Why Sirak’s Friends are Joining the Master’s in Software Development

Sirak HeadshotSirak Tekle came to America from the country of Eritrea in 2015, with a background in electrical engineering. He learned about the Master’s in Software Development (MSD) program from a friend who graduated from the Computer Professionals (ComPro) program in 2016. Let’s see how Sirak is doing as an MSD student, why he tells his friends to come to MIU instead of going to boot camps – and five of his friends are joining the program!

By Christine Albers

CA: How do your parents feel about you joining the MSD program?

Sirak: They are happy and proud of me for coming here for this education. They think it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

CA: When did you come to the US?

Sirak: I landed in San Jose, California in 2015. It was a bit of a culture shock because it’s so diverse and very different from Eritrea. But now I feel like this country is my home. I was employed by Dish Network, Uber, and AT&T as a technician in San Jose before coming to Iowa.

CA: How did you hear about MIU?

Sirak: My friend Henok, who graduated from the Computer Science (ComPro) program, bugged me for 3 years to take this program. I couldn’t join ComPro because I didn’t have a computer background, but he told me I could take the MSD program without any software development experience. He said, “This Master’s in Software Development is the best deal for people who have a background like us.” It took me three years to decide to come to MIU and when I came, I found it was exactly like he said.

CA: What did Henok love best about MIU?

Sirak:  Henok loved the environment, that it was not a big city, but a quiet town, which is the best environment for students. It’s not a big party school, it’s literally a perfect environment. He also told me that Transcendental Meditation (TM) helped him make good progress in his studies.

Sirak with Friends Graduation Party

CA: Do you agree with Henok?

Sirak: Yes!  I love the campus and the whole Fairfield area. If I find a remote job I’d love to continue to live here.  Fairfield is more like my country, so I feel like I’m back home right now. You don’t have the traffic, it’s not crowded. The city is perfect and amazing, and so quiet. I live downtown next to Jefferson County Courthouse and I particularly like Sundays because they are so quiet.

CA: What do you like best about MIU and the MSD program?

Sirak: I like TM, and the environment, and the curriculum. We study one topic at a time and focus entirely on software development, not bothering to study unnecessary things.  We are learning the skills specific to our career, so by the time we finish the program, we have everything we need to find a job. All we need is a Master’s degree and we can get a job right away.

CA: What benefits do you notice from your TM practice?

Sirak: TM helps me a lot, especially in the morning. It makes my mind more powerful and triggers my energy. I see a lot of differences. I used to get bored easily and after an hour I wanted a break, but once I do my meditation in the morning, I can study for a long time, four or five or even six hours at a time.

CA: Did you consider going to a boot camp?

Sirak: I wouldn’t recommend boot camps. It’s better to come here and join the extended track (18 months). People might save some money at boot camps, but it’s not about the money. It’s about your long-term goals. Students don’t learn enough at the boot camps because it’s impossible to learn that fast. If they know nothing, to begin with, they won’t gain a deep core understanding of the programming language, as we do here at MIU. Here they teach us to think like an engineer, to solve problems on our own, and to understand the core of the study. You cannot become a competent programmer by going to a boot camp.

CA: Do you enjoy software development?

Sirak: When I came here, we were learning new frameworks and new technologies from the top of the market. That’s the best thing about MSD. They only teach you the most up-to-date knowledge and frameworks.

CA: How do you like JavaScript?

Sirak: I love JavaScript. It’s not complicated.  It’s straightforward and grows more popular all the time.  If you go to Google ratings for programming languages it’s at the top rank of any programming language

CA: If someone asked you about the program what would you tell them?

Sirak: I used to think that all schools are the same, but this school not only helps you change your career, it’s also life-changing, and TM is a big part of that. Now I regret that I waited three years. I don’t want my friends and all the people I know to miss this opportunity. I recommended this to five of my friends who are joining next semester and I want to keep convincing my friends to come to MIU and join this program. It will help them get a great career and change their lives for the better.

Sirak completed his courses and graduated from the Masters of Software Development program in August 2021. He is ready to begin a new career as a JavaScript web developer. We wish him the best of luck on his next adventure in the world of IT!

The Masters of Software Development is a 12- or 18-month training program for U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Asylees, to become software developers. Previous software development training or experience is not necessary to enroll in this program and any bachelor’s degree in any subject is eligible for admission. MSD is now accepting applications for February 2022. For more information call or text 800-563-9673.

