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Creativity has been at the center of Matthew Rwasenge’s life ever since he can remember. 

The Long Island native grew up glued to the Science Channel and National Geographic, with dreams of one day becoming an astrophysicist. Then he got into rapping as he entered high school. 

But when he soon realized that he was not on track to become the next big music star, he asked himself, “What’s at the intersection of things I’m curious about but can bring money?” 

“Deep down,” he says, “I want to know how things work.” 

It was during his junior year at the University at Buffalo – where Matthew obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science – that he truly got the full experience of understanding how computers work. 

“It was a computer organization class where we learned from the bit level to the gates to building microprocessors. It was really an eye-opening experience,” he says. “But after that, I was locked in and had a good grasp of where I wanted to be and where I wanted to go.” 

Matthew applied to 30-plus jobs in the Buffalo area and at least another 30 in New York City as he was finishing up school, so he had options that included top local businesses such as M&T Bank and Moog. 

But he chose Odoo because of the younger demographic and the draw of working for a startup. Two years later, as a full stack engineer at one of Western New York’s biggest tech companies, he doesn’t regret a thing. 

Odoo employee Matthew Rwasenge at the Buffalo office. (Photo by Mark Mulville)

“New York City’s closer to home,” he says, “but I have my friends and a whole family I’ve created out here. I feel like I’ve built myself here in Buffalo.” 

By day, Matthew designs and implements custom tools and services for clients across North America to help alleviate the stress points of uncommon business workflows. 

“It’s never a straight answer of they want this, so do this,” he says. “I have to figure out how to do it myself. There’s a creative aspect to the problem, and I must present the best side of the solution.” 

After work hours, the 25-year-old continues to find his groove in Buffalo as a rapper as well as a member of a choir and a recently formed band. 

“When it comes to a song or a musical idea,” Matthew says, “I have to run it past myself a couple times through to see if this is the best way I can say something. It involves the process of testing an idea, so it’s challenging but rewarding and fun.” 

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