Helping schools reaps rewards for computer science alumnus

Contact: Cindy Wagner

Chase Myers

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Chase Myers, a 2019 alumnus, knows a lot about programming—he has a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University in computer science and is a software engineer with Level Data, developing a web application to assist with data integration, validation and ingestion for K-12 school districts in the United States. But it is the human interaction in his profession that is most rewarding for him.

“The most interesting experience I’ve had so far has been interacting with the people who are benefiting from the software I’ve been involved with creating,” says Myers, who interned at Level Data during college then accepted a full-time position at graduation. “It’s not completely unexpected for me to get an email saying, “'THANK YOU LEVEL DATA!!' because we’ve managed to solve a problem for someone who is not able to solve it themselves.”

The rewards come from a lot of hard work. Myers’ resume showcases the 12 programming languages and 12 development skills he has mastered. Check out his personal portfolio. Before interning at Level Data as an undergraduate, he worked at Journey Gaming, Counter Craft and Dungeon Realms honing his craft while earning his undergraduate degree. He has put his Western education to good use.

“During my time at Western, I learned to think abstractly about software and algorithms,” says Myers. “Prior to college, I could only think about software with a particular coding language in mind. When I got to messing with more languages and algorithms courses, I was able to abstract these concepts and apply them to any language.”

That ability helps him succeed in the technical aspects of his profession. Equally important are other skills he learned at Western that he uses daily which include, “the ability to work on a group project, being able to communicate with people as you work and knowing how to use GIT for Version Control to collaborate with coworkers,” he says.

Myers says the most challenging aspect of the software engineering industry is knowing that your code will be reviewed, and others may implement the same functionality differently. “Being able to take in ideas and knowing when to accept suggested changes to your solution can be tough,” he says. 

While Myers interacts with many people, he recalls an interview that changed his preconceived perspective on his industry. “The most interesting person I’ve met in my work life is my previous manager mainly because I expected all engineering managers to be much older than me. I was surprised during an interview to see someone in management close to my age and casually wearing Marvel T-shirts,” he says.

You can connect with Myers on LinkedIn or through the WMU Computer Club’s communication services. “The computer club helps keep current students and alumni connected, allowing for help with resumes and potential job opportunities. It is an excellent way to get in contact with more people in your field and to get help with class work,” explains Myers.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.