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Learning and unlearning (Msc Motivation Letter- Software Engineering)

pranklyspeaking 1 / -  
Mar 9, 2020   #1
Hello everyone, I am currently going through an application process for MSc Software eng. I would appreciate your comment and crticism on how to make it better.

These are the target points

1. What technical and non-technical skills do you have that prepare you well for the Software Engineering Master's programme? When describing your technical skills, please indicate what programming languages and development tools you are most familiar with, and how you assess your level of mastery of these programming languages and development tools? When describing your non-technical skills, explain why you think these skills are important for successfully working in the software industry.

2. What is/are the most complex software engineering task(s) or project(s) that you have completed? If the output of these task(s)/project(s) are open-source or can be made open-source, please provide the link(s) to the public code repository.

3. Have you participated in programming challenges or contests, informatics Olympiads, hackathons or code camps, or have you completed open online courses or extra-curricular courses in software engineering or related fields? If so, please describe your record of participation in such extra-curricular activities.

4. Why are you interested in this Software Engineering Master's programme?
5. Which of the two specializations of this Master's programme (enterprise software or embedded software) would you like to choose and why?

The Letter

To whom it may concern,

I am xxxx, a graduate of Computer Science from xxxxx, Nigeria. I am enormously interested in the Software Engineering Master's degree program at the prestigious University of xxxx as I believe it is a means to both expand on my education and to create more opportunities for myself in the future. I am quite excited about the course curricula and would like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to apply.

A telltale sign of any successful software engineer is the drive to continually improve. No successful software engineer will be able to continually improve their craft if they are unable, or unwilling, to unlearn and relearn new ways of doing what they do. This was and still is a guiding principle during my undergraduate years.

During my undergraduate studies, I acquired theoretical and practical knowledge of subjects like Operation research, algorithms, system architecture, and Automata theory among others. My CGPA of 4.20/5.00 placed me in the top 1% of my class in 2018. Besides my core academic pursuits, I developed myself in multiple programming languages such as C# which is my primary language, Java, Javascript, and Python. Using these skills, I was able to organize multiple programming boot camps in school where I trained fellow students on how to build web apps, simple games and offer a general introduction to programming.

In 2018, The Nigerian senate proposed a death penalty for social media hate speech without any proper ways to identify hate speech, this caused a lot of unrest on social media

brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2018/10/02/should-the-law-be-used-to-curb-hate-speech-in-nigeria/). As an avid problem solver, this inspired my undergraduate research project to design and build a social media sentiment analysis software. I worked on the project from ideation to development with the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE using C# and Rivescript. The project was later extended for business enterprises to view and monitor their brand performance, analyze public sentiments and engage customers in English as well as local languages. The source code is active on a public repository, github.com/xxxxxx.

The potential impact and outstanding result of my final year research were highly regarded by xxxxx and xxxxx as I won a $xxxxx grant to join the first cohort of the FbStart program, a 6 months research and mentorship-driven program for students and startups building innovative solutions for Africa. (cchubnigeria.com/fbstart/meet-2018-cohort.html).

During this program, I learned about how to be more efficient by using tools such as WakaTime, MantisBT, etc which can help save time and money, effective team communication skills, product management, strategic planning, and practical agile software development process.

In my current capacity, I am the technical co-founder of a tech startup, xxxxx. At xxxx, we help businesses understand public brand sentiments and monitor marketing metrics on social media. In this role, I helped the startup take our product from the ideation stage to our first MVP. In my day to day activities, I maintain Restful APIs that I built using TweetInvi (C#), instabot (python), analytics dashboards (JavaScript),cron jobs and AWS Lambda functions (C# and NodeJs) that host our sentiment analyzer. I also oversee the overall technical direction of the startup. This product is currently in use by multiple digital marketing firms and businesses in Nigeria.

To further improve myself, I undertake online courses such as Stanford's Algorithms: Design and Analysis. I learned and applied various algorithms and data structures to solve problems. I have also participated in multiple hackathons such as the digital explorer hackathon for selected software engineers in Nigeria. My team spent the week building a bank account aggregator that helps customers view all their accounts from one dashboard. We implemented this using the ASP.net framework. I built the UI using the bootstrap framework.

The drive to adopt and acquire new skills, methodologies, and technologies, to enrich my knowledge and professional outgrowth is one of the reasons why I am interested in the Software Engineering Master's program at the University of xxxx. This Software engineering program will offer me the opportunity to tackle advanced topics, such as Agile software development, software product management, and to obtain the design experience, skills, and knowledge required to design and develop complex systems and applications. These are some of the areas I want to improve on in my career.

Specializing in enterprise software will in the short and long term, equip me with appropriate skill set required in the software world to be a top enterprise developer such as the ability to plan, track and present the progress of a project, build scalable and secure systems, as well as the ability to use the software development life cycle to solve complex real-world problems.

The desire to get those skills is one of the reasons why I am attracted to the MSc in Software Engineering program. The University of xxxx is one of the top two schools in northern Europe known for its excellence in the information and communication field, together with a good reputation of high-quality education standards, an accomplished faculty, modern research centers, and top alumni in various companies. With its unique situation in Northern Europe, it will provide me with an opportunity to immerse myself in European culture.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I am eager to gain new experiences, improve my skills and broaden my understanding of the dynamic software world, and I am persuaded that studying in the Software Engineering MSc program would contribute to my development as a specialist of software development in the best possible way.

Thank you very much for considering my application.

Yours faithfully,


Holt [Contributor] - / 9,531 2963  
Mar 10, 2020   #2
Take an international point of view regarding your interest in Software Engineering. Discuss how you maybe plan to develop software that can be used internationally based on an open source code (as the prompt seems interested in that). Describe how the university can help you gain strong footing in this field based on the theoretical and practical training the university offers. Don't just use generic information. Your interest in the course must be based on solid information based on the university curriculum and training standards. Don't say "In conclusion", you are not writing a research paper. Close the essay with a statement looking to the future and the achievements you hope to accomplish while a masters degree student. Assure the university that you will be more than happy to share any source code you develop with them and that your desire to learn is something that can only help better develop software programs in the future. It is the later part about the university that needs a little tweaking. Once you strengthen that part, then the essay will be considerably improved and noticeable to the reader.

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