When Brian Seidl arrived at Adelphi as a first-year student, he had never taken a computer science course. Now, as a senior, he's working part time as a developer for Dealertrack, Inc., a company that provides software to auto dealerships.
When Brian Seidl arrived at Adelphi as a first-year student, he had never taken a computer science course. Now, as a senior, he’s working part time as a developer for Dealertrack, Inc., a company that provides software to auto dealerships.
Software development wasn’t his first plan for a profession. But an engaging class, a supportive professor and a successful internship all led to scoring a job before he finished his degree.
“I originally came into Adelphi as a math major and I wanted to be a math teacher,” says Seidl, who lives in Seaford, New York, and commutes to Adelphi. “Then, as a freshman, I took Introduction to Computer Programming, and I really liked it.”
Seidl switched to a double major in mathematics and computer science. As a sophomore, he began working as a teaching assistant for David Chays, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics and computer science. He continued in that role last year, when the internship opportunity arose.
“Someone at Dealertrack who went to Adelphi emailed Dr. Chays, asking if there were any people he could recommend for their summer internship,” Seidl says. “Dr. Chays reached out to me and I sent my résumé over. It was all through Adelphi connections.”
Seidl completed the full-time, paid internship during the summer after his junior year.
“I was a software developer on an agile team,” Seidl says, explaining that agile teams are collaborative groups that work together without hierarchy to solve problems. “I was working in the real world on code that would actually be used by real people.”
As part of the team, Seidl built new features for the website, fixed bugs and addressed support tickets. He also experienced the real-world pressure and excitement of building code for a client.
In between projects, Seidl built relationships with his co-workers, playing foosball during lunch and volleyball after work.
Most importantly, the internship gave him experience he couldn’t have gained at Adelphi. In his courses, class projects have around a thousand lines of code. At Dealertrack, the software he worked on has a million lines.
“There’s so much I’ve learned,” he says. “It really helped to be able to work on a big code base with a lot of people and a lot of teams. I’m a much better builder now than I was when I started the internship.”
Now Seidl works 20 hours a week as a contractor for Dealertrack while continuing to take a full course load at Adelphi. It’s a setup he didn’t expect, but one that he earned through great work.
He hopes to move into a full-time position at Dealertrack and is considering entering Adelphi’s master’s degree program in computer science as well.
“Dealertrack is 10 minutes away from Adelphi,” he says. “It’d be cool to get my master’s at Adelphi while working at Dealertrack, taking night classes after work.”
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