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Apoorvi Jain

Master of Science in Information Technology – Software Engineering, Class of 2013

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Apoorvi Jain has always had an inquisitive disposition. One could even say that her career in software engineering is a result of her curiosity. “When I was little, I used to play with my father’s computer. He encouraged me to experiment with it, to discover how it worked, and to explore technology in general.” And although she showed interest in the profession of her father, a master jeweler, and in the field of fashion, she has continued to be relentlessly fascinated by technology.

It’s this inquisitive nature that brought Apoorvi to Carnegie Mellon’s MSIT-SE program in the fall of 2012. After completing her undergrad in Computer Science at Shri Govindram Seksaria Institute of Technology and Science, Apoorvi began her career at Infosys Ltd and soon came to realize that she had much to learn beyond the simple mechanics of writing sound code. “Once I started working in industry, software disasters became all too apparent. It started me thinking about the process we use to design software and my own role as a developer. At the time, I didn’t appreciate the value of a thoughtful, systematic design approach. I was a hacker---fairly good at coding with a reputation of being able to quickly move from one coding challenge to the next. No documentation, just tons of solid code. And so that was the work that was assigned to me.”

It didn’t take long for the mundane coding work to prove unsatisfying. “At first, I wasn’t thinking about whether or not the product was well-designed. But soon I recognized the disconnect between the software that I was producing and the higher quality software in the marketplace. It was apparent that there was a better way, and I wanted to learn it.”

Weighing her options and discussing the possibility of relocation with her sister, who holds a master’s degree in engineering from Penn State, Apoorvi researched graduate programs at Carnegie Mellon. The MSIT-SE seemed a likely fit given her talent and experience in coding technical solutions. “I now understand better that one can’t incorporate performance into a product as an afterthought, but rather has to design for it. The approach of ‘just getting the functionality done’ and improving the code afterwards for performance and security just doesn’t work. The MSIT-SE program helped me to better understand how to define the business drivers for a product, recognize the necessary quality attributes, as well as design and test prior to laying down a single line of code. And courses such as Managing Software Development and Architectures, as well as the practical experience of the project, have really shown me how to put best practices into action. ”

Apoorvi will have an opportunity to showcase what she’s learned in August, when she takes up her newest assignment as an Analytics Engineer with Electronic Arts in Austin, Texas. In this role, she’ll work on developing analytics tools for EA’s subsidiary game-developers to decipher the way users play their games. “I’m really excited. When I first started looking at CMU, I thought I might want to do something with games. But I didn’t have a portfolio of the typical game developer. It’s great that I can join EA now, working with data warehousing as a part of this rapidly evolving sector of industry.”

But graduation will be bittersweet for Apoorvi. While she recognizes that the knowledge gained while a student in the program will make her a better software engineering professional in the long-term, she isn’t looking forward to missing the friends she’s seen daily and come to know so well. “I’ll definitely miss my professors and the staff here in the program. Dave Root, Jane, and Ellen have all been so supportive of us throughout the last year. I’ve had a wonderful time here. I’ve seen and done so many fun things with my program friends, from late-night ice skating in Schenley Park to taking in the view from Mt. Washington to just hanging out. ” And so with their futures ahead of them, they’re applying the sort of careful, deliberate approach they’ve practiced so much: They’re already making plans to stay in touch.

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