Mr Carl Crous completed an MSc in Computer Science at Stellenbosch University in 2009. He is now working as a software engineer at Google in London. We asked him a few questions about his studies and his career:
Background ‒ what did you study, when did you finish?
I completed an MSc in Computer Science at the beginning of 2009. My undergraduate degree was a BSc in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics.
Describe your work experience prior to your official job search process?
While studying, I did many private programming projects. I also did some holiday work as a systems administrator for a small office as well as developing websites for a number of organizations. During my MSc, I completed a three month Software Engineering internship at Google in Mountain View, California.
What is your current employment?
I am a Software Engineer in Site Reliability Engineering at Google in London. In Europe and the USA a software engineer is called a software developer.
How did you get the job?
I had previously interned at Google and applied for the job in London after working in Cape Town for a year after completing my MSc.
What is exciting about your work?
I get to work on a number of exciting projects at a scale you don't get anywhere else in the world. We work on Google's critical production applications and infrastructure, to ensure Google is always fast, available, scalable and engineered to withstand unparalleled demand.
Your advice to students who are entering the job market:
While good qualifications should get you a foot in the door, if you really want to have the edge entering the job market full time then you will need some experience. Get as much as you can while you are studying. Participate in internships or holiday work in your field.
If you plan to do postgraduate studies, make sure you know what will get you in the job market so that you have realistic expectations once you have the extra qualifications.
Then when it comes to interviewing, be prepared! Refresh your knowledge of some of the basics (e.g. Algorithms for Computer Science) and do some research about your prospective employer.
What would you have done differently during your years at university?
I feel like I was very lucky to have various opportunities open up to me at the right time during my studies and early career. If that didn't happen I would have regretted not investigating the job market and the companies out there while I was still studying.