Name:
Simran Thind

Program:
Software Engineering

Degree you are studying toward:
Bachelor's in Software Engineering

Expected year of graduation:
2024

Institution:
University of Waterloo

Email:
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Fun Facts About Me

If your best friend had to describe you in 10 words or less, what would they say?:
Driven, responsible, outgoing …and first person with a witty remark!

Share one fun fact about yourself:
I love to dragon-boat! It’s my favourite sport. I also find it interesting in that it’s something both team-oriented and individual at the same time. I started back in Gr. 8, and plan on continuing it in university.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 10 years?:
I’m planning on working in the tech industry for a few years, then hitting the books again and obtaining a master’s degree related to software engineering or computer science, as well as becoming a certified professional engineer. Open-source is also another passion of mine, and I hope by ten years I’ll become a pillar in the community, participate in a variety of projects, and promote the importance of cooperation and transparency in programming and development. Above all, I hope to continue pushing for underrepresented groups to become more visible in STEM fields.

The most inspiring engineer I know is ....... Because ........?:
There are a lot of people I draw inspiration from, such as my grandpa, who was an electrical engineer and worked at IBM during the time computers started to proliferate; to my Gr. 10 computer science teacher, who introduced me to the amazing world of software design. I especially look up to Ada Lovelace, who is considered the first computer programmer. Her unbridled curiosity and enthusiasm for her work motivate me to have a similar mindset when I approach problems, and her study of the interactions between society and technology spur me to be ethical in whatever I do, especially concerning constructing programs.

Profile Questions

Why did you choose your program of study?:
I always thought I’d study biology, or chemistry...However, it was after taking my first programming class in high school that I realized not only did I enjoy coding more, but that I find it interesting and fulfilling to shape programs that have impact – how technology can be applied to social innovation. Plus, I found myself wanting to learn more about low-level aspects of computers. I was also drawn to engineering because I sought to have application in addition to theory; engineers not only imagine ground-breaking solutions for the problems of today, but they build them too. So, Software Engineering turned out to be the natural conclusion because it’s the perfect mix of software and hardware to me!

What has been your favourite course (in Engineering) and why?:
My favourite course so far has been CS 137: Programming Principles. Learning a new language (C) is always fun; and the assignments challenged me to think critically and pushed my understanding of how programming languages work and are implemented. The class also proceeded at a good pace, and the professor was friendly and knowledgeable. I have yet to take more specialized courses, so we’ll see how this answer changes!

What has been the best part of your Engineering education to date?:
It has to be the collaborative character of the program - Software Engineering is project-driven, and my first semester particularly provided a lot of opportunities to work with others, such as the open-ended final project of SE101: Introduction to Methods of Software Engineering class. This idea of co-operation also extends past Software Engineering – it’s easy to get involved on campus and be part of a team that drives change! I really appreciate being able to learn from and share ideas with so many interesting people.

What do you hope to do after you graduate?:
After accruing different experiences from my co-op terms, I hope to have a good sense of how I want to contribute to the tech community. I’d like to jump straight into working, ideally at a pioneering company – no matter if it’s a new start-up or an established business, or government work, as long as it’s somewhere where the mission is to have a positive effect locally and globally, and push boundaries of how technology can be utilized to help and connect people. I’m looking forward to being able to apply what I learned at Waterloo to my future career!

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