I’m a software engineering researcher who’s passionate about startups, UX, and entrepreneurship. Currently I’m in the final stages of a PhD in computer science. My research focuses on software engineering, studying the interplay between developers, tools, their activities, and how this interplay affects collaboration and communication—i.e.,“we shape our tools and our tools shape us”. Specifically, I explore how developers, communities, and organizations build and share knowledge, and how their tools support (or hinder) this process.

I’ve spent six years studying developers and how they work, conducting surveys, interviews, focus groups, case studies, observations, lab experiments, and mining archival data (including data from Stack Overflow and GitHub). A key factor of my work looks at the socio-technical perspective, recognizing not only the human-computer interactions, but also interactions of groups and communities with technology.

I whole-heartedly believe that “a 10x engineer isn’t someone who is 10x better than those around them, but someone who makes those around them 10x better”. This guiding principle shapes my views and approach, and is reflected in my current role where I led, mentored, and managed many awesome PhD and Master’s students.

I also have experience mentoring and guiding teams towards delivering end-user facing products that people love. I designed and taught nine iterations of Startup Programming (2010-2016), a project-based course where student teams learn to build innovative web and mobile products for real users. This course was so successful that I recreated it in my current institution, it has been featured in the GitHub education blog, and it has inspired similar courses at other universities. My past students have gone on to found their own startup companies or secure jobs at prominent companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and local startups. The students’ projects varied greatly. Since each team had their own set of unique needs, I provided tailored mentorship, driving them & pushing them, to successfully build products for real users and help them become exceptional developers, designers, and founders. I also brought in extraordinary local industry mentors to work closely with the student teams, and mediated between the different stakeholders. I enjoyed this immensely!

My PhD research work was done under the guidance of Margaret-Anne Storey. Prior to that, I was fortunate to work with Amiram Yehudai and Ohad Barzilay.


For additional information, please see my CV or check the activities, awards, and publications pages.

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Alexey Zagalsky

Software engineering researcher

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