UF Online Alumni Spotlight- Mohamed Sugal

Mohamed Sugal and CS friends

Mohamed Sugal (BSCS ‘21) was always captivated by video games as a child. They opened his eyes to a world of wonder and opportunity, sparking his interest in computing and technology. He also had the opportunity to learn personal computing with a friend and his tutor propelled this interest forward.  

“It was my first real glimpse into the capabilities of computers, far beyond the realm of gaming. I was amazed by the versatility and power at our fingertips, from creating documents to exploring the internet,” Sugal said.  

He began his professional experience with computers at a local internet café. He was the youngest employee there and his responsibilities included installing software, troubleshooting internet issues, and training others to use Microsoft Office programs. 

These experiences are what lead Sugal to pursue a degree in computer science through UF Online.  

“My early experiences with computers were more than just steps in a career path; they were the building blocks of my passion for computer science. They taught me about technology and its potential to connect and empower people,” Sugal said. “This realization has been a guiding force in my pursuit of a formal education and career in computer science, driving me to not only expand my own knowledge but also to share it with others.” 

While completing his coursework he was driving a semi-truck full time.  

“During my coursework there were times when I would have poor service and the professors were always very accommodating,” Sugal said. 

He had nothing but great things to say about the UF Online program. He touted the sense of comradery and inclusiveness that isn’t always included in an online education. He was able to form a supportive study group with two other students in the program, which significantly enriched his online learning experience. 

“I never felt isolated as an online student at UF. My professors and colleagues created a collaborative and friendly environment,” Sugal said. 

For his capstone project he created a free web based educational resource for students in East Africa to learn computer science. The primary language for this education platform is Somali, but they have plans to expand to Kiswahili. He worked with technology professionals to create educational videos explaining various computer science topics. This web resource has 5000 users and is still growing.  

Sugal graduated with his bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2021, and is now working with Snapchat as a Software Engineer. He has recently been accepted to the computer science master’s program at the University of Texas at Austin and will begin classes in Spring 2024. 

By Drew Brown
Marketing and Communications Specialist