School of Computer Science

Maggie Zhang

Maggie completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in computer science in 2016.

Maggie Zhang, Bachelor of Science Degree, Department of Computer Science
Maggie Zhang

Maggie Zhang didn’t let the fact she was “terrible with technology” stop her from becoming a software developer.

The 24-year-old had planned to do a Bachelor of Science majoring in Mathematics at the University of Auckland, until she discovered Computer Science when she took it as an optional paper in her first year.

“It opened my eyes,” recalls Maggie. “Not only did I need to use my logical thinking skills, but the result of my work was very tangible – if you write your own game, you can play your own game! So I chose Computer Science as my major, and never looked back.”

Maggie completed her science degree last year, and is now working as a software engineer at Eroad, a software company on Auckland’s North Shore.

“My job involves the analysis, design, development and testing of our company’s software products.

“Every day is different with a new problem to solve. I’m always learning something interesting and work is challenging but never stressful.”

Maggie grew up in China and came to New Zealand four years ago for her final year of high school.

In Year 13 at Epsom Girls’ Grammar School in Auckland she took Calculus, Statistics, English, Graphic Design and Geography.  While all the subjects she chose have helped her to develop applicable skills, Calculus and Statistics have proved the most useful.

“They greatly improved my logical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for a software engineer.”

Computer science is a growing field, and as well as working in software engineering, graduates are employed as programmers, systems analysts, computer service engineers and computer system engineers.

“You can choose to advance along either a technical or management route,” says Maggie.

“Or if you are an adventurer, you can also establish your own technology start up – easier said than done but the possibility is definitely there.”

In her spare time, Maggie volunteers with Code Club Aotearoa, teaching kids coding.

In the future she would like to become a teacher and use her industry experience to inspire more children, especially girls, to get into computer science.

“It should be lots of fun!”

If you are interested in following a similar path to Maggie, her advice is to get started as soon as possible.

“Build your own website or game if you have free time.

“Don’t wait for someone else to teach you how to code; teach yourself. This will prepare you to be an amazing coder for sure!

“Having said that, if you don’t have much experience before uni, that’s cool too. I didn’t and I managed to survive!”

Key facts

  • Maggie Zhang has a Bachelor of Science, majoring in computer science from the University of Auckland.
  • In Year 13, she took Calculus, Statistics, English, Graphic Design and Geography and says Calculus and Statistics have been particularly useful.
  • Maggie works as a software engineer at Eroad, a software company in Auckland.

For more information studying Computer Science or the diverse range of other Science majors through the University of Auckland, see our undergraduate majors.

First published in Leaving School magazine, Issue #11. Written by Sara Carbery. Photography by Alan Stevens