Brandon Sanders – Interview Fall 2016

Your name: Brandon Sanders

When did you graduate? Spring 2015

Please tell us what you’ve being doing since you graduated? After a quick six month term with Infosys Limited that I initially went into after I graduated, I accepted a job offer with AT&T. Since January, 2016 I have been working in Midtown, Atlanta as a software developer for the telecommunications giant. I currently am part of the Technology Development Program, and I am primarily involved in the development of Web APIs for AT&T’s internal API platform.   

How have you used computing and/or something that you learned in a CSC course? One of the most essential classes I took at Berry that has helped me so far in my programming career is Algorithms and Data Structures. Beginning at the moment you interview for a job, this class holds the fundamentals for a career in software development. I primarily program in Java, so understanding how to organize data and manipulate it is absolutely essential. API development is all about exposing desired functionality to thousands of users to simplify their lives. This requires speed and consistency, both of which require a good knowledge of proper data structures and algorithms. The Berry CS program provided me a strong foundation that has helped me succeed so far in my career.    

Now that you’re in the “real world”, what are you looking forward to learning more about or being more involved with (computing-related or otherwise)? The real world has taught me how to use a lot of industry tools, like dependency management with Maven, message routing with Apache Camel, and enterprise development with the Spring Framework. Learning these tools that might not be commonly used in the college classroom, has given me a desire to learn even more. Web Application Architecture is one of my highest interests right now as that is in the CS space that I am currently involved with at AT&T. Whether it is building RESTful Web Services, or learning more about security and protocols, I always want to know more. The great thing about Computer Science, is there is always more to learn.

Any advice for students back at Berry? If I were to give any advice to students back at Berry that are looking at getting into a Computer Science related field, it would be to have open minds, always have the desire to learn, and be willing to change.

First, learn as much as you possibly can about your intended specialization, regardless if its web, mobile, cloud, etc. On top of that, branch out and work on projects you are not comfortable with, try and land frontend development work if you normally perform backend or vice versus. The more exposure you have to different types of development, the better understanding you will have of your strengths and weaknesses, and hopefully be able to find that niche environment where you thrive. Lastly, welcome change because the CS world is full of it. The field is constantly evolving with new tools, languages, and processes. Don’t be afraid of these changes and instead, encourage them within your workplace. Show the excellence of a Berry CS education by inciting innovation and not conforming to the status quo.    

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Anything else you’d like to share? Amongst the late hours, stress of deadlines, constant learning, and everything else that is associated with a CS career, don’t forget to simply have fun. I recommend having personal projects in spaces you’re unfamiliar with as well as those you find comfortable. This could be creative computing with Arduinos or developing your own Android app. No matter the specific space you choose, always remember to be creative and willing to try new things. Frustration happens often because there will always be a problem to solve, but the fulfillment you get when you find a solution reminds you of why you love Computer Science.