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Computer Science Overview - PowerPoint - Podcast

Kimberly Davis

Software Configuration Management Engineer
Texas Instruments
Dallas, TX


 
B.S. - Computer Science, University of Alabama in Tuskaloosa
Software Configuration Management Engineers involved in software development working with the Navigation Software Team.
"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." - Nelson Mandela


Davis: "I wasn't sure my first day of what it was exactly that I was going to do here at Texas Instruments, because they allow for new hires to come in on a college pool where, you know, you get to sort of pick and choose the different things that you do. There's a rotation program that was in place where you could, you know, try different jobs throughout a limited amount of time, to get your feel for what it is that you want to continue your career in."


Working in software configuration management at Texas Instruments, Kimberly Davis needs to use both technical and people skills every day. "To do my job well, you need to be competent in different languages because software is developed in different platforms. Also, you need to be able to work within a team, because you're not just one on one with someone: it's a team that you support. You need to have writing skills because you're communicating with different groups of people -- customers and suppliers -- regarding the software that you've developed."

In preparation for her career, Davis took courses in "different languages, operating systems, human interfaces." She also took "some hardware courses with computers and platforms and boards and things of that nature." Among the non-technical courses she found helpful were Human Development and technical writing. She explains that the former course plays "a role in how I go about my work" and the latter is necessary for dealing with customers because it teaches "to write technical information in a not-so-technical way, so that even the most non-technical person can read it and understand it."

Her extracurricular activities also gave her useful experience in preparation for work. As an officer of the National Society of Black Engineers, Davis developed communication skills while working in conjunction with the officers of the society on other campuses. In addition, "Coordinating activities for the different groups that we supported in our area also helped me with my communication skills." Furthermore, she learned to develop and work with a "network" of people to whom she doesn't "have personal access on a regular basis" something that her job requires of her daily. Davis' work requires her to coordinate and schedule work with people who "are not always available when I'm available, but getting the information that I need to and from them, in a limited amount of time, is important." A complement of skills has been necessary for her career.

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