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5 minutes with Serena Potts

5 October 2017
Meet Serena Potts, data security specialist

A passion for computing and mathematics at an early age were the motivators behind alumna Serena Potts’ pursuit of a career as a software engineer.

Serena Potts

It's a journey which has seen the Bachelor of Software Engineering graduate utilise her technical skills to effect change at several startup businesses and use her interpersonal skills as a consultant to various large companies.

Furthermore, it has afforded her the opportunity to learn a diverse number of coding languages required to excel in the ever evolving industry (10 languages to date and rising).

Serena is now a Senior Solutions Engineer at Covata, a leading data security company focused on securing data wherever it resides and controlling who can access it.

We spoke with Serena about her career as a software engineer, her career journey to date and her predictions for the continuing growth of the ever evolving data security sector.

What do you enjoy most about your current role at Covata?

Working at Covata, like many smaller startups, has allowed me to become agile with my approach to work. You never quite know what you may be working on month-to-month, which keeps the work interesting. Such a dynamic also allows you to learn the newest technologies, which can then be incorporated into projects

Has there been any pivotal moment or choice made during your career that has impacted your success or progress?

My first role as a software engineer was with a startup company before I transitioned into consultancy with bigger organisations. It was after this initial shift that I realised what had been lost - the feeling of not being part of a family or the comradery with work colleagues.

What has been your greatest achievement to date as a software engineer?

I am fondly proud of the pro bono work I did in developing a medical database website for the International Diabetes Foundation. It was part of their 'Life for a Child' program aimed at minimising the risk of Type 1 diabetes in young people.

Is there an innovation or change that has shifted how things operate in the field of software engineering?

One thing that stands out is the emergence of cloud based computing. The orchestration of these systems allows an entire software stack, including all the hardware needed to be created, to be accessed at the touch of a button.

What advice would you give to a young person considering studying software engineering?

If you are interested in solving fascinating real world problems using a software-based approach and want to work in a career where you are forever learning something new, then software engineering is for you!

What job opportunities do you see becoming a reality in the field of data security in the coming years?

Data security is a booming area with more companies becoming conscious that they must take more precautionary measures to protect their confidential information, so as to not find themselves in the situation where a data breach occurs. I have no doubt that there will be plenty more opportunities in this field in the years to come as companies start to mitigate the risk for data exposure.