When Sabur Khan ’22 first considered a career in software engineering, his professor and mentor John Mulholland weighed in: There’s a lot more to it than just coding. The process of designing a product or web application involves people skills, such as interviewing customers, and deep thinking away from the computer. Because Khan values work-life balance and variety, his professor’s insight helped him decide to major in Computer Information Science and concentrate on software engineering.
Khan witnessed the importance of people skills during his summer internship at cloud computing company VMware, an opportunity he found through the St. Edward’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Science (i4). The i4 partners with companies working on projects related to the fourth industrial revolution, which merges the physical, digital and biological spheres, and offers paid internships funded by a National Science Foundation grant. Khan had numerous virtual meetings with his mentor, colleagues in the department and even the CEO. The experience required him to overcome his natural introversion.
“Pushing myself into uncomfortable experiences in my internship helped me open up more as a person and become more communicative,” he says. It paid off: VMware offered Khan a full-time position after graduation.
Programmed for Adventure
Greg Stafford, Kaytlyn Guerrero, Sabur Khan and Christopher Terni take a break from studying as they work on a puzzle together in the Munday Library.
The Recreation and Athletic Center on campus offers Sabur Khan plenty of choices for a rigorous workout to let off steam.
With his laptop in hand, Sabur Khan heads to a class held in the John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center on campus.
Sabur Khan takes part in a free Advanced Java Bootcamp course offered by Netflix in partnership with St. Edward’s.
After a day of classes, Sabur Khan rides his motorcycle back home to Round Rock, just north of downtown Austin.
A friendly game of 1x1 basketball is a perfect way for Sabur Khan and his friend Zohayb Bhatti ’24 to unwind after a busy day.
The Khan's family dining room provides a quiet spot for Sabur Khan to finish his schoolwork for the day. Nearly all of his classes are virtual.
A walk on the Brushy Creek Regional Trail near their homes in Round Rock gives Sabur Khan and Zohayb Bhatti a chance to talk and enjoy the outdoors.
Khan is interested in backend software engineering, which focuses on the structural side of web applications. He’s learned backend engineering fundamentals through an Advanced Java Bootcamp course offered by Netflix in partnership with St. Edward’s. “It’s teaching me a lot of hands-on skills and industry-standard tools,” Khan says.
He’s also completing, with a partner, his senior project: a guide for prospective investors that compiles financial information from the web about companies on the stock market. The project marries Khan’s ongoing interest in business with his major in Computer Information Science.
To let off steam, Khan works out at the gym, plays soccer in a men’s league and goes hiking, especially on the Barton Creek Greenbelt near downtown and the Brushy Creek Regional Trail near his house. He’s also a bit of a thrill seeker. He rides a motorcycle — “a mood-booster,” he calls it. And on warm weekends, he’ll go cliff jumping with friends at nearby Inks Lake State Park. The adrenaline rush is an antidote to the long hours he spends studying.
“I work so hard,” he says, “and in these moments I can let everything out and feel free.”
Story by Robyn Ross
Photography by Chelsea Purgahn