A Perfect Mix
As a computer engineering major, Rada Charles (B.S., Computer Engineering, 2001) had a choice of going into the hardware field or the software field. At the time, hardware seemed to be a finite and straightforward route. Software, on the other hand, seemed less defined and more difficult. But it was the melding of the two areas that really piqued her interest. "That was what I loved most about computer engineering — getting to see how hardware and software worked together," she said.
After graduation, Charles was able to secure a job effortlessly. "I interviewed with a company in Paso Robles and was offered a job right on the spot," she said. Her new employer, a small computer services firm, developed warehouse manufacturing systems, and one of its clients was mega-tech giant Hewlett-Packard (HP). Charles was immediately tasked with writing software that could collect weight data as printers were being packaged for shipping. Before she knew it, she was heading off to Germany to install the program in HP’s overseas warehouse. "I’d never been out of California, let alone the country," said Charles.