Dr. Aline Yurik serves as the Program Chair of the Software Engineering degree program at Brandeis GPS!
In addition to her role as Program Chair, Aline works as the Director of Software Engineering at Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts. Aline holds a PhD in Computer Science, Master of Arts in Computer Science, Master of Science in Information Technology and Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, all from Brandeis University – Go Judges!
Read on to learn about Aline’s career path, her excitement about Internet-of-Things (IoT) and how to leverage course projects for your software industry job search:
Q: Can you tell us about your career path and what led you to the professional position that you are in today?
A: After completing my PhD in Computer Science from Brandeis University, I pursued a career in the software and IT industry, as I wanted to apply what I had learned to real-life software systems. Starting out as a software engineer, I enjoyed the process of creating software to address the needs of people and organizations. I became interested in software design and architecture, as a way to create software systems that scale well and are adaptable to new capabilities. Over time, I have had solution architect roles, as well as progressive technical management roles.
On the management track, I started out as a technical team leader, and progressed to a development manager and currently an IT director role, leading a software implementation and quality assurance team.
In parallel with my software industry work, I have pursued my passion for teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Brandeis GPS. I have taught a variety of software engineering courses since the start of the Master of Software Engineering (MSE) in 1997. In my role as Program Chair, I work on program curriculum, ensuring that the MSE courses reflect the latest best practices and technology achievements in the software industry and prepare MSE graduates for a successful career in the software engineering field.
Q: What is an emerging trend in the software engineering field that is exciting you?
A: Internet-of-Things (IoT) is bringing a new revolution to everyday devices and objects in our world. It is powering the concept of smart cities, with technology optimizing traffic and helping manage infrastructure and buildings. IoT will be changing how we live in our homes with smart appliances, smart security systems, and virtual reality/augmented reality-enabled entertainment, gaming and educational options.
IoT is opening new opportunities for medical, healthcare and fitness fields, with new medical devices that can help people better manage chronic diseases, get rehabilitation support and improve their overall fitness. There are a lot of exciting things that IoT will be bringing to our lives!
Q: Do you have any advice for students who are planning a job search in the software engineering space?
A: I recommend to use the software projects you have worked on in your courses as your portfolio that you can showcase with the potential employers. Think about design, architecture, technology and process decisions you have made in these projects and create an overview that highlights important decisions and lessons learned from these software projects. Also, be open-minded about applying to a variety of roles, as there are many opportunities in the software field that span all phases of a software development lifecycle. You may discover that your prior experiences and interests make you a perfect fit for a role you may not have considered!
Q: What is a fun fact about you that students may not already know?
A: I started tap dancing several years ago, and have been enjoying it tremendously! Tapping is both a fun physical activity and also a mental challenge as we are making rhythm and sound with our feet. Learning and practicing a new dance choreography is something I look forward to every week!
For more information on the Software Engineering MS or other online master’s degrees available at GPS, please visit brandeis.edu/gps.