'It was great to be able to apply the theories and technologies I learnt at university...'
Bachelor of Science with Honours in Computer Science
PhD in Computer Science
Associate Professor & Postgraduate Academic Leader, UNITEC
Nilufar’s passion for problem solving and her enjoyment of developing software applications in different languages are what attracted her to a degree in Computer Science.
‘Studying Computer Science requires you to have a passion for computers and problem solving in general,’ she says. ‘Computer scientists spend a lot of time solving problems for people by analysing their needs and constructing solutions to meet those needs.’
Nilufar worked at Sungard Systems developing financial software applications for financial services companies and corporate treasurers.
‘It was great to be able to apply the theories and technologies I learned at University to real-world software applications which are used by the largest financial services companies around the world. At University I took several programming courses, database courses, and two courses in software engineering which addressed the issues of developing large, complex software systems; I found them all useful. The job at Sungard Systems also gave me an opportunity to work in one of the largest software development companies in the world.’
As a female in a male-dominated industry, Nilufar hopes that she can encourage other females to consider working in this area.
‘The software industry is generally male-dominated and there are not many female software engineers out there. It is interesting for me to try my hand at something not many females have been involved with. Having some female role models in the industry and academia may encourage more female students to get involved.’
‘I would like to work my way up in the software industry and gain more and more experience in developing and managing large, complex software systems. In the long-term, I might consider going back to academia, as I also enjoy teaching and doing research in computer science – that’s in fact why I decided to do a PhD degree.’
Nilufar encourages other students to do some research before deciding on their course of study.
‘It’s always a good idea to talk to people who are already in their ideal profession and ask for advice,’ she says. ‘Students need to make sure that the sort of job they get after they finish their studies suits their goals with regards to the nature of the work and the industry, ease of finding a job in that area, etc.’
At the end of 2008 Nilufar moved to Australia as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). She joined Unitec in 2011 and is currently an Associate Professor, and a Postgraduate Academic Leader, at the Department of Computer Science.