Hannah Sampson

BE(Hons) Hannah is designing her future career with Software Engineering, embracing concepts like user interface, accessibility and game development.

At high school, I did Art, English, Maths, Chemistry and Physics – I really loved maths but never took I.T.! I picked the University of Auckland because of its excellent reputation for engineering and computer science. That was the kind of thing I was ultimately looking at doing.

“Engineering allowed me to wait another year before deciding what to do. There are a lot of options. We’ve done some big projects in Software Engineering so far and it’s so rewarding to see the connection between lectures and what actually happens in a work environment.

“I’d like to get into user interface or games. I enjoy looking at how easy things are to use – being able to work with people to make things accessible and intuitive is really interesting. One of our projects involved video editing where we are meant to set up a Graphical User Interface (GUI) for users to manipulate files through a program. It was really interesting to think about what users expect to see and how they wanted to be guided, and for us to not 'set them up for failure'. It's a nice change to work on a project that people outside of the class could view, and appreciate the kind of work that goes into seemingly simple applications.

“Later in my career I’d like to be able to apply everything we’ve learned about usability to what I do. I’d like to work in very graphical media, analyse how people interact with programs and work towards making products more user friendly. I really enjoy big projects and how you can see how they're useful as part of something that's an actually used by people out there. I’d love to go to a big company like Google or Microsoft, or Weta Workshop. I’m working at Google in Sydney for 12 weeks over summer.

“It’s good to be involved in Uni outside of study, too. The Software Engineering Association runs game nights and networking events, and WEN (Women in Engineering Network) is really cool – they all really get into their events. I’m also a Tuākana tutor for first year Māori and Pacific students. I tutor 15 students and we wander around the labs to help out and is a great job for the semester. It’s so much fun and really rewarding.”