🤔 What's this guy all about?

I enjoy bringing value to people's lives. ✨

I begun working as soon as I could, as early as in high school when I sought out opportunities to tutor younger students who were struggling in math and science. Since then, I've worn many hats: starting from my first "real" job of working at my university's tech hub renting out laptops and projectors, to interning at semiconductor and software companies, lecturing at the university, and all the way to working as a professional software engineer and engineering manager as of late.

No matter which post I was called to, I've always found that what I find the most exhilarating at work is not the work itself, but the impact my work has on other people. Whether it's helping a technically challenged emeritus professor figure out how to use the overhead projector, building an awesome piece of software for customers excited with anticipation, or coaching, teaching, and mentoring budding students and engineers ... if my day consisted of others having found what I brought to the table that day valuable, I could sign off at the end of a work day with great pride.

Right now, I'm on a leg of this journey where I am living out this passion by teaching aspiring computer scientists and data analysts as an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Westmont College.

My Core Values

The three "commands" below are the tenets I try to live both my personal and professional lives by. In contrast to many core values out there that are simply a bag of nouns, my core values are written in a commanding format with leading verbs (Strive, Lead, Protect) so I can spur myself into action in how I must think, speak, act, and live in order to honor my own core values that I have committed to for the betterment of myself and the lives of those around me.

Lead with Compassion

This is the newest addition to my set of core values that followed my transition into engineering management. While leadershipespecially at workcan take many different forms and styles, my commitment to those who have allowed me the privilege to lead them is to always approach them and their needs with empathy that compels me to take action.

The verb Lead here also has a double meaning. In addition "to act as a leader of a group," it also means to "to start with." That is, to start every one of my interactions with compassion whether I am leading or following.

Strive for Excellence

This core value comes from how my mother have always taught me to be ever since I was a little child. The key here is the verb Strive, which contrasts with: achieve, which is a more commonly associated verb with Excellence.

This is my personal commitment to always do my best and never easily give up on something I have started, no matter how difficult the challenge at hand may be. In addition, it is also an attitude that allows me to humbly accept any outcome of my earnest efforts and keep my chin up, even when the outcome isn't quite what I had hoped and worked hard for.

Protect the Truth

While Truth is a rather big word, what I mean by the word here is: what really matters. I took the inspiration for this core value from having experienced how people's energy and emotions (my own included) can be swept away at times by distractions of lesser significance, or simply because someone "told them so" or "told them to do it."

This is my commitment to always keep my and others' eyes directed towards things that truly matter, even in the midst of pressure and conflict. The Truth of why we do what we do shall never be forgotten from our day-to-day.

My Work Ethic

I raise my hand to get the work done.


When there is a task in need of fulfillment, I am often one of the very first one to raise my hand to volunteer to take the task on. I believe that any task in need that is being shared with me is a task I am capable of completing successfully, or at least a task I can learn how to complete successfullyeven if that means admitting that I know nothing about it and asking for help in getting it started. Most of the time, what we are asked to do is far from rocket science, and all it takes to get it done is a willingness to give it an honest try. 

I bring whatever I can to the table.


Through my education and experience, I have been fortunate enough to obtain a diverse skill set that is useful in many different circumstances. I like to ensure that those who are in the same room as me get to maximize their benefit of having me around by offering everything I discern to be helpful at the moment, even when I am unsure my offers would be appreciated, or even accepted at all. I will always speak up to share what I know and can do, but I always carefully listen to feedback and adjust what I contribute as we move forward together.

There can only be one priority at any given moment.

Credit Connor Kanazawa, my former engineer and management coworker

While a modern workplace is always full of completing priorities, it is my goal to always have a clear understanding as to what I must accomplish in any given moment. This allows me to focus on one thing at a time, and ensures that what I am doing at work is of value to those around me. Part of this effort is having a line of communication with my coworkers and leaders that is always open to listen and react smartly to the changes that are occurring around the business, as well as practicing discernment as to what must be done before anything else.

All work must be sustainable.

Credit Justin Bruce, my former Agile Coach

Whether you work hard, smart, or both, it is crucial the way in which you work must produce repeatable success for the foreseeable future. To work sustainably is to avoid being blindsided by any single demanding workload but rather to strive for long term success such that both myself and those around me can continue to grow and win every "fight" as long as we possibly can. I have a proven track record of having produced predictable and repeated success by championing sustainable workload for both myself and my coworkers.

My Communications Philosophy



Listening for accurate and complete understanding of a conversation partner and their perspectives is a skill that takes conscious and consistent practice to master. I am committed to practicing active listening in every conversation I find myself in, whether that's in person, virtual, written, or verbal.

Transparency and

Credit Angela Yi, my former engineering management partner

I believe in making my true intentions as clear as possible and ensuring that all stakeholders are adequately communicated to, even at the risk of sounding like a broken record. I believe we can only be more successful by being honest and communicating as often as we can rather than keeping things to ourselves.

is a gift.

Credit Zach Heath, my former engineering management Mentor

I sincerely appreciate anyone who comes to me with ideas on how I can be a better worker or a person. I proactively seek how others are finding the value I am trying to bring to them, and how I can be better at delivering the said value. I am also committed to following through with any feedback received with persistent actions.

Wanna chat more about all this with Mike?

My Brief Personal History

My hometown is Seoul, South Korea. I moved to the US to study abroad in a not-so-pressure-cooker-like academic environment in late 2007.

In my senior year of high school, I met the love of my life, Jessica. We dated for three and half years and got married quite young in 2015.

I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and studied Software Engineering and Computer Science. I particularly made a lot of fun memories in grad school.

My professional engineering career started at Workday, Inc. where I worked as a software engineer and then an engineering manager.

One of my long time hobbies is music. I play drums, play piano (mostly poorly), and really enjoy singing. Although I haven't done it so much lately, I used to enjoy making videos of my singing and sharing them with my friends and family.

My most recent personal passion is military aviation. While I do not have a pilot's license, I play flight simulators with like-minded folks who are also passionate about recreating an authentic military aviation operation in the simulation.

My Statement of Personal Faith

Click to expand this section and view Mike's Statement of Personal Faith

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

From the Gospel of John, Chapter 3, Verse 16; quoted from the New Living Translation of the Holy Bible

As broken as the world is that we live in, I believe that our life on Earth is not the end of our story. I believe that there is a life after the one in the physical world, and we are all invited to this afterlifeone that is free of any brokenness and full of redemption. I personally believe that the only way we can accept that invitation to the heavenly eternal life is through our personal faith in Jesus Christ and his work of dying on the cross to atone for our brokenness and his resurrection to defeat death and all else that had fallen from the glory of God, Yahweh, the creator of this world.