MSwDevStudent Stories

Kahu: building practical skills that employers seek

By June 12, 2017 No Comments

With a deep-set passion for technology and engineering, Kahu knew studying a one-year Master’s of Software Development at the Wellington ICT Graduate School was the next stage in his professional development.

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a Napier boy, of Ngāti Rongomaiwahine and Ngāti Kahungunu descent. I remember as a kid my uncle taking me outside and dropping a stone, then asking me to explain what caused it to fall. It was gravity, but even that didn’t explain the phenomenon. From then on I was always interested in science and technology but I didn’t realise it was my path until later in life. As I grew older I became more determined to have a career in this field.

Q. What drew you to your programme of study?

I studied Engineering at Massey University and I tried to apply for software development jobs after acquiring programming skills as an undergraduate. As it turned out, I needed more practice and proof that I could code before taking on an ICT position. I felt disadvantaged by not being able to program or not able to prove that I could, that’s why I’m here.

Q. What have you enjoyed most about the programme so far?

The entrepreneurial program offered in the final term by the ICT Graduate School is actually quite cool. The advantage is that you get to decide what stack you are going to use and what project you want to work on. Although, finding a suitable project is where a lot of the work is.

Q. Has the programme lived up to your expectations?

Yes, I think it has ultimately. My ability to understand code and to program over a range of languages has improved. I think it was helpful to have a programme that provided the drive and expertise to support learning. Also, the courses focus more on building practical ability and team skills rather than pure academic ability.

Q. What are some opportunities WICTGS has offered you?

I’ve had two interviews so far! One with EY and the other with Datacom. These are opportunities I would not have had otherwise. I think they came to me because I focused on building the skills that these employers needed, such as the ability to think technically, the ability to work as a team, great communication, and using blockchain technology (I focused on a niche). Now, I’m in a trial period at Datacom while I finish my Master’s.

Q. Do you feel more could be done to encourage people to study ICT?

I think we could be doing more to support any efforts to get more Māori and Pacific students into the tech industry. I meet so many people who could be great coders or contributors if that was what they decided to be.

Q. What do you think of Wellington as a place to study and live?

Living and studying in Wellington is awesome! There’s great food here, a nightlife to suit anyone and an awesome social atmosphere. I love this city!

Q. Plans for the future?

I’m experimenting with the Ethereum blockchain at the moment and would like to expand into private blockchain development.

About the Master of Software Development (MSwDev)

The Master of Software Development is open to anyone with a Bachelor’s degree. The programme has been designed for graduates from non-information technology disciplines, who want to become software developers.

The MSwDev is a 180-point Master’s programme, completed in three full-time trimesters over 12 months at Victoria University’s School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Next intake is June 2018 — July 2019.

Are you ready to take the next step in your education? Book a session with our Academic Advisor today:

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