We sat down with Stephen Strickland, a 19 year old college student who’s attending MongoDB World with his father, David Strickland, CTO of MongoDB user MyDealerLot.
Remember this name: fast forward 10 years, and Stephen’s sure to be presenting at MongoDB World 2024!
Where do you go to college and what are you majoring in?
I go to Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) in Marietta, Georgia. I’m majoring in Computer Science. It’s been something I’ve always loved, and also something my dad did. I started programming pretty early, when I was 12. I was at my dad’s office and he handed me a Ruby book. That was my first interaction with programming. I would be happy with any degree in the computer field. There isn’t anything I don’t like about computers. I plan to graduate in 2017 but may stretch that so I can take more classes. I’m also considering possibly minoring in computer security.
What’s been the most exciting moment?
I did the basic training on Monday. There were seven people in the class. It was very simple, very well put together. About halfway through the day one of the guys in class said, ‘if you ever get to point in your life where you want to work in New York, here’s my card I’ll get you in touch with the right people.’ I looked at the card and it was BuzzFeed.
Are you currently working on any projects with MongoDB?
I’ve been interning at MyDealerLot for about a year and a half. Right now, I’m working on an API for them using the MongoDB C# driver.
What I have been aspiring to do over the past several months is to start a business that will develop an AI platform that connects every aspect of your life. This AI platform will be your personal assistant that you can talk to that can control your house, schedule, etc. As I have learned more about MongoDB for work, I realize that MongoDB is a fantastic solution that will fit my needs for this project.
Any first impressions you can share about the MongoDB community?
This is my first development conference ever. The community here is fantastic. I just wish there were more people here. I feel like the MongoDB community should grow over the next couple of years.
What do you want to learn after leaving here?
It’s always about learning more; that’s the name of the game for Computer Science. You just have to keep up to date with everything.
Anything else you want to share about yourself?
I just acquired stephenstrickland.net, which I need to put together after all of my other side projects I'm working on.
For school, I take 13-18 hours a semester and work 3 full days a week. They’re long days and it’s a lot of work, but ultimately I enjoy all of it.
What do you see yourself doing five years out?
Honestly, I have no idea. I do plan to advance but I don’t have specific aspirations of working at Google or whatnot. I wouldn’t mind working for MongoDB as well – they have a senior or just graduated position that looks like a fun job to fill!
To see all MongoDB World presentations, visit the MongoDB World Presentations page.