Jane Manchun Wong, Hong Kong software engineer who is 25-years-old has a passion of knowing every feature of an app on her mobile device. Checking each line of programming code, she locatesreverse-engineers and figures out new features ahead of their announcement.
Wong tells CNBC that she does it for personal pleasure. She checks for any security vulnerabilities and tweets about her findings.
Wong, now a celebrity on Twitter, has followers of over 50,000 and added two followers this month that stand out from the rest: Facebook’s Instagram head, Adam Mosseri and Facebook’s head of hardware initiatives, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth.
Wong was surprised to have been acknowledged and gathering notable followers. Colin Haggins, data scientist at Instagram claims Wong’s work excelling their company’s own team of internal communications. She explains that employees mostly focus on their specific team creating difficulties in tracking every single alteration. Turning code in less than 280 characters and to a screenshot, she gets the work done.
She estimates finding 3 new features every day. She tweeted this week’s forthcoming features from Uber, Slack and Pinterest, among the rest. Her main interest lies with Instagram and Facebook who releases new features after every updates.
Wong discovered a significant change in Instagram before its announcement. She tweeted on April 18 about a test in Instagram with their like count not visible to users. Raking almost 8,000 likes, the discovery was confirmed by Mosseri twelve days later at an F8 conference for software developers by Facebook. She was curious to figure out the behavior of users in social media with this test.
She comments that it makes people post more likes and also the perception of people towards social media by making the numbers invisible.
Wong is a self-taught coder with guides and books on the internet. Due to health reasons, she is on a leave from school. Even though she makes a steady income through her discoveries on security vulnerability, this is mostly a hobby rather than a job to her. Her dedication is based solely on her curiosity with no aim in making money out of it. Many new outlets are showing interests in hiring her.