 

 

 

 

MSD Professor Dr. Renuka

Dr. Renuka Mohanraj Feeling at Home on Master’s of Software Development Faculty

“I would tell students that MIU is a very happy place to live and study, and this program prepares them to get good jobs and create a better life.” ~ Dr. Renuka

By Christine Albers

Dr. Renuka Mohanraj emigrated from Southern India to join Maharishi International University (MIU) faculty in 2014. In March 2021 she won an industry award for research on wireless security and was honored as a Fellow of the Computer Science Research Council (FCSRC) for her important research on wireless sensor networks (WSN) data security. Let’s meet this brilliant and accomplished professor, who we are so fortunate to have on faculty for the Master’s of Software Development program (MSD), and the MS in Computer Science (ComPro). Learn why her students sing her praises with comments like this:

“Data structure was a crucial course and you made it enjoyable and easy. I love the way you teach and how organized and efficient you are. I appreciate the extra effort you put in to make sure all of us understand the concepts very well. You are the best professor I have had in this program. Best wishes and thank you and I deeply appreciate your hard work.”

CA: Congratulations on your award, Dr. Renuka. Can you tell us about your background?

Dr.  Renuka: I have my Ph.D. in Computer Science and a Master’s in Computer Applications.  I had 19 years of academic experience and worked for 12 years in other universities prior to joining the MIU faculty.

CA: What inspired you to join MIU?

Dr.  Renuka: In 2014, my husband was working in Tanzania and I had just completed my Ph.D. in India. We were looking for a place where our whole family could be together so he searched on Google for a university where we could work and live. When we found MIU we were attracted by the concept of Consciousness-based education. We liked the idea that the development of consciousness through meditation was a big part of the university. We thought that because everyone, the students, staff, and faculty all practice the TM technique, it would be a calm, quiet, and safe place for us to live as a family.

CA: What was it like for you, coming from India to a small-town environment in Iowa?  

MSD Professor Dr. Renuka and familyDr.  Renuka: For me, it wasn’t a complete cultural shift because the university follows Maharishi’s tradition. After meeting my colleagues and students, it felt like my home town very quickly, because many people are meditating and on a spiritual path in addition to a career path.

CA: What do you like best about living in the MIU community?

Dr.  Renuka: In this community, everyone is respectful and loving, and helpful to each other.  That is what’s so great about living here.  I remember arriving on campus as newcomers and everyone smiled at us and welcomed us. It made us feel safe to stay here because the people are so wonderful.

CA: Are you feeling any benefits from your TM practice?

Dr.  Renuka: It’s so wonderful. I have seen myself grow in self-confidence, clarity of mind, calmness, and much more energy.

CA: Do you think the MSD students are different from students you taught at previous universities?

Dr.  Renuka: The MSD students are different from other students because they want to learn as much as they can from the faculty. They have keen observation, and focus, and the determination to gain this knowledge. The MSD course is challenging and requires hard work, but TM gives them greater mental clarity and the energy to accomplish more. MIU is unique because the faculty has to keep up with the demand of the students to learn. This is very stimulating and enjoyable as a teacher.

CA: What do you think of the Block system?

Dr.  Renuka: The Block system is effective for helping students learn and retain knowledge because it’s much easier to go deeply into each subject when they take one course at a time. Students have class in the morning and a practicum in the afternoon.  During the practicum, they apply what they learned in the morning session so they get a complete understanding. The practicum provides an opportunity to solve the type of problems they would encounter in the workplace, which prepares them for their future careers in software development.

CA: I understand that computer science has been mostly male-dominated in the past. Do you think that women faculty and students are outnumbered by men at MIU?

Dr.  Renuka: When I came to MIU in 2014 I was the only woman in the Computer Science Department. MIU recruited me because they wanted more women to join the faculty. Now it is getting better. Many more female students enrolled in the MSD program in August, and there are more women in the department.

CA: Why do you feel it is important for the students to learn TM?

Dr.  Renuka: TM helps students have a balanced personality and reduces stress and anxiety. Because they have inner calm, they are more stable and better able to focus on their classes and learn the technologies. Because TM develops the students from the inside, it helps them be good citizens and creates better quality human beings.

CA: What would you like to say to students who are interested in joining the MSD program?

Dr.  Renuka: I would tell students that it’s a very happy place to live and study, and this program prepares them to get good jobs and create a better life. With their TM practice, they can easily face the challenges of the current market in the IT industry. The technologies may change, but with a clear mind and rested physiology, they can learn new technologies and be successful in the workplace.

