Sayari Ghosh

Sayari Ghosh

Software Design Engineer in Test III
Bellevue, WA
Sayari Ghosh
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I am a Software Design Engineer in Test working at Concur in Bellevue, Washington. I did my MS in Computer and Information Sciences from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Software is a ubiquitous thing in the human world nowadays and my work is to test this software. As so many people use this world wide, we have to make sure that there are no "bugs" found in there. However, manually testing a software is a time consuming, tedious and error prone process, so we try to automate the testing. My work is to figure out which tests can be automated and then write programs that would run through the software like a human would and tell us if something is wrong. Unlike most of the things we use at all times, a software is not a tangible thing. You can see a computer, but you can't really see a software doing it's own work in the back end. That's why it is so exciting and fun to conjure up something from empty space and make it do everything on your command. That is the fun part of being an engineer!

  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
Answers by Sayari Ghosh

It will be very helpful if you can let us know what's your major, what kind of universities you are looking for and what job you want to get after graduation. 
From my own Computer Science background, I have seen what matters the most is if you are willing to learn and another big thing is the ability to work with other people. For these internships are important, they teach you a lot of practical things needed to land and keep a job. 
In my job I have seen people from all sorts of colleges and universities from all over the world, ranging from the dream ivy league schools to community colleges and personally I don't think it matters a lot. If you are smart, hard working and willing to learn you should be good.

I can't tell you about the mechanical engineering major part because I majored in Computer Science, but I can tell you about the algebra vs. geometry thing from my personal experience. I loved geometry in school, always scored full marks in it. I loved to figure out how to solve the problems based on the theorems. But algebra never made any sense to me, exactly like it doesn't to you. At that time, everyone told me that I need to work hard and practice algebra, but I never understood that kind of a virtual x and y stuff. Also, I invariably made silly mistakes and messed up the problems and scored poorly there. 
Later I read that there are some people who love geometry and are bad at algebra and vice versa. ( you-prefer-algebra-or-geometry/) 

For you, as you love robotics you are anyway far ahead of many future engineers. Don't let algebra dampen your interests. All through your life there will be some subjects that you don't like. Treat algebra as one of them and try your best to score the best according to your potential. Maybe ask a friend who is good at algebra what she does to solve the problems, or just practice a little more. Math practice is always good in the long run. 

You can definitely choose a medical major if you like it, but don't do that just because you hate algebra. Maybe some mechanical engineer can help you in knowing exactly how much value algebra has in mechanical engineering major.

As someone coming from India, I think I somewhat understand your concern. Here are some stuff I would suggest. First, you need to figure out if you really LOVE programming. By "really love" I don't mean just working on homework assignments, but are you that kind of a person who would create apps or code something just out of fun? If that is indeed the case, or you know for certain that you can really do well in coding, then getting a job in a software development field should not be any problem for you. And I can assure you that a person who loves coding is a great asset in a company, irrespective of what she majored in. 
Also, you will most likely have "on campus" interviews in your final year of college. At least when we were in India, students from all fields (mechanical, architecture, civil, etc etc) got picked up by companies like TCS, Infosys, etc. In that case you will get your most needed break in the software world and then take it up from there. These companies also train you initially for a few months. Don't worry about the big name companies at the start of your career. Your main goal now should be to learn and gain experience.
In the mean time, do focus on a specific language that you like (C# or Java, maybe) and strengthen your Data Structures foundation. Also, like Ms Manzo pointed out, you can always go for an MS (or MTech) in Computer Science and Engineering. Don't hesitate to ask me more questions :) Good luck!

Most recent comments
  • I practiced a LOT OF MATH in my school years and took an extra course of advanced math in high school. I realized later that I should have paid more importance to Calculus, much more than just knowing how to solve the problems. So currently, I am taking an online Calculus course from Coursera to brush up on my existing knowledge and make some of the basic facts clear. As I write and test software, the analytical knowledge and problem solving that math taught me is extremely valuable. Geometry, however, is my most favorite branch of math. I still find immense pleasure in solving Geometry problems!

    Posted on Why Take Math in High School

    1 year and 5 months ago, by Sayari Ghosh