B.S. Computer Science 2001
How did you become interested in your field?
We got a computer in 1987 and I started playing games, and eventually moved on to playing around in BASIC. After some time, BBSes became popular, and I started getting involved in the scripting languages used by the programs that I used to connect to the BBSes. When I started at SDSU, I was intending to teach math, but took CS 107 for fun. I fell in love with programming, switched my major, and have never looked back.
What do you do for a living now? What do you enjoy most about your current career position?
I’m a Lead Software Engineer at a content security/Internet TV company. I like that I’m constantly being challenged with new technologies and ideas.
What have been the biggest challenges in your career?
Learning how to deal with non-technical people about technical things. Customers don’t always know what they want, marketing doesn’t always understand the product and ultimately, it’s up to the software developers to get things done correctly. Learning what to ask and how to ask it has been a constant struggle.
What is the best professional lesson you learned from the Computer Science Department?
Get involved in the community – especially while you’re in school. The Computer Science department and the ACM were great to me both during my years at SDSU and after I graduated. I have my current job because of connections in the ACM, and I have helped people find jobs through those same connections.
What was the best class you took? Did you have a favorite Professor?
My favorite class was probably the AI class I took with Dr. Donald. However I probably learned the most from the Compiler Construction course with Dr. Stewart. Honorable mention to the CS-required (non-CS) class of Discrete Math, with Dr. Villone (it was my first introduction to formal logic, which I think is hugely beneficial in this field).
What is your favorite memory from the time spent in the department?
Either the time my friend and I wrote an assembler over a weekend (it was supposed to be a semester-long group project and we’d been procrastinating) or all of the hours spent at the ACM programming contests. Any time you throw me in a lab with an interesting problem and some friends I’m happy – it’s what made my time at SDSU so enjoyable.
What advice do you have for our current students?
Care about what you’re doing – play with software outside of work and school. Software is fun, enjoy it.
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