Dependable Software Systems
Alumnus Story — Neha Bedi
When it came to choosing a grad program, Neha Bedi saw in UBC a unique culture of collaborative research, with the technical and business courses in the MEL program challenging students to see problems from different perspectives in order to develop cross-disciplinary and innovative software solutions.
Like many professionals at a crossroads in their career, Neha Bedi knew the next step would be pursuing a postgraduate degree. But traditional MBA or MSc options weren’t of interest. “I didn’t want to give up my technical strengths to move into straight managerial roles,” she says. “I wanted a program that would increase my technical knowledge and position me to lead teams and work directly with clients.”
She chose the Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Dependable Software Systems for its “curated technical and business classes” and UBC’s reputation as one of the world’s leading universities. She also contacted program alumni and heard positive reviews about the courses and faculty members.
Developing expertise in new areas
Neha came to the program with a master’s degree in computer science and four years of experience designing applications for Thoughtfocus Technologies in Gurgaon, India. The UBC technical courses expanded her knowledge, exposed her to new technologies and updated her skills.
One of the courses that stood out was error-resilient computing systems taught by Dr. Sathish Gopalakrishnan. “I had experience working in the cloud environment, but to understand the inner workings of the cloud infrastructure offered by Amazon and Google and how they ensure high availability was incredible,” says Neha. “Also, the hands-on concept implementation work we did in this class enabled me to see how I could work in positions that required this knowledge. This was a fantastic course and I am still benefiting from it.”
She and her team were mentored and guided by Dr. Gopalakrishnan for the capstone project in the upcoming field of edge computing, which allowed her to implement the concepts and skills acquired during the course.
“Another course that has continued to help me in my current role is software project management. I was fortunate to study the subject under one of the leaders of the topic – Dr. Phillippe Kruchten. His way of teaching and discussing any topic is interesting and engaging. The learnings from the course have stayed with me and I refer back to them when working on projects.”
Gaining confidence as a communicator and team lead
About 40 per cent of the MEL classes are offered through UBC Sauder School of Business, immersing students in high-level business concepts. These classes bring together all of the students in the MEL and Master of Health Leadership and Policy programs, creating a learning environment of wide-ranging diversity and perspectives.
The class on organizational leadership – with its focus on case studies – offered “so much to think about and analyze when it comes to the issues that affect all organizations, from motivating employees to successfully managing multi-year projects,” says Neha.
“I now look at business issues with new insight and am able to identify the potential impacts of various solutions on different elements of the organization.”
With many projects completed in groups, and with presentations generally required every two weeks, Neha also deepened her collaborative and communication skills while leading teams under tight deadlines and conducting presentations.
Taking on a new role in software development
With several interviews lined up after graduating for positions ranging from Software Team Lead to Senior Software Developer, Neha ultimately took a position as a Software Development Consultant with Slalom, an international consulting firm.
She’s excited to be in a consulting role where she’ll get an opportunity to work closely with clients at all stages of the software development process, from establishing the initial requirements through to final implementation.
“The MEL gave me a different perspective for looking at and solving problems, moving beyond the siloed approach that many people get stuck in. Its emphasis on extensive collaborative discussion, research, analysis and presentation of ideas is what makes UBC and this program so unique.”
Dependable Software Systems
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