Web Developer, Silverstripe
Bachelor of Creative Technologies
The problem-solving aspect is what he loves about being a web developer, says creative technologies alumnus Giovanni Gambassi who is a developer at Silverstripe.
“What I love most about working as a web developer is that I’m constantly faced with challenges and problems that need to be solved. Knowing that the work I do is seen by – and impacts – thousands, and in some cases millions, of users also motivates me a fair amount. One of my career highlights so far has been working on some very key features for the Tourism New Zealand website, which is seen by millions of people around the world.”
As much as he loves web development, Giovanni initially had quite different plans after graduating from AUT. When 2020 started, he was heading to San Francisco to intern at advertising agency FCB West through the AUT Internz programme. Then COVID-19 changed the world, and Giovanni soon found himself back in New Zealand and considering his options.
“I returned home to New Zealand in March 2020, just in time for the level 4 lockdown. While I was offered to continue interning at FCB West by working remotely from New Zealand, I decided to pursue my passion of web development.
“During the lockdown I expanded on the coding skills I developed at AUT, and soon found myself doing a few freelance projects with another AUT graduate, including a pretty big project for AUT’s School of Future Environments at AUT. With a few freelance projects under my belt, I applied for a job as a web developer at Silverstripe and have now been working here since September 2020.”
Finding his path
For Giovanni, deciding what his future would look like wasn’t straightforward.
“I was initially considering studying physics at university but then I thought I should take a gap year and travel. I was worried that if I went overseas, I might find a place I really liked and never come back. That was an issue as I did want to get a degree.
“I then stumbled across AUT’s Bachelor of Creative Technologies and thought, ‘Hey, that looks cool and different’, and so I just applied and went for it. It was a bit of a lightbulb moment when I realised that I could literally do and make anything in this degree. This sparked something in me and got me passionate about coming up with creative ideas and interesting executions.”
Giovanni’s advice for other students is simple: if in doubt, try it anyway.
“I didn’t study anything creative in school but I took a chance on the degree, and now I’m working in one of the most creative fields in the world.”
The people he met throughout his studies were one of the highlights of his time at AUT, says Giovanni who is of New Zealand European, Italian and Māori descent.
“The creative technologies degree had a big focus on collaboration, so I got to meet and work with some very neat people who all had a lot to bring to the table.”
Being able to collaborate on different projects during his AUT degree was not only enjoyable but also created the opportunity to produce impressive work, Giovanni says.
“It also meant that we produced some incredible work that has even impressed people overseas.”