I was introduced to Mutsm through a friend because he thought Mutsm had a unique and an interesting path. He was born in Amman, Jordan in 1994. He grew up bright with so much potential and future ahead of him. During my conversation with him, he opened up about his background and family and how it shaped the man he is today. Both his parents are engineers and most of his family members were either engineers or doctors. There was a lot of pressure on Mutsm to take either route. According to his parents, it would have been a waste of his abilities if he decided to go another route, different from the scientific field. He did well in school his whole life and his parents were always very proud. When he got to high school, his parents made him take all math and science courses and advanced courses, in order to end up in a scientific field in college.
Mutsm got accepted into a Biomedical Engineering program at Johns Hopkins University, which is among the United States’ very best. He learned about Johns Hopkins from a mentor at his high school and then he came across the program when he did more research about it. He realized it was a very competitive program and could offer him a lot of opportunities. He decided to apply because of the potential this program could offer. It seemed interesting and had a great network. He also did not know what he wanted to do with his life, so it was an opportunity to explore options.
His first couple of months at the school were not as exciting. He was not as happy and his classes were not fulfilling his hunger for knowledge. He, then, remembered taking an Alice program during his senior year of high school, which he loved. He decided during the second semester of his freshman year at university to take a coding class for biomedical engineering where he worked with Python and Matlab. He really enjoyed it and did really well. This is when his interest in coding was first sparked. The following summer, he started doing coding on his own and learned how to solve problems on Project Euler. He also started taking more classes like Data Structures and Algorithms at university. He started applying programing into his biomedical engineering major. He wanted to switch majors, but he would have lost his scholarship and his parents opposed such a change. He agreed to continue doing biomedical engineering, as long as he got to work in the software development field after. During his senior year of college, he decided he wanted to do more coding and less biomedical engineering. He started applying to jobs in that field and doing his own projects, such as building an Android app to do note taking.
After college, he moved back to Jordan because he wanted to make a difference in his home country. He took a job at a startup called Mixed Dimensions, that built a marketplace for 3-D prints from games. He did not like the work or the little impact it had on the Jordanian community. He decided to join the new Expedia office that opened in Jordan, where he currently works as a software engineer, contributing to the expansion of US companies in Jordan.
Mutsem is starting a master’s in computer science at Georgia Tech this fall. The program is online, so he will be participating in it while still living in Jordan. The reason he joined the program is that he thinks it would help to have a structured approach to learning that he was not able to do on his own. Doing this degree would offer him discipline as he aspires to gain as much experience as possible.
His most recent work is doing open source projects. He created an Alfred workflow to get keyboard shortcuts for applications and websites. He actively maintains an open source project with 27 stars and 3 other contributors on GitHub, incorporating requests for support for more apps from active users. Each app and its shortcuts were stored as a Python dictionary and merged into a Pickle file to optimize for performance. The workflow was customizable so users could add their own apps locally and override default shortcuts. He worked on Firefox Open Source Contributions, where he increased Jest test coverage for Firefox Debugger by 2.5% of lines in React.js. He fixed UI issues for Firefox Content Server in Backbone.js. In terms of MeteorJS Open Source Contributions, he fixed issues with frontend miniMongo database to closely match it to MongoDB behavior. He also fixed backend authentication issues.
He has been extremely happy with the decision he had made in taking the software development path. He is now a mentor at his high school to help young students interested in software development and figure out their passion at an early age.