STEM Career Series: Engineering Majors
Here is the third installment of the Comlinkdata STEM Career Series. This next interview features Mo Aldeiri, the Lead Software Engineer on our DevOps team.
Where did you go to school and what was your major?
Mo Aldeiri: I started university in DCU (Dublin City University), Ireland and studied Computer Applications Software Engineering. I chose DCU because of it’s strong reputation in computer science and software engineering.
Why did you pick your major?
Mo: Engineering wasn’t my first option. I wanted to go into accounting but the way the school system works in Ireland, entry in to a program is based on demand and supply, and so I ended up doing software engineering as the demand for accounting was high that year and I didn’t get in. I was good with technology and computers and so I had a feeling I’d have some interest in it. Even though I fell into it, I really enjoyed it.
It was a tough undergrad but I decided to apply for the University of Edinburgh for a Master’s in Computer Science so I specialize in high performance computing. I picked Edinburgh as it was ranked one of the best universities in the world in computer science (13th in the world). I loved it!
In between my bachelors and masters degrees, I worked at IBM as a software engineer and then I got my Master’s and after that is when I moved to Montreal.
How have you incorporated your major into your career and current role?
Mo: In university, you don’t code for a product. You’re learning the basics and fundamentals individually. At the time, you’re like, crap, how will I be a developer! But you don’t know how to really program until you start work.
Those fundamentals are critical; like how and when to use each data structure depending on your problem, how a language works under the hood, clean coding styles – you’re always going back to these fundamentals. The concepts dictate your design. People who don’t study CS sometimes struggle, so you need someone who has the fundamentals.
University teaches you the basics and working teaches you how to put it all together. You’ll learn from working with other Software Developers. I also learned a lot through my MS degree. The professors were well known leaders in the industry – they were innovators, not just educators. .
What advice would you give to current engineering majors?
Mo: My biggest mistake was that when going to the University of Edinburgh for my MS, I was afraid to pick too many of the most difficult courses. I learned though, that I did much better in the harder classes, I tried more. I didn’t try as hard in some of the easier classes, as they weren’t as interesting and/or challenging.
My advice would be to pick interesting and challenging courses. You should challenge yourself. You’re only a student once, so go all out. Leave it all on the court, as they say in sports. Give it 100% because if you work hard, then you’re rewarded.
What is a funny/strange/weird way you’ve used your Computer Engineering major at CLD or in life?
Mo: I was working on code at Comlinkdata that alerted us if a connection to a database was down at some point in the night. I accidentally set it up so that people received an email each time it went down, rather than just once as an alert. For the next 48 hours, people were receiving about 30 emails a minute so when they woke up, they had about 30,000 – 40,000 emails in their inbox.
We have one more installment of this series with our fellow Math majors. You can learn more about how PGA stats and Shopkins have affected some of our other employees in our Science and Tech major blogs.