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Bruce Berger

Software engineer, hologram maker, Star Trek fan, built electronics from swap meets

Current job: Software engineer specializing in license plate readers.

What experiences as a kid led you to your current career path?

At a young age my mom took my brother and me to museums just to get us interested in science and things like that right away. She’d be carting us off to observatories or something thing like that. I think she wanted to go more than we did. But it was fun. At the Museum of Science and Industry in California there were exhibits of holograms that intrigued me. Actually years later I did that as a hobby in my garage. I made holograms. That was sort of an interesting thing I picked up from museums.

I got the idea from Star Trek. I grew up watching that and it painted a nice picture of humanity working together that was kind of refreshing. Also painted a scientific approach to things. (Star Trek) embraces a lot of things. I think that familiarity at a young age watching TV shows and seeing (science) actually happen is inspiring in itself.

What sort of information or advice would you give to children who want to get into a STEM profession?

If you have any sort of aptitude for math or sciences, you should continue to pursue it. If you want to go into a certain profession you have to go to college and get good grades. The only advice is to try to apply yourself to get those grades. If you slack off and take it easy now you might find it hurts you later.