It is not surprising that Joanna Sroka is striving for a future in the tech industry, as her father exposed her to the field as a young girl when she would tag along to his workplace. A technician and network engineer, her father would teach Sroka the inner workings of radios, fiber optics, radar systems, and more.
Sroka is now studying for her bachelor’s degree in computer science with a concentration in big data management and analytics.
“When I was growing up, my father brought home tech for me to tinker with; each time, I was amazed at what technology can do,” says the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences student. “I always knew this field would become my future.”
On the Long Island campus, Sroka writes code and programs for devices that will be used in current and future projects in the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC).
While coding jargon often looks complicated and nonsensical, Sroka breezes through it—perhaps because she’s multilingual in Polish, French, Japanese, Spanish, and Korean. She knows a thing or two about fluency in different languages, including coding languages.
Right now, she is writing Python (a coding language) and programming a variety of sensors—such as infrared, ultrasonic, gas, and weather—to activate and make them work. These sensors have potential use in upcoming drone, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and biotechnology projects the ETIC team is working on.
Citing her experience working in the university’s tech hub, Sroka says between the collaborative nature of creating projects with teammates and the hands-on coding and programming she carries out, she has substantially built up her repertoire of computer science skills—critical for her career in the field.
“Working in the ETIC has definitely taken me on a journey,” she says. “I’ve gained so much invaluable experience, and I’ve thrived in working on things that I am passionate about. I’m excited to have this practice for my future career.”
After graduating, she plans to go back to school for her master’s degree in data science—in line with her goal of becoming a data scientist working on machine learning and AI for a major technology corporation. Sroka is keeping her options open, though, as she follows her own words of wisdom to take others’ advice as simply a guide, not as a steadfast rule.
“I have many plans for after I graduate,” Sroka says. “I have thoughts of working in government or even joining the military. I also plan to become an entrepreneur of an AI or data science technologies company someday.”