Bringing Lessons in Coding to AWS

Feiyu Chen (MSR '19) works at Amazon Web Services as a software engineer, a role he said he would not be able to do as effectively if it weren't for his experiences in Northwestern Engineering's Master of Science in Robotics (MSR) program.

Feiyu Chen (MSR '19) is a software engineer for Amazon Web Services (AWS). He said he wouldn't be where he is today without the lessons he learned in Northwestern Engineering's Master of Science in Robotics (MSR) program.

Chen works on the AWS Simple Storage Service (S3), and his daily work is focused primarily on writing code and reviewing others' code, skills he strengthened in the MSR program. 

"I wrote lots of code during my time in the MSR program, which helped me grow into an experienced programmer who can ramp up quickly on a project and deliver results faster," Chen said. "I also now work with Linux systems every day, and I didn’t know Linux at all until I attended the MSR program." 

Chen's responsibilities are to develop an internal web service and tools for AWS that ensures customer data is intact and never corrupted. He frequently finds himself relying on experiences he had while working on the array of required projects in MSR, including in-class assignments as well as his independent and final projects. 

"The projects that I worked on in MSR helped me learn the methodology of planning and developing software projects, which benefits my work today," Chen said. 

When Chen was first considering graduate programs, MSR stood out to him because of the curriculum flexibility and the duration of the program. The small cohort size was appealing because Chen correctly assumed that having a small number of classmates would provide more opportunities for one-on-one learning with the program's faculty. He also was excited for the program's emphasis on hands-on projects. These projects let him apply the skills he learned to real robots while also building his project portfolio to showcase his abilities to future employers. 

With the program's duration in mind, Chen also encouraged future MSR students to consider what it is they want to get out of the program. Whether it's learning about control, motion planning, SLAM, or machine learning, having a clear direction, he said, is key to making the most out of the MSR experience.

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