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Careers in Software Engineering
DEC 01, 2017 19:02 PM
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Careers in Software Engineering

by Lori Cameron
For this ComputingEdge issue, we interviewed Murray Cantor—co-founder and chief technology officer of Aptage—an agile-software-development risk management consultancy—about career opportunities in software engineering. He has developed cutting-edge ideas in software and systems development for more than 35 years. In addition to writing many articles, he is the author of two books: Object-Oriented Project Management with UML and Software Leadership: A Guide to Successful Software Development. He coauthored the article “Steering Software Development Workflow: Lessons from the Internet” from IEEE Software’s September/October 2016 issue. 
ComputingEdge: In the field of software engineering, what advice would you give college students to give them an advantage over the competition?
Cantor: They should learn programming and implementation technologies for machine learning and AI, such as Nvidia’s CUDA parallel-computing platform and API model and the TensorFlow open source software library for machine intelligence.
ComputingEdge: What should applicants keep in mind when applying for jobs in software development?
Cantor: Applicants should avoid dead-end jobs using obsolete technology.
ComputingEdge: How can new hires make the strongest immediate impression in a new position?
Cantor: Show your manager a project you’ve done on your own initiative—not a class assignment—ideally something involving AI. In addition, be ready to provide good examples of team and leadership skills. Development is a team sport.
ComputingEdge: Name one critical mistake for young graduates to avoid when starting their careers.
Cantor: Avoid getting complacent with your skills. Software development careers entail lifelong learning. And what matters is your ability to contribute to your team’s success.
ComputingEdge: Do you have any learning experiences you could share that could benefit those just starting their software-engineering careers?
Cantor: When I was about 30, object-oriented programming was the latest thing. The conventional thinking among the younger programmers was that I was already too old to get it. I quickly learned the Booch method and C++ and proved them wrong. You will age and will need to keep up.
ComputingEdge’s Lori Cameron interviewed Cantor for this article. Contact her at if you would like to contribute to a future ComputingEdge article on computing careers. Contact Cantor at
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