Alex Chi Z.

Hi, I’m Chi!

MSCS @ CMU graduating in Fall 2023.

Find me on:


Q: How do you pronounce your first name Chi?
A: In the English context, people usually pronounce it as /tʃiː/ (like “cheese” without the “se”).

Q: What is your plan after graduation?
A: I’m expected to graduate in December 2023. I’m looking for a full-time software engineering position in the US in the field of database kernel development. I signed with Neon and will work remotely in Pittsburgh. I prefer working on open-source projects, in Rust programming language, and in startup companies.

Q: What language do you speak?
A: I speak Mandarin Chinese, English, and Shanghainese, the dialect of Chinese in Shanghai. I can also speak a little bit of Japanese. 你好 / 今朝夜到恰老酒伐 / 日本語は少し分かります / Hello!

Q: What is your favorite programming language?
A: Rust. I learned it in 2018 and have been using it since then.

Q: When did you start programming?
A: I started programming in 2009 when I was in primary school. I have several years of competitive programming experience during my junior middle school and high school years. After that I shifted my focus to systems programming and database systems. My first programming language was BASIC. The second one was C. The third one was Ruby (because RPG Maker uses that for scripting…)

Q: When will you update your blog (and the mini-lsm tutorial)?
A: I’ll try to update them when I have time 🫠

Q: Are you able to provide advice for new-grads regarding a career in databases?
A: Feel free to contact me! (But I might be slow to respond.)

Q: What is the best bubble tea shop in Pittsburgh?
A: Tsaocaa. They have a shop near University of Pittsburgh and another one in Squirrel Hill.

Q: Why 15-445/645 (the CMU database course) seems more challenging since you became a TA in 2022?
A: The course staff has been continuously improving the course projects to make them more interesting and less painful to work on. We have been removing outdated materials and adding new things from the industry. I believe the difficulty of the course is not increasing while things are being swapped in and out every semester.