SUU to Everywhere

Matt Wilde ('17)
SUU to Amazon

Originally published on November 28, 2017.

Having already earned an associate’s degree from Southern Utah University during high school, Matthew Wilde knew the caliber of education SUU offered when he became a full-time student in 2015.

The small class sizes in the Computer Science and Information Systems program allowed Matt to develop a personal relationship with his professors that greatly benefitted him throughout his education. After accidentally losing all the coding from his first programming project, Dr. Cecily Heiner, assistant professor of computer science, sat down with Matt for hours and helped him reprogram the whole thing all over again.

“Dr. Heiner has taken more personal interest in me and my fellow classmates than I have seen any other professor do,” said Matt. “She does this because she sees and appreciates the potential in an individual.”

Matt was also significantly impacted by Dr. Rob Robertson, former department chair for Computer Science and Information Systems. Dr. Robertson’s asks students challenging and intriguing questions that places the learning responsibility back into the hands of his students. This teaching method motivated Matt to take ownership over his studies.

“At the beginning, I often walked into a class and always felt that everyone around me knew so much more than me and I was always comparing myself to others,” said Matt. “To help me solve these problems, I made it a point to go above and beyond in my programming assignments. Once I made that decision, my confidence rose, and I was excited about what I could create with my life instead of looking at what others did.”

In the experiential-based CSIS program, Matt completed several projects as an undergraduate. He built a website that allows people to track new items that become available on classifieds websites like KSL and Ebay and helped a local company develop a unique way to process data in order to increase the company’s productivity. Matt also maintained a job as a web developer in Cedar City while he was finishing school.

Matt now works for Amazon as a cloud support engineer. His job includes working with the Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) portion of Amazon Web Services and helps customers have the best experience possible. Day-to-day, Matt uses python and shell scripting to write tools and automate tasks. He also analyzes graphs and metrics to find areas where the service can be improved and sped up.

“I love the atmosphere of learning at Amazon,” said Matt. “It is encouraged to always be adding to your personal ‘toolbelt’ of knowledge. The tasks I’m given keep me out of my comfort zone which is where I learn most.”

Matt came to understand at SUU that lifelong learning is what is going to help him succeed outside of school.

“At Southern Utah University, my professors taught me how to teach myself.”

Learn more about the CSIS program.