Sharing the Message of Perseverance and Possibilities

Posted On Monday June 03, 2019
General Motors Software Developer Rudy Lang shares his experience in the STEM field with the DDSB community on May 13th.

Software Developer Rudy Lang shares his experience in STEM with the DDSB community

At the Durham District School Board (DDSB) Education Centre on May 13th, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Facilitator Jane Kennedy hosted the second installment of the STEM Talks series with guest speaker Rudy Lang.

“The ability to reach kids is so key, and Rudy has an important message to share with them,” explains Kennedy.

Lang is currently a Software Developer at General Motors (GM) Canada, working out of the Technical Center in Markham.

Beginning from his high school experience, Lang shared problems that arose, lessons that he learned, and honest advice with attendees. He says, “Go out and volunteer. Volunteering builds community connections, responsibility, and punctuality.”

Lang covered what to consider when applying to post-secondary school, advising, “Make a list. When I was trying to decide what university to choose, I compared the schools (University of Waterloo and Queen’s University) based on a number of factors such as: programs available, quality of co-op/internship, reputation, and cost.”

Lang ended up enrolling in the Nanotechnology Engineering program at the University of Waterloo. After about three years in the program, Lang realized it wasn’t the ideal fit for him and began looking for alternative programs closer to his home in Oshawa.

“I transferred to the Electrical Engineering program at Ontario Tech University (formerly University of Ontario Institute of Technology), but unfortunately not all of my credits were transferrable,” says Lang.

So, Lang invested in another four years of school, but this time he knew it was the right program for him.

Internships Equals Experience

“The most important aspect of any post-secondary program is the attached co-op or internship,” Lang notes. He says work experience is the most valuable thing a person can acquire because it increases your network, helps you apply what you have learned, and shows people that you are employable.

Lang’s previous co-ops/internships include Content Developer at the University of Waterloo, Web Developer at Ontario Tech University, and Embedded Designer at Tiko3D (a company aiming to make 3D printing more accessible).

Now he’s working with a diverse team at GM and focusing on advanced mobility innovation in vehicles, “We’re responsible for translating the control system algorithms into code.” Lang explains that this long-term project entails generating and writing code, testing code, “stitching” the code together, instrumenting test vehicles, and much more.

He closed out his presentation by re-emphasizing how important co-ops and internships are, and told students not to be afraid to try new things, “Learn what you like and dislike. It will help you in the long run.”