Meet: Rod David
Senior Software Engineer
Who I Am
I'm a senior software engineer at the Wind Tunnel Systems Branch. I write
software programs, train new programmers, and provide technical support
for the wind tunnel tests here at NASA Ames. For the Wright Flyer, I helped
write the software that helped the engineers and scientists study the
aerodynamic performance of the plane. I work in a team environment, working
with the instrumentation engineers, test directors, and other programmers
in troubleshooting any software-related problems that may come up.
My Career Path
I majored in Computer Engineering at San Jose State, although I originally
started in Mechanical Engineering. When I started taking computer classes,
I realized that I enjoyed working with computers more than tinkering with
mechanical things. Growing up, I was good in Math and Science, so engineering
was something that I've always considered since then. My oldest brother
was also an engineer, and he inspired me to continue pursuing engineering.
Why I Like My Job
The best part of the job is working on very interesting projects such
as the Wright Flyer. It's a historical project and I'm glad to be a part
of it. I also worked on a project in Holland as part of a joint partnership
between NASA and the Dutch. It was one of the highlights of my career
so far since I was able to see Europe for the first time and see beautiful
sights from London, Paris, and Holland.
The negative aspects of the job involve working long hours sometimes
in order to finish the project on time. But, it's all worth it when the
projects go so well, knowing that I was able to help in the projects'
As A Child
When I was growing up , I enjoyed going to the library and read the science
magazines there, such as Science Digest or Popular Science, or any news
related magazine such as Time or Newsweek. I also enjoyed reading about
the solar system and the outer space. One memorable science project in
high school was when we built our own model rockets and let them take
off. It taught me a lot about aerodynamics. In high school, I took my
first computer class using the Radio Shack's TRS80 computers, which were
very basic back then, but what they could do amazed me and gave me a sense
Computers is the way of the future. It's a very interesting and rewarding
job. I would tell them to watch educational TV shows such as the Discovery
Channel and shows on PBS to learn more about the world around us and the
technology that's shaping our future. They would need to do well on their
math and science classes, and take as many computer classes as they could.
It was my older brother who suggested that I pursue a major in engineering.
My parents also reinforced that by supporting me in my education and giving
me moral support. In high school, my Geometry teacher and Chemistry teachers
made me realize that "I can do this!", and gave me self confidence.
Future Goals Computers and software keeps on evolving, which
makes it an exciting future. I see myself continuing to learn about the
new developments in the computer field by taking classes or reading magazines.
I consider going into a supervisory position or management in the near
I'm still single, but I'm hoping to get married someday and have 3 kids,
a dog, a tennis and basketball court in my backyard, and a big aquarium
filled with tropical fish such as Angelfish, Betta fighting fish, neon
tetras, swordtails, and catfishes.