Haris Dar


Haris Dar ‘18

Title: Senior Consultant - Data Engineer 

Employer: CapTech Consulting

Major: BS Economics


What do you enjoy the most about your position?

I enjoy getting the opportunity to solve problems on a daily basis using all my knowledge and experience. The satisfaction of having your code run successfully after hours of debugging cannot be matched! Also, the consulting firm I work for primarily only works in the private sector which leads to quick, fast paced contracts and highly engaging work.

What is a typical day like in your position?

My mornings usually comprise of standup meetings with other engineers on the team to share current progress on assignments. Additionally I may have meetings with other folks to gain any information I may need to proceed with my work or to make any decisions that need to be made as a group. The majority of the day I'm given time to work on my assignments, which mostly always pertain to the transferring of data. Some examples of the work I have done in the past: building operational data stores that serve many business critical applications and developing a data streaming application that allows for real time interaction between business and their customers.

How did you find your current position?

After graduating, I received an offer to join Revature, a technology talent development company. They offer a training program to get you up to speed on coding, SQL, and many relevant technologies that are being used in the IT world today, and will place you on a contract with a client of theirs after passing of the training program. The training program I was placed in had a focus on Big Data technologies such as Hadoop and Spark. I passed the training and was placed with UST Global, a worldwide IT consulting firm. I worked on various projects for two years as an employee for UST Global, and have recently moved to a Senior Consultant position with CapTech Consulting after gaining a couple years of industry experience.

Which undergraduate experiences did you find most helpful in preparing you for your current position?

I was part of the Gemstone Honors Program while at University of Maryland, and being part of that was greatly beneficial in shaping my skills today. Through that experience I was given the opportunity to speak at multiple research conferences and I truly feel that was very helpful in building my confidence in public speaking. I don't give speeches to huge crowds or anything like that, but when I have meetings with my team or need to explain my work to someone, I feel confident in my ability. Through Gemstone I also got the experience of working on an interdisciplinary research team with students of different backgrounds, and we had to take it upon ourselves to schedule/run team meetings, come up with deadlines, and self organize. 

How has your coursework helped you in your current position (i.e. quantitative skills, research techniques, communication skills)?

My most useful courses were the high level math courses I took along with the advanced statistics courses I took. These courses developed my critical thinking skills immensely, because often these classes will force you to apply knowledge you are taught to a variety of use cases and situations. This is something I deal with on a daily basis as a data engineer, where the answer is rarely straightforward and requires you to use your knowledge to figure out the solution in creative ways. I also distinctly remember performing data regressions by hand (no calculator) in my upper level economic courses which has been very helpful in understanding results of machine learning models that I work with.

What advice do you have for students trying to find jobs or internships in your field?

Becoming an expert in SQL can take you pretty far in the world of data. If getting into data is something you might be interested in, then I highly suggest improving your SQL skills.