core module for ERPs is accounting,” Yatsuzuka explains.

As an engineer/accountant, Yatsuzuka approached his course work with an interdisciplinary focus, starting first with Java programming and CSS.

“While I have some experience with Java, I’ve never used all of its functionalities,” he says. “It’s a worthwhile course, even for experienced engineers. I took CSS because I want to customize a site’s look and feel.”

Yatsuzuka founded OSS Silicon Valley, a Facebook group that connects engineers in Silicon Valley and Japan. He also writes articles for OSS News, one of the most popular Internet news sites for Japanese software engineers.

“At first I wanted to pursue a master’s degree, but then I found UCSC Extension,” he says. “These programs are a very good fit for Japanese engineers because we can brush up engineering skills, practice English and experience life in Silicon Valley. I found the right program.”

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