Getting to know Wayfinder Software Engineer, Alexandre El Assad

Why did you join Wayfinder?

I’ve always been interested in aerospace and had followed Acubed’s growth since the very beginning. I loved the idea of joining a team where I know I’ll be able to learn and have an impact tackling real challenges in the aerospace industry. After completing my Master’s Degree at Stanford University, I realized that urban air mobility and autonomous flight were rapidly growing, and I wanted to be a part of the future of flight. I love working with a team that isn’t just thinking about what’s happening now; they’re looking towards the future and working to solve the major challenges our industry will face.

What do you do at Wayfinder?

As a software engineer, I am involved in the development of software technologies to make aircraft more autonomous. There’s really no average day. Each and every day looks different. We work with multiple teams across Acubed and Airbus. Recently, I’ve been working with an Airbus project called ATTOL (autonomous taxi, take off, and landing) on system integration and data processing. I had the opportunity to work alongside the ATTOL team for two months in France. I spent time learning how they collect and exercise their raw data and ideating on how we will integrate with their system to demonstrate the feasibility of our approach to building the next generation of aircraft.

What’s the most exciting challenge you’re working on at Wayfinder?

There are so many challenges here, because we’re doing something that’s never been done. When you come to Wayfinder, there is so much to tackle and everyone has the opportunity to choose whatever they’re interested in. You have the freedom to select an area of focus and then go full speed in that direction. If you’re more excited about a broader area, you can stay more generalized in the work you do. There’s a lot of freedom as an engineer at Wayfinder.

Do you have any advice for people interested in pursuing similar work?

Yes! Be curious and don’t be afraid. That may sound cliché, but it’s true. If you don’t know something you should simply ask. Everyone here’s an expert, and it’s easy to question yourself and question what you can bring. My advice would be to be confident enough to move forward and never be scared to say you don’t know something and ask for help. Everyone here is approachable and wants to help you grow, both at Acubed and in your career in general.

What do you love to do outside of work?

I love playing handball! It’s a big sport back in Europe, and I now play with the San Francisco CalHeat team. I also have some personal projects—I’m currently building my own camper van so I can go on road trips.The bed is already installed, which is exciting, and my next trip will hopefully be to Lake Tahoe!