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Since its inception in 2018, K16 Solutions has been a pioneer in the educational software engineering industry. In my four years of collaboration with the team, I’ve witnessed the company’s products and services evolve and its partnerships with numerous colleges and universities for learning management system (LMS) migration and data archiving/integration projects grow.

One area that K16 Solution prioritizes is nurturing the next generation of educational software engineering talent. In a recent conversation with K16’s leadership about how the company recruits, retains and develops early-career technology professionals, one name that kept coming up was Luwam Hailu.

As a 2020 college graduate and rising star in educational technology, Luwam has brought unique insights and contributions to our team. I was excited to chat with Luwam about her career.

Q: Tell us about your job at K16. What are the platforms and services you are working on, and what are you most excited about?

A: I have the pleasure of being on the software engineering team at K16 Solutions, primarily working on LMS migration and archiving services. I routinely focus on delivering operational success from these services by way of enhancing functionality, expanding capabilities, and ensuring these platforms remain highly performant.

It is truly an honor to be a part of a culture that values and fosters creativity, collaboration and continuous learning. In all of my endeavors, I am encouraged to think outside the box and experiment with new solutions and ideas, and that makes my job exciting every day.

I am most excited about the latest innovation coming out of K16, Scaffold DataX! I am eager to be a part of the advancement of our DataX platform as it shakes the ed-tech industry.

Q: Why did you decide to join K16 Solutions at this early stage in your career? Why did you choose to work as a software engineer at an educational technology company rather than pursue a more traditional career path?

A: I was initially drawn to K16 Solutions by the allure of its innovative approach to educational technology. Despite being a college graduate from UNLV [the University of Nevada, Las Vegas], I was not familiar with the ed-tech industry or the ecosystem in which K16 operates.

However, the chance to delve deeper into this field was instantly appealing. As I learned more about the transformative impact K16 Solutions was making in education, my interest grew. The dynamic, innovative environment promised significant opportunities for direct, meaningful impact—something I deeply value.

My lifelong passion for learning and natural curiosity has always made me a devoted student; working at K16 Solutions allows me to maintain close ties to education, aligning my career with my personal interests and values. This convergence of personal affinity and professional opportunity made it clear that joining K16 Solutions was the right step for my early career in software engineering.

Q: What advice do you have for other early-career software-engineering professionals who might be interested in building a career within the education space?

A: For early-career software engineers interested in the education sector, my main advice is to deeply understand the challenges and opportunities within this field.

Delve into the ecosystem to gain a comprehensive insight into how it operates. Familiarize yourself with the different stakeholders, such as students, educators and administrators, to better understand their needs and pain points.

This knowledge will serve as a blueprint for how you can make meaningful contributions to the education space and build your career. Having this orientation will empower you to produce impactful and effective solutions and progress your career path.

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