Checking in with Mount Royal alumni: Al Del Degan
Your name, program and year of graduation at MRU.
Al Del Degan, Computer Science University Transfer Program (back when it was still MRC), 1993
Describe your career path in 50 words or fewer.
After I graduated, I went to the University of Calgary for a year and a half, and then ran out of money so I had to get a job. I started out as a computer technician, and then changed jobs to become a systems administrator that lead through software developer, business analyst and then ultimately project manager. In 2003, I started my own software company that I ran until 2015. I worked for almost two years at the City of Calgary and then was laid off.
What three words describe your student experience at MRU?
Worthwhile. Enlightening. Fun.
What was the most important course you took at MRU and why?
68000 Assembler. Not because I have ever needed to do low-level programming on a microchip, but it was so great to break down a complex algorithm into the smallest and most basic elements. It really gave me an appreciation for what mankind has accomplished with technology and that you can do incredible things even if all you have is two options; in this case, on or off.
How have you invested in your community after MRU?
Most of my adult life I have volunteered with several organizations, from technology-related ones to the arts, and also my local community association.
What is the best piece of advice you received at MRU that helped you prepare for your career?
School doesn’t actually teach you stuff, it teaches you how to learn. You will spend the rest of your life learning the things that you really need to know.
What is your claim to fame?
Other than my three amazing kids (two boys and a step daughter), in 2016 I started a company called Capturing Legacies Inc. where my business partner and I capture people’s stories; similar to biographies, but story-based rather than documentary. As part of that company we created a podcast called A Story Not Forgotten where we interview people and get them to tell us an interesting story from their life. I would love to get more MRU Alumni to tell us their stories!
What do you miss most about being a student?
Stressing about homework and classes and exams is a piece of cake compared to all the stressors you encounter in your later adult life. Things were a lot simpler back then and I do miss that. Oh, and watching episodes of Ren & Stimpy in the cafeteria with half the student body.