This interview was conducted by Erica Freedman, Content Specialist at SwitchUp.
Sooraj Bopanna is an experienced computer science and microelectronics professional, holding a B.E. in Electronics and Communications Engineering as well as an M.S. in Computer Science from Central Michigan University. Despite his extensive technical background, Sooraj found room for growth and pursued our IoT bootcamp. Passionate about the varying industries IoT can help improve, most especially healthcare, Sooraj took the plunge that led him to a career he truly loves. His only piece of advice? He wished he had done it sooner. Read more about his journey below:
Your educational background is in Computer Science. What made you pursue an IoT certificate?
Along with computer science, I also have a previous educational background in Microelectronics and electronic communication engineering. In addition, I have had work experience in various on-premise and cloud based business operations software. An IoT certification for me was the perfect path to blend the technology/architecture at various levels of the stack that I had already known or worked on.
Do you feel Computer Science and IoT are directly related? If so, how?
Yes. IoT is an extension of the application of computer science & electrical/electronics engineering. Computer science/software engineering provides the basis for principles in design and development of software/hardware systems which is the core of IoT.
How did you decide to attend Level? What made it the right program for you?
Evaluating programs by competing universities, I chose Level as it is an extension of Northeastern, has a strong alumni network and reputation. Their Silicon Valley campus was also the right location for me.
You currently work as a Senior Principal Architect for CA Technologies. What does this title mean and what does a normal day at work look like for you?
As a Senior Principal Architect with the Strategy Business unit at CA, my role entails research, development and identification of new product ideas to various use cases within IoT and Blockchain/AI space.
Has Level helped you to get a job in your field? If so, how?
Getting a certification with Level and mostly the importance of “Experiential Learning” helped me prove my skills beyond the educational lab setup and played a major role in a successful placement. I just wish that I had this type of setup with my previous Master’s program in Computer Science as well.
Where do you see your career heading in the next 5-10 years?
I see myself being successful within the IoT space, heading an engineering team, and designing products to enable ease of day-to-day living. I agree this is a very broad space, but, there are many use cases in Smart agriculture, Healthcare, sustainable living and carbon footprint reduction that can be addressed using IoT tech stack.
What makes you most passionate about IoT?
As stated briefly in the previous answer, there are a few use cases that are very close to my heart in the healthcare and supply chain space which I feel can drive down costs and make healthcare access more affordable.
What makes an IoT program different from other technology tracks or bootcamps?
This has been the only bootcamp I have attended to date. But, the chance that we got to be more focused and hands with our experimentation, alongside exceptional teachers and staff like Kilton Hopkins, who is passionate about both technology and teaching, made the ultimate difference. I just wish more of my previous teachers were as passionate and helpful as Kilton is.
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice before pursuing IoT, what would it be?
I cannot think of anything other than to wish this had happened much earlier in time!
Do you have a similar story to Sooraj? Have you been putting off jumpstarting the next chapter of your career? If you’re debating, learn what other alumni have to say about our program on SwitchUp. Your future awaits!