UMBC Mic'd Up

Embracing a Global Experience in the Software Engineering Industry

August 09, 2023 UMBC Mic'd Up with Dennise Season 3 Episode 55
UMBC Mic'd Up
Embracing a Global Experience in the Software Engineering Industry
Show Notes Transcript

Amidst the rapidly thriving software engineering industry, comprehensive education remains undeniably crucial.

As the demand for tech-driven solutions reverberates across international borders, there is an ever-growing need for adept professionals who can navigate the intricacies of this dynamic landscape. Embarking on a journey that transcends geographical boundaries, Aikya Inuganti, a dedicated international graduate student, offers a profound insight into her journey through the MPS Software Engineering Graduate Program at UMBC. Her experiences illuminate the transformative power of software engineering education in fostering a truly global perspective.

Software Engineering Industry: More than Just Coding

Aikya's journey into software engineering is unique. Having previously worked as a strategic partnership specialist in a software company, she realized her fascination with IT teams and their function. This desire to transition into the technical software field led her to UMBC's software engineering program. She chose this program because of its comprehensive curriculum that covers various aspects of the software industry, including project management, software architecture, and software processes.

Shaping a Future in Project Management and Beyond

Aikya's passion lies in project management and business analysis within the software industry. She aspires to effectively leverage her software engineering knowledge to lead and manage software projects. She envisions herself as a key player in building teams and developing groundbreaking technology products.

Key Takeaways for Aspiring Software Engineers

Aikya shares valuable insights for individuals considering a career in software engineering. She emphasizes the importance of research and encourages prospective students to explore the vast opportunities within the software industry. Whether interest lies in coding, testing, management, or architecture, there's a place for everyone in this dynamic field.

From Classroom to Career

With AIKYA's journey as inspiration, we're reminded that a career in the software engineering industry is not limited to coding alone. UMBC's software engineering program empowers students to explore various facets of the industry, from project management to software architecture. The world of software engineering is vast and ever-evolving, and


Dennise Cardona  0:00  
Welcome to this episode of UMBC's Mic'd Up podcast. My name is Den nise Cardona from the Office of Professional Programs at UMBC. Today, we are joined by a current student in the MPS software engineering program, Aikya Inuganti. I hope that you enjoy this episode. Thank you so much for being here with us today. It's really wonderful to have you.

Aikya Inuganti  0:25  
Thank you so much for inviting me.

Dennise Cardona  0:27  
Yes. So tell me a little bit about your educational journey. So far. You just completed your second semester, I believe in software engineering, the MPS program?

Aikya Inuganti  0:40  
Yes, that's right. Yeah, this is my second semester, I came from a last fall for software engineering, I think I was worse, the second batch of software engineering and UMBC, if I'm not wrong, so we were not many, we were few, I think we were around 14-15 in the class, which actually made it quite special because we got the chance to interact with each other. And we got a real chance to spend time with each other since we were lesson number. And also with process Samarah, the program director, the interaction was great. He was with a supporting all through the course. And whenever we need him, email, or when we want to meet him in purpose in person, he was always there. And yeah, it was a great experience till now. And also the kind of content that we learned in so far in software engineering is very relatable to the practical the, to the practical experience that we are going to have in the future in the software industry. So what yeah, it was really great. So far.

Dennise Cardona  1:38  
Yeah, that's fantastic to hear. I remember when we started the software engineering MPS program here, I interviewed Dr. Samarah, and he was just so excited about this program. He's excited about the field of software engineering. I love listening to him talk about software engineering. It's inspiring. And he really he puts his heart into this program. And you're in a you're in a really good place. I can say that. And yeah, you really are. And it's becoming more and more popular as the semesters roll on. People are learning about software engineering. And think about it software engineering, it leads the world, it what's makes it what it's really what makes the world tick. We can't really be what we are with technology with any of the advancements we're making without software engineering. It's yeah, it's really interesting. So tell me a little bit about what brought you so far to this program? What brought you to this program? Where were you before it? What were you doing before it? And what made you say I want to do that?

Aikya Inuganti  2:48  
Yeah, so I had done my undergrad and information technology that I had around five years of work experience. So my work experience was not totally technical. I was a strategic partnership specialists. So I worked in a software company, but it was not as a software developer, it was not a complete technical role. But I was always fascinated with the IT teams, and how do they function. So I wanted to make a transition. To learn more about technology and the role which I worked, it was more like a managed role. And I thought maybe pursuing something in IT industry that would help me make the transition into the technical software field. So when I was researching, I came across UMBC. And the software engineer, I was just going through the different courses in UMBC. And I was reading about them researching about different courses that that were available. And that's where I came across software engineering. So when I read about it, it was very interesting, because it is not like a very core technical course, like it is not completely about a particular language like a Java or C or operation systems. It is about how you manage the software. On the whole, it is about it covers different aspects of software industry, it covers the project management, it covers the software architecture, the software processes. So that's what made me more interested towards the course. Because I thought with my work experience, and with what I want to see myself in the future, I felt this is the correct the exact curriculum that I'm looking at. So that's how I ended it off rendering and I was lucky to get admitted.

