Karen Xie chose to specialise in Software Engineering after considering its potential to significantly impact people’s lives with its variety of applications.
Career: Software Developer at MYOB
Programme: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
Specialisation: Software Engineering
“Software Engineering is such a flexible profession in terms of work lifestyle and the places it can take you. I started with a part time job in the Auckland Bioengineering Institute making a simple prototype application. After that, I interned at Google in Sydney, Australia for two summers where I helped build features for their products. Now, I am working at MYOB Auckland as a Software Developer where I help build accounting software.
“I helped with MYOB’s Practice Online which is a product for partners and accountants. The part of the application I worked on helped automate tedious tasks which accountants usually do manually. Seeing comments directly from users saying your work has saved them enormous amounts of time is a great feeling.
“The prospect of being able to build applications which significantly impact people’s lives drew me to this specialisation. This desire came through in my final year as well. My honours project was FitCrits – Using Simulation and Social Networking concepts for exercise support. This was a mobile game which we used to test whether extrinsic motivation was a good way to help people get more exercise into their daily lives.
"I loved that the Software cohort was very collaborative. People were very willing to help each other out and I had lots of fun in the papers that were team-based. I also met people through the mentor/mentee programme I joined within Women in Engineering.
“I joined the Software Engineering Students Association (SESA) too, which was one of the highlights of my university years. It was a great way to get to know the cohort, attend useful events related to our specialisation and just overall fun!
“My advice to current and future students is to spend time learning to create things that you aren’t taught in university, this shows you’re passionate for the field and will help you get ahead. Also, spend time looking at other people’s code and let them critique yours in return. You should be constantly looking for ways to improve your craft.”