Navigating Success in the Tech Field

Ken Lee, a University of Wollongong graduate in Computer Science, shares his insights and valuable advice as an IT professional for aspiring students navigating the complexities of both the professional and academic realms.

24 Jan 2024

Ken Lee, a Bachelor of Computer Science (Digital Systems Security) graduate from the University of Wollongong and a seasoned professional with over 12 years of experience in the IT field, offers a glimpse into his journey in ST Engineering, experiences, and valuable advice for aspiring students.



1. Please briefly introduce yourself and a typical day in the ST Engineering office.

Ken: With over 12 years in the simulation field, I have played roles from Developer and Tech Lead to Manager and System Architect. My typical day involves communicating with teammates for new opportunities, tenders, or projects, providing updates to management and stakeholders, obtaining project updates from teams under my supervision, and mentoring junior engineers for their potential development. The satisfaction of delivering high-quality training simulator systems to customers and receiving recognition fuels my passion for striving to excel in delivering impactful systems.

2. How did SIM and CCAs influence your personal and professional growth?

Ken: While I have not been involved in any CCAs during the study days, we (classmates) formed our group to be involved in external activities. These provide opportunities to understand the complexity of grouping and tasks in each activity, such as learning the team's composite, recognising each other's strengths and weaknesses and working towards improvement.


3. How can students help them maximise their university experience?

Ken: While technical skills gained during the coursework are essential, they might often be toward obsolescence when graduated. I would advise strengthening soft-skills development, such as communication and working in projects/teams, which would help the students in the long run. Engage in internships with relevant work scopes, participate in team-based projects, and emphasise roles and responsibilities in resumes rather than just product output. This helps in learning team dynamics, inter-communication, and work planning. Success depends on proactiveness, a willingness to take up challenges, and treating every challenge as a lesson to learn and grow.

4. Throughout your career, what were some of the key lessons or any specific projects or challenges that shaped your experience?

Ken: One notable project was an experimentation system delivery with unknown requirements and a tight timeline. Meticulous planning, both technically and programmatically, ensured successful delivery. The accomplishment boosted customer confidence and benefited the project team. Be assertive and proactive, and always seek out opportunities. Setting high standards for oneself and the team, with achievable goals, is crucial in the ever-changing tech industry.

5. What skills do you consider most valuable for emerging professionals in your field, and what advice would you give to students aspiring to pursue a career in your industry?

Ken: Knowledge of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data Analytics skill sets will continue to be the leading Information Technology (IT) growth area in the coming years. Never stop aiming to learn and improve in the field of technology. Students must continuously seek opportunities since success depends on proactiveness and willingness to take up challenges. Do not be afraid to fail; treat every challenge as a lesson to learn and grow.


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