The number of computer science jobs is increasing but many students are not getting the degree they should, says one student who had the good fortune to get a job at a tech startup.
In a video interview with USA Today, Josh, a senior at the University of Washington, says he found himself working on a computer science project with several of his classmates who graduated from the UW in 2017.
He says his company had hired a programmer and was looking for someone to work on its new platform for cloud computing.
The company, called CloudX, has been building its platform with the help of Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and other cloud-based services.
Josh says the job he got was in the “computer science team.”
“I think the company is very supportive of the students who want to do computer science, and that’s great,” he says.
“And, of course, you’re working with people that you already know from high school.
So I think that’s a really good environment for a lot of people to really hone their skills.”
The job description says the position involves “working with the Cloud team and helping the team build and optimize the platform and deliver it to the client.”
Josh, who graduated in January, says his first year of college “really took my mind off the fact that I was just going to get an education, and I think it made it easier to just go with it and see where I ended up.”
Josh said he got the job through his friends who had already been working in the industry for a while.
“They were doing it, and they were doing great,” Josh says.
After a few weeks, he said, he was able to ask the company if he could help with some projects.
He said he was told he would have to “do some heavy lifting” in order to be able to help out on the team.
“The team is super supportive of us, but they have their own ideas,” Josh said.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, I understand, I’ll just work on it.’
I mean, I think they’re really awesome and supportive.”
He says he was “super stoked” to work with people who had done the same thing as he had.
“Just being able to be on the same team as people that had done it was awesome, and it’s really cool,” he said.
The job has “really given me a lot more confidence in my own abilities and my own ability to do this, and the team’s, as well,” he added.
The experience has helped Josh overcome the anxiety he had felt about pursuing a computer engineering degree at his alma mater.
He credits the time spent working with the company’s software developers and helping them figure out the platform’s limitations and how to make the platform work better.
“It was kind of like, you know, a huge relief, you get to be there,” Josh explained.
“That really, really helped me focus on the bigger picture.”
The CloudX job description does not mention a pay range, though Josh says he is hoping to make more than $50,000 annually in salary and benefits.