Insight into Industry: Advice from an ICT Graduate

Steve Garing graduated from Griffith University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Information Technology and is currently the Chief Technology Officer of Easil, a digital design platform. Steve recently hosted a webinar for the School of ICT sharing his journey from University to the workforce and advice for current students. Read below for some highlights from his presentation.

What is your current role?

Easil is a DIY design tool for marketing teams. We provide tens of thousands of professionally designed templates so that organisations can collaboratively produce high quality marketing material across both print and digital medium.

I’m the CTO at Easil and have been here for 3 years now. My role is to ensure Easil is globally scalable from a technical and team perspective.

What was your career journey from studying at University to where you are now?

I graduated Griffith back in 2005 and since then I’ve had 15 years of diverse experience in the Information Technology industry. I’ve worked in Federal and State governments, Blue Chip consulting firms, eCommerce, Insurance, Travel, Music and now Digital Design/Marketing.

How did your study at University prepare you the workforce?

A number of courses helped prepare me for my entry into the workforce. The courses that sticks out the most for me are Software Engineering, the final year project and of course the Programming courses. Programming is a base skill for any developer; however, Software Engineering and the final year project cover the full System Development Lifecycle and this closely relates to how development teams operate within a business.

What skills are important in your workplace?

Everyone in the IT sector has technical skills, however, as cliché as it sounds, the soft skills like communication and business acumen are very important. These are the essential skills that make teams and businesses efficient. These are also the skills that will help any developers career progress into leadership roles.

“Everyone in the IT sector has technical skills, however, as cliché as it sounds, the soft skills like communication and business acumen are very important. ”

What can ICT students do now while at University to prepare themselves for the workforce?

Studying hard will help you start your career. Graduates almost never have the full skillset required for a position (even Graduate positions) and hiring companies will pay attention to your GPA to see if you are capable of learning.

After University, it is almost certain that you will work within a team of developers so it’s really important to prepare for this environment. Communication is key in a team environment and it’s important to be able to communicate blocking tasks and to be able to give and receive constructive feedback.

Last but not least, networking. Connect with people in your local area who are within the IT industry and keep in regular contact with them. This will make it much easier to land your first job and if you have a mentoring relationship with these people you will gain valuable industry knowledge before you even graduate.

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