TA Spotlight: Erin Paciorkowski

Each week we spotlight an OMSCS TA, so you can get to know who's behind the screen. Here are four questions for Erin Paciorkowski, who TAs CS 6300: Software Development Process.

Erin Paciorkowski


What do you do professionally?

I'm a senior software engineer. I've been doing Java development for about 10 years now, currently as a civilian for the Department of Defense in the DC metro area. In my previous role, I worked primarily on Java web applications, with a little bit of information security and business intelligence. However, I have just accepted a new role working on product development at the DoD’s new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center.


Why do you TA for OMSCS?

I started TA'ing back in Summer 2016. The program was really important to me, both for connections back to Georgia Tech (I went to GT for part of undergrad), and because that sort of online opportunity was really new and I wanted to see it work. It’s a great group of people to work with, and the material is very familiar to me. I like being able to add to the class and help where I can. Now, I think it helps me stay connected to the program, and I enjoy working with the people involved as well.  


What's your advice for future students in OMSCS?

Have backup classes picked your first term, but do not panic—you will be able to get into most classes. Sign in to your class's Canvas site and Piazza as soon as they are open during the first week, and read the syllabus! Policies are not all exactly the same, and even if it is slow during the first week, you do not want to start off by missing something! Take the time to read everything while you can, look over the schedule for any potential problems, ask any questions about the policies, and log into any sites or tools that you can. There are so many problems and mistakes you can prevent in that first week, and you may even still be able to switch classes that week if you find out that something isn't what you expected or completely doesn't work with your schedule, computer, etc.  


What's your favorite memory from your time in or working with OMSCS so far?

I was on a trip to California at the end of October, and we'd changed the time for office hours once or twice. It sounded like I could take office hours from my phone during a break in the trip, so I didn't bring up any problem when it was moved to Halloween. However, the time actually fell while I was at Universal Studios, right as Fright Fest was starting up. So I was trying to find someplace to go and also trying to end up closer to the Stranger Things maze while answering office hours questions via Youtube Live on my phone.  The soundtrack started up much louder than anticipated, and the lights went down. Alex and Will had a couple Halloween touches, but meanwhile I was trying to keep an eye on the Fright Fest things popping up around me and also still hear the questions. I guess it did not turn out to be as much of a mess as it felt like, but it was certainly not as intended and an interesting element of that Halloween trip.