Senior Software Engineer
National InstrumentsFull Profile PDF
B.S. - Electrical Engineering
M.S. - Computer Science
Ross Sabolcik is a Senior Software Engineer for National Instruments who enjoys the challenge at work. "I guess what motivates me is always learning new stuff. Every day when I walk in the door, it's really not clear to me what's going to happen." He advises students to be prepared for the fast pace of innovations when they begin to work.
Sabolcik got a bachelor's in electrical engineering and a master's in computer science. He points out, "I've been out of school about four and a half years now. And a lot of the things I learned in school are already outdated. That can be a very intimidating thing in a lot of ways, but part of what makes it exciting is that there's always new stuff coming along." How does Sabolcik keep up? He tries to "pick up new skills" by "reading, going to trade shows, going to conferences." But his principal strategy is to choose projects in areas he has not worked in before. He explains that by selecting a project "that's outside of what you know, you learn new stuff and become more valuable."
In order to get a taste of what it means to be an engineer, Sabolcik advises students to take part in a coop or internship. He feels he learned a great deal from his coop experience. "The thing that was valuable about it was seeing what people really do on a day-to-day basis. You can find out what people who are engineers actually do; ask them, 'What classes did you find really valuable?' or 'What skills do you think I need?' or 'What do you recommend?' The main thing is just getting feedback from people who are actually doing the work."