• Sahil Katta

The Impact of Covid-19 on Computer Scientists

As we all know, the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak has placed a halt on the world’s economy, jobs, and daily lifestyles. Elevate the Future has also been largely impacted as 6 events in 3 states and 2 countries were canceled, and we had to readjust our base of almost 200 associates in order to adapt to the status quo from Covid-19. Schools and stores have been closing throughout this time of the pandemic, and this resulted in a stop to occupations and even caused a massive increase in unemployment. There is no doubt that Covid-19 has been one of the biggest impacts on the entire world in this decade, but let’s delve into how it would affect a computer engineer’s jobs and tasks in this time of crisis. Computer scientists and software developers make up the backbone of technology and ultimately carry the foundation of much of the economy.

So, I’ve decided to interview Chandra S. Katta, a computer scientist who works as a hardware developer for Intel, and like everyone and every other computer scientist across the globe, has had his job and life flipped upside down. Prior to the outbreak, he was managing a project, designing a new set of microchips that would create more efficient and powerful supercomputers used in data mining, for his company, that would continue on for more than a year. The project, requiring a team’s skill set of hardware and software development to create microchips, was an important task for him to do and for the company to proceed with, but unfortunately, everything had to come to a delay. As the spread of Covid-19 worsened day by day, the Bay Area’s shelter-in-place was issued and completely changed day to day life, which meant the company had to rethink how to go forward with their tasks. Since this was a job that didn’t require to be in person at all times, no one had been laid off for the reason of the Covid-19 outbreak. However, all the projects, management, and fabrication of everything the company produced had to take a massive step back. Intel decided to, like the schools and many other jobs, conduct all upcoming meetings and planning phases via an online, teleconferencing system.

Though this meant that the actual work which would be conducted to create the products and test would be postponed until further notice, it truly gave a big opportunity to rethink and re-imagine what had to be done and what could be done, such as going from the fabrication of the chip phase to rather focusing on perfecting the design and finding more applications with it. Consequently, this led to the design of the desired microchip being more efficient and useful, benefitting both the product and the company. Obviously, the outbreak wasn’t a beneficial factor to computer scientists, but it gave the opportunity to replan, perfect, and know what must be done. His story could be seen as the bare bones of what a computer scientist, or really anyone in the STEM field, is made of. The foundation of these people pursuing interests and occupations in this category find a problem, think of a solution and make it a reality. Looking at this situation from a big picture, we see what truly makes up someone in the STEM field, a problem solver who is dedicated and willing to make a change. This doesn’t just have to be applicable to a computer scientist’s life, as this could relate to varying occupations and roles such as being a doctor, chemist, and so on. The main goal of these people requires one to learn, improvise, adapt, and overcome to be who you want to be and finally proceed in the great journey of life. This all starts with knowing your aspirations and going forth with it, even in times of hardship and change such as our current pandemic. However, learning to get past obstacles, finding solutions, and finding a way to succeed in the end makes up who you are as a person: a problem-solver.


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