What have you been up to since completing the program?
I’m now working as a software engineer for Britecore, a SaaS company delivering an Insurance Administration System. The majority of my co-workers, myself included, work remotely. In my free time I coach a FIRST robotics team and love working on various side-projects like my open-source time management app or using computer vision to detect texting and driving.
How has the program prepared or helped you in your current job?
Our platform generates a lot of data but as a relatively new company there’s room to develop the systems and processes necessary to extract its value. How to collect and store data as well as how to make it available and accessible to interested parties across a globally distributed company are both questions that I feel fully capable of taking on.
What was your favorite course and why?
Behind the Data: Humans and Values was absolutely fascinating. We studied real-life examples of how data has been used with either unintended or undesirable consequences at a large scale as well as the current public policy landscape, both in the US and abroad. Understanding how data ethics and legality have evolved to where they are today — and how data science might shape them in the future — has provided me with a framework for how to think about and apply this degree at a much higher level than I could with a purely technical approach.
What is the most valuable thing you learned while in the program?
As someone who typically works with numbers and data it was always hard for me to convey the significance of certain values. The most valuable lesson I learned was that the ability to convey hard data in a relatable way is the difference between merely having some data and generating tangible actions. We learned practical ways to accomplish this and I feel like I added a new skill.
What one piece of advice would you give to prospective or current MIDS students?