Dennise Cardona  4:29  
Yes. What is it about the software engineering field that most excites you? What do you what are you looking forward to bringing forth to the world after learning about this field?

Aikya Inuganti  4:42  
Yes, to be honest, I wanted to pursue the role of a project manager or a business analyst. So that's how I see myself. So with my learnings about the software and from the software engineering course with like about managing the software team, and knowing how to build a software process So I think I'm really excited to when I start my career that I can be a great product manager or business analyst and help build teams. So I'm really looking forward for that to build IT teams that can now develop or produce great technology products.

Dennise Cardona  5:16  
Yeah. Now, so far, you've been in the program like this for two semesters, you've got another semester, you'll be possibly graduating in the fall of 23. 

Aikya Inuganti  5:25  
That's the plan. 

Dennise Cardona  5:26  
Yes, that's the plan. That's great. So far, what have you discovered that in terms of the skills, knowledge and abilities, what do you see is important for somebody who's going to be entering into this field, to have what has been most helpful to you so far in your studies, and being able to transfer what you're learning in the classroom into what you're actually doing?

Aikya Inuganti  5:53  
Yes, software engineering course, few subjects like advanced software engineering, or Software Process Management, they help us understand how to build a software team and how to build a software process from the scratch. They teach us about different methodologies that we can use and how to build them, how to test it, and how to make it into a product. So that is how it is like building a software product from the scratch. So I think it's gonna be a great course, if somebody wants if somebody sees himself not just as a developer or a tester, or somebody who sees themselves more in a architecture or in a managerial role, where they're in a position to build a team with the animation to build entire software project. So it gives an overview of how you do that. So I think that is something which is going to be really useful for the students.

Dennise Cardona  6:40  
Yeah, I would imagine. So it sounds like it's something that is so transferable to like, it's, you're not going to be niched into a certain role. It sounds like it's very universal. And you'll be able to use those skills in pretty much any part of the software engineering world that you can see yourself in.

Aikya Inuganti  7:00  
Yes, yeah, that's pretty much.

Dennise Cardona  7:02  
Do you have a favorite part segment of the software engineering world that you can see yourself in the future?

Aikya Inuganti  7:06  
Yes, as I told you, I would see myself in the in the field of the project management, where I can be the head of a project where I can lead the software project. So yeah, that's where I see myself.

Dennise Cardona  7:21  
Yeah, that's cool. Because software engineering really encompasses various fields, there's aerospace, there's computers, there are cars, there are just so many different industries that you could find yourself in. So I find that to be pretty fascinating. And I would imagine, it's pretty exciting to know that really, there's no end to the mean, they are they you can find yourself in any kind of an industry that you take an interest in. So that's pretty cool. Now, how has the program prepared you for this future? Have you learned something has any light bulbs gone off, where you're like, wow, that's just a really great skill that I just learned that I can bring to the office on Monday, I just learned it in I just learned it in the classroom this night. And I'm going to be able to bring it into the to the, to my workforce the next day, anything like that, that any kind of light bulb that went off or anything that maybe one of your instructors brought to the class and it just opened up your mind to something that you didn't think about before.

Aikya Inuganti  8:25  
Yeah, so it's not a one particular thing. But I would say closer recently taken software testing, that is something which I was not familiar with even undergrad we never had that subject. So I always wanted to learn that right, which is something which is completely new to me. So yeah, that is something which was very useful. Irrespective of whether you're going to be a software developer or an architect or a project manager, I think you should have a little bit knowledge of what goes into testing a software application or software project. So I think software testing is something which I learned recently, and which I'm sure that would be helpful for me. It's very important segment of software, whatever software products you build.

Dennise Cardona  9:05  
Fantastic. Now, what advice would you offer somebody about if they're considering the field of software engineering, but maybe they're on the fence and they're not sure if this is a viable field to enter into? What kind of advice would you give somebody who's thinking that way?

