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72: Software Engineering at Google – Matthew Castelaz

Matthew Castelaz earned Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville and is technical solution consultant at Google.

[0:56] Describes the difference between Software Engineering and Computer Science – computer science is more software classes and software engineer is more system design type classes but both will typically write code in their day to day job but will spend time on system design and know how to manage a project from start to finish with a software engineering degree.

[2:59] Delving into his mathematics emphasis – it helped set him apart from other engineers looking at the same position

[4:37] Internships – what Matthew did at Kohls in their IT department. Built some front end web pages to add new attributes for new products and also did research.

[5:59] Describes what a Technical Solutions Consultant is a at Google – about 70% software and 30% project management.

[7:34] Getting a job at Google – was afraid of going to a smaller state school that is not well known outside of Wisconsin and the surrounding area that it would be a disadvantage – this was not the case at all. But you should get experience through internships or co-ops as well as activities outside of class, like student body president. This essentially told Google that he could excel in school and outside of school.

[10:30] What has Matt really fired up today is artificial intelligence and machine learning and google just announce a project called Google Duplex. Also he is excited about the wearable space and google just released a product called Jacquard which is technologically advanced fibers in clothing and can use the clothing to control your smart phone.

[12:38] Matts ah-ha moment – there has not been any big moments but a lot of smaller ah-has and the small success of writing software

[13:57] Getting through college he wish he realized that it is ok to change your mind and ok to make mistakes as long as you are able to learn from it.

[15:43] Best piece of advice ever received is don’t be afraid to fail and don’t let fear prevent you from trying something new. And a personal habit is persistence. And a book that Matthew recommends for getting through the technical interview is Cracking the Coding Interview.

[16:51] Parting piece of guidance – explore your options in college.

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