Living in Wellington, the Bachelor of Computing Systems graduand is rubbing biceps with cricketing celebs that include former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming and current team captain Brendon McCullum.
The pair are part-owners of Nuffie Productions, designers and developers of software applications for iPhone, iPad and Android mobile platforms.
Ben’s February start with the company coincided with the major launch in Sri Lanka of CricHQ, an app that brings cricket into the digital age, allowing fans to record aspects of games as they are being played.
“Because cricket is such a statistical game, doing this has long been a popular pastime,” he says. “The app streamlines the process for enthusiasts and enhances their enjoyment of the game.”
Ben enthusiastically points out that the company was the first in the world to create a 3D wagon wheel for tracking runs.
“The person doing the scoring can also relay the information to a wider audience using their iPhone as the match is played live.”
Having considered university, the former Hastings Boys’ High School student chose EIT for his tertiary study. The deciding factor, he says, was EIT’s Year 13 Degree Student Grant, which offered study fees free for his first year and half for the second year – “it’s a really cool scholarship”.
One- to-one contact with lecturers also proved a plus.
“I don’t believe I would have experienced that at university where they often don’t know students’ names. EIT was quite a personal experience and practical as well. Lecturers teach in a way that isn’t theoretical and what you learn links in with practical commonsense tasks.”
Fulfilling the degree’s final-year requirement for workplace experience – either through an internship or undertaking an applied project – led to a “brilliant” job in Wellington last year. Ben was employed full-time as GIS advisor for the New Zealand Walking Access Commission, a Crown entity promoting access to the outdoors for trampers, walkers and others.
The commission’s website provides topographical maps with high resolution imagery which show accessible areas and are along similar lines to those available on Google Maps.
While sorry to leave that position, the opportunity to work for Nuffie Productions wasn’t one to be passed up.
“The company is growing massively and I felt I had to jump on the bandwagon,” says Ben, who is on the web development side of the business and loves the fast-paced world. Happily settling into his role, he also anticipates opportunities opening up to work overseas given the huge potential for the CricHQ app in countries where cricket is played.
“New Zealand is a cool place for IT to grow and develop,” he points out. “It’s quite small population-wise and because everyone is into IT it’s really a great breeding ground for new technologies.”
Returning to Hawke’s Bay for graduation on Friday, 23 March, Ben says his degree gave him a really good foundation of knowledge – one that would take graduates into many avenues in which they may want to work.