As you have probably guessed, my name is Kevin Woods, I came to Silicon Valley 4 years ago to learn how to make products that would one day change the world.
I grew up in Fountain Valley which is a small suburb in Southern California near Huntington Beach.
I attribute my dedication for self improvement, courage in standing up for my core principles, and staying focused in stressful situations as the core qualities that have made me successful.
Common Questions I Get Asked
Q: How did you transition from being a CPA to a Software Engineer?
A: The key to learning anything is an interest and determination. I had an abundance of both. I started building an app that could predict traffic patterns and tell you when you need to leave to get to the airport at a given time. In building this app I realized two things. 1 that I loved the challenge of software engineering and 2 that I wasn't anywhere good enough to build it on my own just yet. So I started apply for jobs after tax season ended. I was offered a job in Santa Clara, and I packed up my things in Santa Barbara and never looked back.
I was also lucky and grew up with a dad who worked as a Database Administrator and who stayed current with technology. We had a computer room that had 5 or more computers running at any given time. I was also one of the first kids on my block with a cable internet. He helped teach me how to build servers and how to host various games on these servers in like Counter Strike. This exposure early in my life and various expereiences in accounting made my jump to software engineering that much easier when I actually decided to switch.
Q: Why did you become an accountant?
A: It was October of 2008. I was just entering my senior year at UCSB and starting to think about what kind of job I wanted when I graduated. Unfortunately for me, the economy was tanking and the employment climate was quickly becoming the worst it we had seen in 60 years. Virtually every sector was getting hammered and here I was about to graduate from UCSB and enter this terrible market with nothing a double major in Business Economics and Political Science. Neither of which were particularly in high demand.
My major in Business Economics had the option for emphasizing in accounting and I calculated if I dropped my Political Science major, bumped my course load to 125% of full-time in my next two quarters and parallelized a 3 part series I could complete the emphasis before I graduated.
I like this option because becoming an accountant would give me exposure to successful business owners, and it would teach me how to work through problems under pressure.
I completed the rigorous course load (even though many people told me I couldn't do it) while working a 15 hour a week accounts payable internship. I then landed a job in Santa Barbara working as a staff accountant right out of college. I consider this one of my greatest accomplishments and proof that determination can take you places no-one thought was possible.
Q: Why did you leave accounting?
A: I started accounting knowing one day I would leave it. I didn't know what for at the time, but it was always meant as a place to learn and grow while the world recovered from the 2008 crash. I loved a lot of aspects of accounting, but ultimately disliked one core problem. As a tax accountant, your goal was to maximize your client's returns without rousing the IRS. Your perfect product was essentially something that if truly was "perfect" was never looked at again once filed.
I wanted to make products where the better they were the more people looked at them. An urge was growing inside me that wanted to make products that could change the world, and this was not possible if I continued to work in accounting. I loved the profession, but it just didn't make sense for me to continue down this path if my dreams were misaligned with the core of the profession.