Dotcom boom continues 25 years on for IT alumnus

Mark Green’s LinkedIn page says he’s “keen to connect with inspirational people who think differently to others and are looking to create and do amazing things.” Although he could be describing himself there.

The Bendigo Campus’ Bachelor of Computing alumnus quickly quashes any stereotype of an IT professional.

La Trobe went in search of Mark on this year’s 25th anniversary of Work Integrated Learning for Bendigo IT students to find someone who’s made the most of his degree, and then some.

“I’ve spent most of my career in technology and it’s enabled me to travel and work in different industries,” Mark says, including living in Singapore for seven years.

Mark’s been involved in almost every area of technology, including infrastructure, support, development, testing, architecture and management.

“I have accidently physically blown up machines and dealt with many an urgent crisis, such as severe hardware failures, viruses and mass deletion of unrecoverable data,” he says.

“I’ve been on call in case of disaster during New Years Eve in 1999, been part of the dotcom boom and bust, been taught how to play poker for my job, plus travelled across Asia and to parts of Europe.”

He’s also built and implemented systems designed to last for three years that were still running 15 years later, been part of company sales, purchases and breakups, led enterprise transformations, rapidly scaled up global start-ups and been involved in many world-firsts. “It’s been a varied and exciting journey,” he says.

Mark says studying computing in the mid-1990s was a natural progression from his early interest, starting with his childhood Commodore Vic-20, a machine with a whole 5Kb of RAM. “It was also clear it was a growing field and thus going to be a good career,” he says.

“Some of the technical things I learnt back then I still directly use today – for example in Networks – which is amazing given how much technology has moved on from then, yet some core foundations are still used.”

The other experiences that stayed with him were his Work Integrated Learning placements. Mark was in the first cohort to be placed locally at Bendigo Bank and Hitachi Data Systems in Melbourne.

“The experience was a fantastic way to apply what we had learnt at uni and really help us decide what kind of career direction we would take,” Mark says.

“By having placements at two quite different organisations it really gave a good view of some of the different options and work available in IT at the time – things we were not exposed to in our course work.

“The companies were also keen on tapping into our knowledge with emerging technologies, such as the internet, and ensuring they engaged us in important, meaningful work.”

Today’ that’s still Mark’s aim.  His life in IT involves consulting, investing, helping start-ups, and leading global research on how to materially improve diversity and inclusion in agile organisations.  “I’m also always looking into new projects to take up and have some other things brewing,” he says.

Deputy Head of Computer Science and IT Dr Simon Egerton says the Industry Based Learning program still collaborates with industry partners to provide an invaluable student experience.

“Students get first-hand experience working in real IT teams, on real live IT projects,” Dr Egerton says.

“They get to see how dynamic and varied the sector is and how IT makes our lives better.  Most importantly, students get to hone core soft skills in a supportive environment; skills that will serve them well in their IT careers after graduation.”

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