Observing social media mentions in real-time using a fun, engaging interface helps AT&T keep track of customer satisfaction and make improvements. In this video, AT&T Senior Project Manager Fatima Hanif and Senior Technical Director Tim Johnson explain how the PRNOC social media command center came about, and what it can do.

The command center monitors Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other forms of social media for mentions of AT&T, to see how people are reacting to new devices and services. PRNOC was developed in partnership with a third-party game development firm, bringing in some exciting functionality from 3D gaming and animation. Each of the screens focuses on a different area, like real-time mentions, what's trending and what's happening in individual local markets.

"Projects like PRNOC wouldn't be possible without the backgrounds in math and engineering, all these things you have to take into consideration when you're faced with a project that's never been done before," says Johnson. "There's no rule book. You're creating things for the first time and it may not be anywhere else in the world."

AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have donated nearly $87 million to support STEM initiatives since 1995, including scholarship programs, hands-on technology labs and science-focused summer camps for at-risk youth.

"The advice I would give is to explore what it means to go into IT," says Hanif. "There are a lot of challenges to be solved. Knowledge will be a big part of your future."