The Masters of Software Development is a 12- or 18-month training program for U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Asylees, to become software developers. Previous software development training or experience is not necessary to enroll in this program and any bachelor’s degree in any subject is eligible for admission. MSD is now accepting applications for February 2022. For more information call or text 800-563-9673.

 

 

Professor Asaad Saad featured on “Adventures with Angular” podcast

Angular vs React: What Grad Students Pick 100% of the Time

Professor Asaad Saad, Program Director for the Master’s in Software Development program and Professor of Computer Science, discusses why learning Angular creates a better software engineer, and why we teach it at MIU. Listen to podcast here:

 

Ashim Ghimire is Ready to Start a New Career

How Ashim Gained Confidence from the Master’s in Software Development Program

It’s a long way from Katmandu, Nepal to Fairfield, Iowa, but Ashim Ghimire knows exactly where he is going. As a Master’s in Software Development student at Maharishi International University (MIU), Ashim is confident he will garner a great job. In this interview, he shares the story of how he found MIU and his excitement about the future.

Ashim, how was your first experience in the USA?

I was 20 years old when I came to the USA to study Economics at South Dakota University, and, I have to say, it was hard.  Although many international students attended the university, I didn’t feel at home. MIU is different. We have students from almost 50 countries in our program, plus international students who have lived in Fairfield their whole life, and they always make me feel welcome. I never expected to find a place like this in the heart of Iowa! If I’d known about MIU I would have come here. MIU makes it easy to get an education and finance it without straining.

How did you learn about MIU?

I searched for an economics position after I graduated from South Dakota University, but ended up working as a Quality Analyst in Seattle. I met 15-20 MIU graduates at the company. They said it was a great program and they found good jobs when they finished. That was all I needed to hear! My brother-in-law also graduated from the ComPro program in 2008, and was very happy with his education.

Were you a computer buff?

I never had an interest in computers, but the Quality Analyst position was all computer-based and I discovered I liked computer work.  I didn’t have enough computer background to apply for ComPro, so I didn’t consider going to MIU. But then I was laid off from the QA job and wondering what do next.  My brother-in-law forwarded an email from MIU announcing a new Master’s in Software Development program.  The email said that the program did not require a computer programming background so I knew this was the next step for me.

How are the classes? Are you getting the knowledge you need to go out into the job market?

The classes are really good. The way of teaching, with the block system of studying one subject each month, is great.  Studying one thing at a time makes it easier to focus and learn because you don’t have to worry about any other subject.

How do you like the faculty?

The faculty is great. We are all from different backgrounds and no one has been in Computer Science before, but in a span of 10 months we are confident we can do the job and that shows a lot.  It’s because of the faculty. They have to teach people who have little or no computer experience and make them competent within 10 months, and it works.

JavaScript must have been brand new. Was it difficult to learn?

It was challenging, but not too hard, and I discovered that I love JavaScript. You don’t learn it and know it and that’s it; you have to continue using it and learning new things. Getting the degree is only the beginning. Whoever practices the most improves the most, and it’s an ongoing learning experience.

Are you noticing any benefits from the daily practice of Transcendental Meditation ™?

Before coming here, I didn’t think much of it, but after learning Transcendental Meditation ™ I could feel the difference. My mind used to wander everywhere when I tried to study, but since I learned the meditation I can concentrate on what I’m studying. I’ll definitely continue the meditation when I leave MIU – for the same reason – I don’t want to go back to how I was before I learned TM.

Would you recommend this program to other students?

I looked at many universities before I found MIU and I couldn’t even apply without a computer background. This is the first program I would recommend to anyone who has a strong interest in computers. I already recommended it to two friends who applied. The environment is friendly and helpful to students, and it’s a boon for international students because we feel at home.

So far, you’ve lived in Katmandu, Nepal; Vermillion, South Dakota; Seattle, Washington; and Fairfield, Iowa. Where are you headed next?

My parents, and my sister and her family are all living in Seattle now, so my wife and I look forward to going back there when I finish my courses.

What is the greatest thing you’ve gained from this program?

The best thing I’ve gained is the knowledge of computers and web development and the confidence that I have everything I need to get a good job.  I only have a few more weeks of school and I’m excited to start a new life and a new career!

 

Ashim is currently enrolled in the Masters of Software Development program and will begin applying for JavaScript web developer positions when his courses finish in August. We wish him the best of luck as he travels back to Seattle to be with his family and start a new career.

The Masters of Software Development is a 12-month accelerated track or 18-month standard track training program for U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, and Asylees, to become software developers. Previous software development training or experience is not necessary to enroll in this program and any US equivalent bachelor’s degree in any subject is eligible for admission.