Data Engineer, Spark New Zealand
Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences in Software Development
He has enjoyed programming since he was a kid, says Matthew Fan who came to AUT as an international student from Zhengzhou, Henan, China to study a Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences in Software Development.
“I had always loved programming, and when I was a teenager I started to realise the importance of code in our daily life. From quantum computers and satellites to the vehicles we drive every day, computer programming is a critical aspect. I’m so passionate about creating software and building applications that can help people live a better life. This is the main reason I chose to study this degree.
“I came to AUT because, after some research and chatting with friends, I found that AUT is best for its practical teaching mode. What that means is that the software development degree can prepare students at a professional level, and students can get more than enough practical training to prepare them before they go into the workplace.”
There were a number of highlights throughout his time at AUT.
“The first highlight was becoming a student representative. I got to work with all the lecturers to help develop the school and address student feedback. Another highlight would be my final-year project. Along with a wonderful team, I got to work out a solution for our client’s web application. With weeks of planning and collaboration, and our mentor’s guidance, we managed to come up with a solution beyond the client’s expectation. In addition to that, all of the team members got an A+ for this R&D project.”
Career success at Spark New Zealand
Since graduating from AUT in 2021, Matthew now enjoys working as a data engineer for telecommunications giant Spark New Zealand.
“My job involves building ELT/ETL pipelines with Azure Data Factory to bring data from other sources to our cloud data warehouse. I also construct solutions for our clients to visualise the data models. I work among an agile team, which helps with manging the tasks and predicting the future roadmap of what we’re planning to achieve.
“Working with a great team is one of the most rewarding things you can get at a workplace. The team vibe and culture at Spark are so friendly that I feel like I’m with family every time I go to work and talk about the plans for the day.”
One of the achievements he is most proud in his career so far was finding a solution to move data stored on a third party platform to the company’s inhouse data warehouse.
“To support the analysis needs from our data analytics team, I was assigned to working on this solution along with a performance marketing expert. After weeks of exploring the dataset and designing the data model for our pipeline, I came up with an algorithm to maximise the efficiency for bringing the data over. I was proud that I could impress the analytics team with my solution.”
Advice for other students
Matthew’s advice for other students is simple: take up any opportunity while you’re at uni.
“Engage with more activities like competitions or events. The more people you meet, the more opportunities you’re exposing yourself to for your future.”
Make the most of the expertise of the academic staff, he adds.
“Have coffee chats with your lecturers. They’ve been in this field for a long time, so there’s plenty of life and career advice they can give you for your benefit.”