My name’s Boon Jia Shen. I’m currently living in Tokyo, Japan, working at Amazon as a software engineer in Search. I spent several years at the Amazon headquarters in Seattle with the Customer Q&A team, and was also once a research engineer in the Defence Science Organization in Singapore, working on Projects That Cannot Be Named.

I did my Master’s in Computer Science in the beautifully frigid campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and my Bachelor of Engineering in the National University of Singapore. Sometimes I miss those cold winter days in Wisconsin, though I suspect that’s just the nostalgia speaking.

This blog is meant to be an avenue for me to improve my writing skills, which I’m told is a critical tool for developing clarity of thought.

Questions about my name

Q: How should I address you?

Professionally, I go by Boon. It’s pronounced just like the English word “boon”.

Boon is actually is my family name (a.k.a. last name) while Jia Shen is my given name (a.k.a. first name). For simplicity’s sake, I tend to introduce myself using my family name.

Q: If Boon is your last name, why is it Boon Jia Shen and not Jia Shen Boon?

My full name would be written as “Boon Jia Shen” in Singapore, where this naming order is common for people with Chinese names. Apparently this naming order is known as Eastern order. Examples in famous people include Lee Kuan Yew, first Prime Minister of Singapore whose family name is Lee, and Yao Ming, former NBA player whose family name is Yao.

I spent a couple of years in the US, which follows the Western name order. That’s when I switched the order of my family and given names, especially in employment-related documents like my resume.

Last updated: Sept 10, 2021