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Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours) 2007
A career in computer games is a dream for many people. But for Deakin graduate Mathew Block, it's a reality.
Mr Block, 21, completed the Bachelor of Information Technology, majoring in Computer Software and Development and Games Design and Development.
He has been working at Firelight Technologies since completing his Industry-based Learning (IBL) program with the company during summer 2006.
As a computer programmer with the company, he assists with development of a software product, FMOD - a cross-platform sound engine used in hundreds of game titles such as World of Warcraft, Call of Duty and Crysis.
Mr Block said he always wanted to be involved in games production, and Deakin University helped make a career in the field possible.
'Even before I was at high school I wanted to get into programming and software development,' he said.
'I was really lucky that Games Design and Development became available while I was at Deakin.'
He said the course provided skills that enabled him to immediately enter the industry and to adapt to the evolving nature of IT throughout his career.
'My studies at Deakin have helped me a lot in my work at Firelight,' he said.
'At first I thought I would have problems since many of the technologies I work on were unfamiliar at the time. It wasn't until after I had spent some time working with these "new technologies" that I realised university study isn't just about learning specific skills for certain technology, it's about learning the skills to be able to teach yourself new technology.'
Deakin's IBL program was another advantage for Mr Block in gaining employment.
'Through the Deakin IBL program I was able to secure a three-month placement at Firelight Technologies during my summer semester studies,' he said.
'This enabled me to experience what it was like working in a real organisation before my degree was complete.'
At the end of his placement, Mr Block was asked to stay on with the company as a full-time employee. He happily accepted after gaining an insight into the nature of audio software.
'I was originally more interested in graphics, but after my IBL, I realised that the sound part of it all is really something.'
Mr Block said a highlight of working with a company with clients around the world had been interacting with leaders in the IT industry.
'I haven't been here for long, but I've already been working with some high profile companies, and they come to us for help, which is great,' he said.
'I'm also learning so much about so many different things every day.'
Mr Block is now looking forward to playing games that have been developed with the help of his own software.
'I'll know which parts I helped create and I'm looking forward to playing those games,' he said.
'Working full time means I don't get to play computer games as much anymore, but that's ok when you're working with them all day.'.