If I want to work in the computer industry, should I go to University? This University of Manitoba article might present some insight…

Google outreach stretches to campus (April 9, 2015): Work hard and continually practice what you learn. That’s the advice two University of Manitoba alumni gave to students when they returned to campus on April 2. Shawn Silverman and Tim Lambert work for arguably the biggest tech company in the world – Google. “I noticed one thing at university is if you do the work you’re probably going to do well,” says Silverman. Silverman has two degrees from the U of M. He obtained his BSc in Engineering in 1999 and went on to finish his MSc in Power Engineering in 2005. He’s been a software engineer at Google since May of 2014 and works in the data centre automation team. Silverman is responsible for hardware and data centres and monitors them to keep services running. He says his degrees from the U of M taught him more than the technical aspects for a career in engineering. “My experience at the U of M gave me some technical know-how but more so it definitely grew ways of thinking,” says Silverman. “It’s one thing to have a knowledge base where you know specific details and can develop things – it’s another to learn how to think. So the U of M gave me practice on how to think like an engineer, how to solve projects, and work with other people.” He adds, “It’s one thing to have a list of instructions and accomplish those instructions. It’s another to draw on your experience and think out of the box. Having the experience of having problems you don’t expect, that are off the beaten path of the textbook, that’s one thing I got out of my time here.” Lambert has been a senior software engineer with Google since 2013, figuring out the most efficient but least obtrusive way to deploy display ads. He earned a PhD in computer science from the U of M nine years prior. He came to Winnipeg from Australia under the guidance of Ralph Stanton, who was the department head at the time. Lambert stresses that if you want to work at Google or in the tech industry in general, you need to be a creative problem solver and of course, be fluent when writing code. Read the entire article here!

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