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Radha Shankar, a computer engineer
How long have you been in this profession of computer engineering?
I’ve been in this profession for about….. 15 years (sorry didn’t remember for a second. I’m getting old!!)
What attracted you to this profession when you were younger? What attracts you about this profession now?
When I was younger, I really wanted to do this profession because my professors taught me how to write small programs and make things work, and I got good at it, and I though it was the coolest thing ever!! I was also really good at math and loved both math and computers, so it was a perfect match!! I’ve been loving it ever since. I like it now because it’s a really easy job for me because it comes naturally for me, pays a lot of money, and I get to work from home ( I especially love this because can get up at 8:55 for a 9:00 shift and work in my pajamas!! ).
When did you know you were going to be a computer engineer?
Well, in my time, the computer was just being introduced in India, and it was sort of like a fad. Everyone wanted to be a computer engineer. Almost like how everyone wants to be an actress/singer now. Also, it was seemed perfect for me because I wanted to do it, and it was a natural thing for me.
On average, how many hours you work each day? How many hours each week?
I would probably say I work about 8 hours a day, and 40 hours a week.
On a scale from one to ten, how much do you enjoy you job now? How much did you enjoy your job when you first started?
Now I can say 10, because I’ve gotten so good at this job, I like it, it has short hours, and I get paid a lot. Before, I liked it three, because I wasn’t as good at it as I am now, and I didn’t get any of the perks …like the salary
How does a typical day in the office go?
The branch in my office I work for is called support. In support, customers using your software call in with any problems or inconveniences they have with the program and it’s my job to fix the problems. That’s basically what I do all day. Nobody can solve all of the problems, but when I do solve a problem, it feels great!!
-just to clear this, just because customers have problems, doesn’t mean our software doesn’t work. Technology is not an almighty resource. Things do go wrong and it’s normal for any company.
Are you proud of your decision to choose this profession?
100% yes!!!! However, if I didn’t do this profession, I would’ve become a nutritionist, or a social worker. Solving problems is my passion I guess.
What advice would you give you give to teenagers or adolescents planning on becoming a computer engineer?
If you think you are a techy person, just go for it. The Sky’s the limit. Do what you want. If you really want to do it, you’ll do great!!
What kind of education do you need to fulfill a career in computer engineering?
You definitely need a computer engineering degree from one of the top 10 schools in computer engineering. An MBA always helps. For you kids out there, get good grades and a good SAT score!! It takes you far!!! If you get all of this, and you have a passion for computer engineering, you’ll do great in this profession!