Hello! Could someone please review my
SOP for CMU's MSE program?
SOP guidelines provided by the program: mse.isri.cmu.edu/0_documents/statement-of-purpose-guidelines.pdf
Experience and Background:
I completed my Bachelors in Computer Science and Engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology and upon fulfilment of my education, I got recruited by Bank of America as a Software Engineer. I'm currently working as part of the Infrastructure Automation Team at the Bank which uses BMC TrueSight Orchestrator to provide IT Service Orchestration by automating routine operational procedures such as remediation of incidents associated with a monitoring event and schedule/trigger ad-hoc activities. My team follows Agile methodologies and DevOps tools such as Git and BitBucket for development and release management.
The most complex project that I have been involved with during my tenure at Bank of America is 'Enterprise Patching Automation Service'; abbreviated as EPAS through which server patching is automated in an end-to-end fashion. The team comprises of 6 developers spread out globally. With EPAS, server patching is scheduled automatically upon detection of software updates for various packages and a change is created in BMC IT Service Management (ITSM). During patching, BMC TrueSight Orchestrator would integrate with Bladelogic via Network Shell Scripts to deploy packages on target servers. Upon completion of patching, reports are consolidated in a database and sent out to the application owners. Post deployment, continuous efforts are made by the team for constant up-keeping of this project to achieve superlative efficiency. I'm currently working on extending EPAS towards middleware patching, firmware upgrades, database patching and Venafi Certificate renewals. The major challenge that my team faced during the development of EPAS was building a seamless integration of TSO with multiple other tools without creating too many dependencies to cut down chances of miscommunication during maintenance activities. To overcome this hurdle, we maintain a Health Check Automation which runs in a scheduled manner and constantly monitors all the integration points. If the Health Check Automation detects any anomaly, it immediately switches the integration over to the secondary connection and runs remediation scripts to bring up the primary connection thus maintaining 100% resiliency.
Another elaborate project that I have been a part of was 'Automated Release Management'. A virtual team of 4 engineers was ascribed the task to streamline the team's release process which formerly required the developers to stage and activate the required modules on all production servers sequentially during every code release. This process was time-consuming and monotonous while exposing the production grids to violations and vulnerabilities. A new and robust functionality was introduced in the Automation Portal with limited access which would perform all the release activities with a single click. I was responsible for the development of Ansible playbooks which would make use of TSO Repository APIs and stage the required modules on all production servers simultaneously without having developers to connect to those servers directly thus safeguarding production instances from manual access.
I've also been entrusted with the task of performing 'Proof of Concept' around integrating several tools into development workflows such as Appdynamics, Tanium and Autosys resulting in an expansive set automation use-cases. Additionally, I am well versed in C++/XPath/XSLT/SQL and using Git for version control.
One essay in one thread. No external links please.
Holt Educational Consultant - / 10,364 3368
The presentation itself is more of a lengthened experience presentation rather than a statement of purpose. From beginning to end, you do not refer to any ideas that may be understood as representative of a purpose for your masters studies. You have presented yourself as a well trained applicant, who is lacking in an actual purpose, thesis idea, professional plans, or university choices. This is not the kind of statement that contains any sort of purpose. There are only explanations regarding your work experience. Where is the purpose? What course are you enrolling it? How does it apply to your current job or future goals? What school are you applying to? How does the school answer your demand for technical training and theoretical knowledge? If I were the reviewer, I would not be impressed by you upon reading this paper. I would not accept your application to the university.
@Holt I just realised that the second section of my SOP did not get included in the thread. Pasting it here.(must be in a new thread)
Purpose, Goals and Achievements:
Upon graduating from CMU's MSE program, I aspire to ascend to a position of technical leadership and refine my organisation's development process to greater heights of excellence and efficiency over the next few years. My end goal is to define and design broad-reaching system architectures as a software/system architect. During my experience as a developer, I've spent a great deal of time working on enhancing existing projects to make them more scalable and reliable which I feel could have been avoided if the initial design was well thought of. Early design decisions are the most dif- ficult to get correct and the hardest to change later in the development process as they have the most far-reaching effect. By becoming a software architect, I would have the authority to dictate these decisions and design a transferable abstraction of any system. I strongly believe CMU's MSE pro- gram would up-skill my domain, technology and methodological expertise to design well-laid system architectures.
The MSE program's plan of study seamlessly integrates engineering and managerial skills which would boost my existing skillset to design, construct and maintain complex systems without com- promising quality and coordinate within and across teams to achieve larger engineering goals. Moreover the industry field trips would provide an instant connection to various accomplished software engineering mentors and professionals across the globe. The most compelling aspect of the MSE program, the Studio Project, would provide me the opportunity to apply my theoretical learn- ing to practice in a realistic setting by interacting with real-world customers and developing a prod- uct in a full life-cycle environment. Upon reading about the featured projects such as HopeBand and RadPiper, I highly appreciate the program's focus towards teamwork and solving real-world challenges.
During my tenure at Bank of America, I filed 2 patents at the USPTO, both of which are currently in "Patent Pending" status. The first patent is about an Autonomous Automation Builder and Self Testing Framework for which an engine has been designed which is capable of observing all the maintenance activities happening in an environment. Based on the steps performed for the up-keep- ing of the environment, the engine would come up with autonomous automations resulting in a self sustaining environment maintenance model. Additionally, the engine would build auto test-cases and the automations get tweaked based on the feedback returned. The second patent titled as "Intelligent Application Resiliency Optimiser" revolves around the idea of constantly monitoring application configuration changes and underlying infrastructure to calibrate remediation jobs, predict point of failures and come up with an optimised application configuration.
Additionally, I've completed ITIL V4 Certification, Site Reliability Engineer(SRE) Certification, Professional Scrum Master Certification, RedHat Ansible Certification, AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification and an HP Certified Big Data and Hadoop Training. With a strong foundation in Com- puter Science and 3 years of industry experience with a leading multinational banking firm, I strongly believe that CMU's MSE degree would be a strategic investment towards my future goals and ambitions.