Meet Michael Weber: a former professor in the Netherlands, turned computer scientist turned software engineer. He has a background both in academia and industry, and is now working a mobile software platform (pervasive concurrency) in Qualcomm.
Sounds like he must have had it all planned out, right? Not exactly.
“It turned out nothing like I thought. When I was a student, I was interested in many subjects so it was difficult for me to focus on one particular thing. I was never at the top of the class. My conclusion is that you don’t need that to be successful or to interesting things in technology.” Michael remembers the many hurdles he had to overcome whilst being a student, and gives high school students this advice: “Be persistent.”
With Scrimmage coming up, this is something that all students should keep in mind. There are many times that things don’t work out as planned. Things are not as clean and nice in theory than it is in practice, and this is especially true in many engineering fields. Accounting for a lot of overlooked details and simplifications that were made during initial planning may be some of the most difficult parts of building robots. Michael reminds students that “it’s easy to think ‘I’m not good enough.’ I was never at the top of my class, but a lot of it was made up by persistence.”
Michael was the featured speaker at Game Day this year, a Design Review judge last year, and may be back to judge final competitions come late April. He wants to see students challenged - pushed to the edge to see what they can comfortably deal with - and go beyond that point. Let’s not disappoint him. We look forward to see everybody’s robots at Scrimmage this week!