Alumni Highlight- Maddie Gabriel

Posted on Thursday, November 2nd, 2023

Written by Kylie Riches

Girl wearing glasses and a hat smiling at camera with thumbs up

Q: When did you graduate? What program were you in?

A: I graduated in Spring 2021 with a Bachelor of Computing (Co-op). My major was in Software Engineering and my minor was in Math.


Q: When did you become interested in  your field?

A: I started my time at Guelph studying Math, but I became interested in programming after taking an Intro to Computer Science course in my first year. I found coding to be challenging and rewarding, and I could see that what I was learning could be applied in the real-world to solve endless problems in pretty much any industry. After taking that course, I decided to make the switch into the Software Engineering program (and I’m glad I did!)


Q: How did the program prepare you for your career?

A: I think Guelph’s Software Engineering program does a great job at getting you reading to work as a developer in industry. Our semesterly Software Design courses gave us the chance to collaborate with others to design, build and test a fullstack application – which is pretty much my entire job.

The co-op program was a fantastic opportunity that allowed me to try my hand at working as a developer at multiple different companies before graduating. This really built my confidence, and also forced me to learn technical interviewing skills before being launched into the real world! I felt super supported by our co-op coordinators, Laura and Kate.


Q: Did you have an A HA moment? A time when something you learned or a professor just blew you away?

A: For me that moment was in CIS*2750, infamously titled “Angel of Death” by students. This course was the first time we had to build a relatively full working app from start to finish. Suddenly all the skills and knowledge we had been gaining in separate courses came together, and I understood why we needed to learn them!


Q: Tell me a little bit about your current job?

A: Since graduating, I’ve been working as a Software Developer at D2L in Waterloo. For a while, I worked on a Product Dev team to implement new grading features in D2L’s Learning Management software (Brightspace – AKA Courselink!). Now, I work on a Platform Dev team where I’m more focused on our back-end architecture and performance. D2L is a great place to work – my co-workers are really awesome people, the stuff we build feels important!


Q: What would do you tell future students about Guelph? What would you tell them about the field?

A: I think that Guelph is the best school in the world! It was the perfect place for me to grow & learn. Make sure you get out and get to know the wonderful people in your community, both on campus and in the city of Guelph!

Computer Science is a very interesting, flexible and surprisingly collaborative field. You can make a huge impact – but you have to learn to be OK with failing in order to improve!


Q: Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

A: I hope I’m continuing to build awesome products that help people, and enjoying life as much as I am now!

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