MSwDevStudent Stories

It’s about more than just being able to code

By August 9, 2019 No Comments

Madeleine St-Laurent-Guérin had two goals in mind when considering postgraduate study, she wanted to gain the skills to make the transition from her previous career into a technology-related field and she wanted to be industry-ready within a year.

One of Victoria University of Wellington’s student advisers recommended our Master of Software Development to her and Madeleine said choosing it was easy because she “had a look at the curriculum and thought that [it] aligned perfectly with what I was looking to achieve.”

“During the course, I learnt technical skills, like how to code and architect software to provide solutions that have real-world applications. We used different methodologies to develop software, as well as delivering real software solutions to real clients.”

Madeleine says it wasn’t just about what she learnt in class, she also took full benefit of Wellington’s thriving tech and start-up environment. This included guest speakers from industry that spoke to the class and hackathons as well as attending events such as Techweek talks and WellyTech.

For her industry placement, Madeleine undertook an entrepreneurship programme with Creative HQ, where she worked alongside two other students to create a minimum viable software product—the foundation of what start-ups do.

“This gave me the chance to apply the skills I had learnt to a project I was passionate about. We explored a software solution to address issues affecting young people in New Zealand. Being part of this meant we were also exposed to a great community and given a chance to gain skills that would not have been possible in a normal corporate environment.”

“It also gave me the ability to think differently and look at a problem from different perspectives. It helped me become more client-focused and able to approach problems in a more creative fashion.”

Madeleine is now a cloud and innovation analyst at Deloitte, where she works with clients on their cloud-based projects and helps run training programmes within Deloitte aimed at increasing the AWS cloud engineering capacity of its technology consultants.

“Something I’ve taken from my experience in the Master’s that has helped me in this role is the understanding that that software in this day and age is more than just being able to code. All the surrounding aspects, such as teamwork, methodology, client relationships, networking, communication, and project management, are important too—and this is reflected in my current role.”


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