I am an international student originally from Colombo, Sri Lanka. I completed a Bachelor of Information Technology (IT) degree with a double major (Programming and Mobile and App development), and I am currently enrolled in the Master of Cyber Security at Deakin University.
My journey to becoming a developer was a challenging yet rewarding one. Due to certain difficulties faced by my family, I was not able to go to school until I was almost six years old and my uncle’s computer became my first teacher, which set me on the path to IT. I was blessed to have an uncle who saw how passionate I was about IT and sponsored my studies at Deakin. I completed my first year of my bachelor degree in Colombo at the Royal Institute, and moved to Deakin in Melbourne to complete the second and third years.
Sri Lanka was not as technologically up-to-date as Melbourne and the initial transition was challenging due to the difference in submission platforms. However, my lecturers and tutors were supportive and assisted me to settle in.
Deakin is not focused on solely academic performance, but on giving its students a well-rounded experience. My time at Deakin has taught me to not only learn theory but to also learn how to apply the theoretical frameworks in practice. Deakin facilitated work experience in my field where I was afforded the opportunity to work with real clients in the final year of my undergraduate degree.
As part of my internship as an App Developer, Deakin gave me the opportunity to work and create an app for the company Décor Stone. I was incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work on a pupillometer app for the Trauma Department of the Alfred Hospital as a part of my Deakin capstone project. It was an amazing experience as not only was I able to work with a real client, but I made a positive impact on society. This gave me a solid foundation to enter the workforce.
Following the completion of my bachelor degree, I worked full-time as a Software Developer and freelance App Developer over a 12-month period as well as completed my professional year. In my role as Software Developer, I worked with clients such as Multiplex, Probuild, Ironside and I also worked on the Jim’s Building Inspections iPad app.
In a fast-paced industry such as IT, there is always room for improvement and learning, so it was a no-brainer to undertake further study – and what better place than Deakin! When I decided to enrol in my master’s degree, I had no trouble as the University Student Advisors guided me step-by-step. I contacted Deakin through email and inquired about specialising in Cyber Security. Shortly thereafter, I was appointed with a student advisor, who happened to be the same course advisor during my bachelor degree. She knew my strengths and organised all units according to my learning pace. What I admire most about Deakin is its innovative facilities – for instance, when the Coronavirus pandemic hit during Trimester 1, Deakin was able to transition teaching to a solely online environment, focusing on the safety and wellbeing of their students.
I believe that with the skills and experience gained from Deakin, my career prospects are positive and promising. I am excited to embrace and develop further in IT and believe that I can use the skills I gained with technology to help people.