Aikya Inuganti  9:23  
Yeah, so I would tell them to do research. Because when I was in undergrad, we didn't have much knowledge. We just thought the software industry might be just Java or C plus or just few programming languages. So when, after the years when I started working straight, then I realized as often as was so huge, there's so many technologies. It is so vast, there's so much scope, like you don't have to code in order to stay in the software field, you can do so much else. You can build teams, you can be in a managerial role, you can be a tester. So there's so much to know this that there's a huge scope where you can develop yourself so someone who's going to enter into it, I would say, just note down what you're interested in and do your research, you have a lot of materials available online, you can use your bid. And you can just read some papers. Or I would say if you know someone, your friends or your family who are already working, that's offering a straight, talk to them, and then decide which area you want to go into. And then understand the skills that you require in order to sustain in that particular field.

Dennise Cardona  10:29  
That's sound advice. It really is, do your research, do your due diligence, make sure it's really for you. And it's Yeah, that's really important. Can you share your international experience with us in terms of how your education is helping you and what it's like being an international student in the MPS software engineering program?

Aikya Inuganti  10:50  
Yes, so yeah, that's really exciting. Because early on, I was working, I worked with the client or with the teams who are in US and other parts of the world, but as a student, it's a complete different experience. So I got a chance to work with three of my classmates in the projects, who are who are Americans. And so yeah, it was a different experience, it was really good. Because till now, you, you come from a certain place, and people talk in a certain way people do work in a certain way. But now you need to interact with people from different countries with different perspectives. And at the same time, one thing would you have in common is your interest and your studies and the project that you're going to do. So I think that's something which binds us together. And it was a great experience. So far, I got a chance to interact with friends. I made few friends. And yeah, it was really good. It was a great learning experience.

Dennise Cardona  11:47  
Oh, I love hearing that. That's, that's fantastic. Is there anything that I haven't asked you that you think could lend value to this conversation? As we close out this episode of UMBC's Mic'd Up podcast?

Aikya Inuganti  12:01  
No, I think nothing else. So I will just always students, I would just say, just focus on what you're doing. At the same time, this is a chance where you can explore yourself. So don't just restrict yourself to the classroom, your studies, I think UMBC it has so much more to offer. You can just go out out of your classroom and participate in different events. And yeah, try to enjoy your student life as much as possible, because it's going to add a great value not to your future too.

Dennise Cardona  12:32  
Absolutrly. I always like to ask a couple of questions from a professional development angle, because this UMBC Mic's Up podcast is about professional development for professional students. And so what is your favorite quote?

Aikya Inuganti  12:50  
Yes, so yeah, my favorite code is this too shall pass. So that is something which I always liked. I heard about, I didn't know that it was a quote. I just thought, I just heard that quote in a movie when I was a kid. So then that's where it stopped me. So I feel like whatever it is, any bad phase that you're having, everything shall pass, you just have to just be patient and be strong take one day at a time. Yeah, so that is something that code is something which always stuck with me. And if somebody is, if any of my friend or anyone is going through a tough phase, that's what I would like to advise them. Just take it slowly, Everything shall pass. It's not nothing is permanent.

Dennise Cardona  13:33  
That's right. And it's really important to remember that because no matter what we're doing in life, whether we're grad students professionals out there in the working world, doing both having kids, families, whatever it might be, we're always going to be challenged by something. And there are some times where when let's face it, we just want it to pass because it's really grueling or really challenging to us. But knowing that everything does ebb and flow and everything does pass. It's a comforting feeling. Because in order to grow, right, we have to go through those kinds of periods in life, because that's how we learn things is through those challenges. Yeah. And what is the greatest piece of advice so far that you have received?

Aikya Inuganti  14:18  
Yes, so one advice which will always stay with me is so if you do something for yourself, don't do it because you're under peer pressure or somebody else is expecting that from you. Because end of the day, it is you who are going to live with your decisions. So whatever you do it so it all depends on what do you want and how do you take it so whatever decision that you want to take or whatever field that you want to choose, do it for yourself first. At the end of the day it is only you who is going to be in the journey. So you had to do something which suits to yourself.

Dennise Cardona  14:55  
I love it. Thank you so much for that. I want to thank you for being With us today on the UMBC Mic'd Up podcast, I've loved this conversation. And it's just thank you for sharing your insights on software engineering on UMBC on the whole experience and process, and it's really it's always fun and interesting to listen to everybody's journey. And it's just interesting to be able to share that with other people and be able to just enjoy the process with people with you enjoying that process as you move forward in your life and in your career. And gosh, before you know it UMBC will will be your alma mater, and you'll be moving forward and doing some great things in this world. No doubt.

Aikya Inuganti  15:42  
Yes. Thank you so much. Yeah. I had great fun. So it was a really good experience. I'm really glad that part of the podcast.

Dennise Cardona  15:51  
Thanks for listening to this episode of UMBC's Mic'd Up podcast. I hope you enjoyed it. If you'd like to learn more about our offerings, do a search for UMBC software engineering graduate programs, or click the link in the description.