We Are IT | Meet Pravin Mate
Pravin Mate first became interested in technology over 20 years ago when he remembers hearing all about Y2K in the news. That fascination sparked a passion and today Pravin works as an ERP Analyst III developing enterprise resource planning applications for myFSU Student Central and myFSU HR using Oracle PeopleSoft applications.
Where are you from?
I am from India. I was born and raised in a small town and did my schooling over there. After I got my bachelor’s degree, I started working for an IT company in India and wandered from one place to another. I eventually moved to Thailand where I worked for the United Nations Organization for three years.
Where did you attend school?
I attended school in a small town in Osmanabad District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. I went for a four-year Bachelor of Engineering degree program with a major in computer science and engineering.
How did you end up working in technology?
When I was in school, I saw the Y2K problem was getting highlighted in the news. It made me curious to know more about it and I got introduced to information technology. After doing more research, I got to know how the IT sector is evolving, helping us humans to grow faster and perform tedious tasks even more quickly and easily. And I felt that, “This is one of the things I would like to learn and explore.” That is the main reason I selected this path and got my bachelor’s degree. Later it became my passion to keep learning more about it.
How long have you been at FSU?
I joined FSU in July 2016. Before that, it took a few months to bring me on board to work with FSU. It was quite a journey. And I believe the John Wooden saying “Good things take time, as they should. We should not expect good things to happen overnight. Actually, getting something too easily or too soon can cheapen the outcome.” I was eager to work here, especially after I read the history of FSU. It’s been a good, interesting journey that I’ve had so far. The FSU staff are the most helpful, and I do really enjoy working with them.
What is your role at FSU?
I am basically a PeopleSoft developer. I work on the PeopleSoft applications used to maintain myFSU Student Central and Human Resources data. Whatever comes in and whatever goes out of myFSU Student Central is handled by the development team. I develop the applications like different processes and webpages used by students, faculty and administrative staff who process student data. The work I do makes it easier for them to complete processes in a snap.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love working on the applications that help the FSU community smoothen their day-to-day tasks.
Recently, I have worked on forms used by the FSU Office of Financial Aid (OFA) to gather student information required to process financial aid. Earlier, students used to fill in these forms on paper. Then they needed to visit OFA personally to submit the form and get it processed. Now with these newly developed forms, such as the dependent verification, independent verification and state programs appeal forms, parents and students can enter the information online, get it processed sitting in one place and are not even required to visit OFA.
Such kinds of tasks really inspire me. We are helping students and the community to work faster and more effortlessly. In the current COVID situation, I do think this means a lot and gives us a social distancing advantage.
What’s the most rewarding project you’ve worked on at FSU?
The myFSU Student Central revamp. We implemented a completely new, user friendly design in 2018, and it was a complete revamp of Student Central. Previously, pages were desktop-friendly. So if a student was trying to access a page on mobile, they had to pinch and zoom. Now with this new design, we were able to develop pages which can scale to any sized device, and students don’t have to provide extra effort to access the pages. It just functions like a mobile app and is easy for students. I think students are enjoying it; I know that they like this new structure of myFSU Student Central.
Also, I got an opportunity to work on an extension of this project which provided a similar look and functionality for delegates. Now delegates can also enjoy a similar, mobile-friendly design. It will help them have straightforward communication with students when they access their information.
What is your go-to, can’t-live-without piece of tech?
My laptop. I can perform different tasks at the same time without letting my office work get hampered. Although my smartphone helps me to perform many tasks, such as checking emails, I do feel that it really distracts me with all the social media apps. So nowadays, I keep my mobile phone a bit away and love working on my laptop.
If you were to invent one piece of technology, what would it be?
There are many things I would like to do … One of those is building a system where data is not required to be entered manually. We have all these systems where we still need to perform manual actions for data entry. At the same time, we use apps such as Siri, Google Voice and Alexa which accept voice commands and perform actions accordingly. So why can’t we have an app that helps to process data with some sort of voice commands and not require a manual action. This would help to get it done faster.
What do you do in your free time?
I do love spending lots of good time with my son Ved. He was born in February this year. I know the year 2020 is kind of depressing for most of us, but I do feel lucky as I am able to be with him 24/7 and watch him grow. Otherwise, I like to travel, specifically long road trips. I love to enjoy the nature and view the surrounding scenery. While living in Thailand I visited many islands which are heavenly. And after shifting to Florida, I have visited beautiful beaches nearby. Now my next goal is visiting the West Coast and Grand Canyon.