Break the Ice: ‘Hello World’ is Cool


Hello World

My name is Ben Burdett, and I am a solutions/integration engineer at a San Francisco-based start-up, working remotely from Florida. While I’ve been working with data integrations for almost 2 years now, I find myself experimenting with technologies related to stock trading and political interests in my free time. I enjoy making work more efficient, and with the recent surge in AI, I find the field all the more compelling.

Why Computer Science?


After graduating from Virginia Tech, I took a position as an operations manager at a start-up, where I wore many hats, including optimizing workflows, product procurement, managing teams of up to 40 members, and creating a marketing vision for the company. During this time, I became interested in technology and computer science while working on the company website, optimizing SEO, keywords, and hyperlinks to create a fluid site map for Google to crawl. This opened my eyes to a world I never knew existed, leading me to earn a second bachelor’s degree in computer science. While continuing to work in the construction industry, I set aside nights and weekends to pursue this degree, eventually landing a position as a data integration consultant just six months into the program.

Why did you choose the projects you did on the survey? What makes them interesting to you?

AII’m passionate about smart investing and have a fun track record in this area. I’m excited to explore the possibilities of AI in this field and learn how it works. The buzz around AI is compelling, and I want to stay ahead of the curve. I have been experimenting with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and of course am very intrigued with AI and NLP the more I dig in. I also have used Binance’s API before and feel that I would know where to stat from day one to get that implemented for the crypto project. Trading is fascinating and build a software to make that either more accessible, user friendly, perform better, or a little of all would be something I truly find enjoyable to finish up this program. 

What do you hope to learn from your project?

My ultimate goal in this course is to code every day and make my GitHub account shine bright green. I want to create a project that I’m proud of and build relationships with new programmers while learning from each other. I really want to use all the material I have learned over the past 2 years and solve a real world problem that maybe one day could be “the next big thing.” There are also no AI courses that I was able to take while in the program and would love to get a foot in the door for future employment opportunities.