M.S. Software Engineering
Why did you choose UC Irvine for your M.S. studies?
I was actually looking for a computer science program and stumbled across UCI’s software engineering. My background is a combination of psychology and CS, so this program seemed like the best possible fit.
What has been your favorite class so far, and why?
This is probably a tie between Software Testing and Programming Languages. Both classes cover a lot of theory, but at the same time teach a lot of practical skills for industry.
Have you done an internship? If so, where and in what role?
I am currently a Software Engineering Intern at Salesforce in San Francisco. I was hired to do a combination of development and UX work. Currently I am working on test automation with Selenium, but there is a UX project lined up for later in the summer.
Have you been you involved in research? If so, what project and in what role?
I am working on research in professor Jim Jones’ lab. My project is a user study comparing the Tarantula fault-localization tool with traditional methods of fault localization.
What has been the best part of your experience so far?
All the opportunities for networking and how close all the master’s students are to each other. It really feels like a community, and it is easy to get in touch with your peers, professors and recruiters.
What has been the most unexpected part of your experience?
There are a lot more group projects than I was expecting. It turned out to be an incredibly useful skill for industry, one I was asked about on several interviews. I suppose that is another unexpected part of my experience: I hadn’t realized how valued teamwork was to recruiters.
What are your aspirations for the future?
If possible, I would like to continue to do a combination of dev and UX work.
What is your advice to prospective M.S. students who may be interested in the program?
Even if you are planning to go straight into industry, you should seriously consider getting involved in research. Find a professor and/or project that is a good fit with the transferable skills you would like to acquire and pursue that. Practical experience is going to open more doors for you than just taking the comprehensive exam.