MS Computer Science, Class of 2010
How did you become interested in your field?
I had my first taste of programming when my Dad introduced me to BASIC at age 8.
What do you do for a living now? What do you enjoy most about your current career position?
I’m an Android developer with Expedia, working with the most passionate and smartest team I have ever worked with.
What have been the biggest challenges in your career?
My biggest challenge has been to find a job that I love while at the same time living in a place that I love. Almost all jobs I’m interested in are located in the San Francisco Bay area. But I am lucky enough to have found one where I can work with an awesome team and still live in San Diego. Our team is spread out across the country and we use technology (appropriately) to collaborate.
What is the best professional lesson you learned from the Computer Science Department?
When getting feedback on a project, the best feedback will probably come from someone who is less familiar with the project or with the subject. The best constructive criticism I received on my Thesis came from the professor outside of the Computer Science department. He provided a unique perspective that I hadn’t thought about.
What was the best class you took? Did you have a favorite Professor?
A few professors stand out in my memory. Alan Riggins, Roger Whitney, and William Root all share my passion for learning and knowledge. My favorite class was CS662, Theory of Parallel Algorithms taught by Professor Root. It still stands out in my mind as my most challenging and thought-provoking class. Though I don’t use parallel algorithms in my job, I feel like the class helped me learn to think about problem solving in a completely different way, and really expanded my mind.
What is your favorite memory from the time spent in the department?
A group of friends formed from one of my favorite classes (including its professor), with whom I still keep in contact. One of these friends now works with me at Expedia.
What advice do you have for our current students?
Find out what you are passionate about and pursue that. Surround yourself with people who share your passion. If you’re passionate about your job, it won’t even feel like work. At the same time, there is no substitute for hard work. There is no successful person who has not worked for it.
Doug’s twitter account: @dgmltn
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