My Journey to Becoming a Tech Junkie
July 19, 2017 | Express Scripts
Moses is a Software Development Engineer on the PBM Benefits and Enrollment team, working to use Agile methodology and cutting edge technologies to transform our product offerings.
As early as I can remember, my parents stressed the importance of working within a “professional” field where I could thrive. That’s exactly what I set out to do at the University at Buffalo as a pre-dental student, where I was asked to memorize and understand concepts I couldn’t even pronounce. From there, I moved to pre-law, but felt I was only going into this field to be viewed as successful by my parent’s definition.
Eventually, I sat back and reflected on what I enjoyed, which quite honestly, was tinkering with gadgets and trying to figure out how things worked. I enjoyed removing the magic from technology and realized that in of itself is the definition of computer science and engineering.
Finding My Fit
After graduating from the University at Buffalo with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, I received my masters from Columbia and spent the first eight years of my career at IBM as a developer and team leader.
Now at Express Scripts, my primary role is to design, enhance, and collaborate with internal business partners to help build better products for our customers. To accomplish this, I try to draw on my previous experience and look for innovative, industry proven ways to solve problems. I like to think of this process like playing with Legos. I start by creating a great building block and then continue by combining new ideas piece by piece until it turns into something amazing.
Recently, I was pulled in to assist with a user interface known as the Care Value Product Engine. My task was to normalize different data sets and determine what was actually needed to build a front end query engine. This project was fascinating for me not only because I was given the opportunity to utilize an entirely new technology stack, but I was able to see if my solution brought immediate value to our customers.
The Importance of Continual Development
While I’ve only been at Express Scripts a few months, I can really see the company’s commitment to improve and empower itself through the use of technology– one of the primary reasons I wanted to work here. The very idea of putting technology to work in the healthcare industry to help solve real-world problems is both exciting and noble.
There’s a real push from a company standpoint to better ourselves from top to bottom, everything from the development methodologies we’re using to the existing technology stack. No process, application or idea is set in stone – everything is up for discussion and potential improvement. We aren’t just relying on what we’ve always done, but instead are pushing the envelope, which is critical as an engineer.
If I had to offer one piece of advice to someone just starting out or transitioning to the technology field, it would be to continually work toward developing your skills and creating a sharper and more talented version of yourself. And, once you’ve been in the field for a while, I think it’s important to be the mentor you needed when you first started out by helping those more junior in their careers.
While it took a little longer than some to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up, I couldn’t be more thankful to have ended up where I am today. My pre-dental and law days are a distant memory; I’m a full-fledged technology junkie through and through.
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