Akshay Dashrath

MSc in Information Technology

Akshay is a developer at Novoda, a start-up company in London specialising in Android Application Development. He is also founder and organiser of the Bangalore Android Group in India, which is one of the largest Android groups in the world.

What programme did you study?  Did you come straight to postgraduate study from your first degree?

I did an MSc in Information Technology at the University of York.  I took a year off between my Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering and my Masters degree.  I used this year to familiarise myself with programming languages and the basics of computer science in order to make my studies at York easier.

Why did you choose to study in the Department of Computer Science at York?

During my Bachelor degree, I developed an interest in Mobile Technology and Mobile Applications.  I began searching for a course in the top universities in the world and narrowed my choice down to a few universities in the UK and Australia.  I finally chose York as it had one of the best reputations worldwide in the field of Computer Science.

Did you enjoy your time with us? What was the highlight of your time here?

York, without exaggeration, was by far one of the best years of my life.  I think the best time was when I was doing my dissertation, supervised by Dr Leandro Soares Indrusiak.

What did you think of the Department?

The Department is fabulous.  In my opinion, the staff are top notch and I couldn't have expected more from my Masters programme.

During the first two terms my supervisor was Dr Alan Wood.  He was extremely supportive and I looked forward to our weekly sessions which went beyond what the syllabus covered.

If it wasn't for the infinite support provided by Dr Leandro Soares Indrusiak my project supervisor, I wouldn't be doing what I am doing today.  Based on my interests, Leandro encouraged me to do my dissertation with him, and to do something related to Android, as this was a brand new platform at the time.

Leandro's initial direction was life changing, and it led me to talk at the UK's first Droidcon (an international Android conference) and, in turn, to the career I have today.

What was your experience of student life at York?  Did you feel part of a student community?

As the MSc programme is only a year long, it didn't give me much time to spend with the student community as a whole.  However, I did make some very good friends who I am still in touch with - one of whom I eventually ended up marrying!

How has the programme helped with your career?

Mobile technology and mobile applications were a hobby of mine, and I hoped that the MSc in Information Technology would enable me to make a career of them, and that is exactly what it did.

With the support of the fantastic staff at York, I was able to realise my dream.  Without my experience of the MSc in Information Technology, I am quite sure I would not be where I am today - on a professional or personal front.  In short, it was a life changing experience which I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Do you have any advice or tips for people thinking about postgraduate study at York?

If you're considering doing your MSc at York, then don't hesitate: take the plunge and you most definitely won't regret it!

When you're at the University, make sure you make utmost use of the resources provided, and take the opportunity to go beyond what the syllabus offers.  The professors will be keen to assist you in your personal interests and, in my opinion, this is where the strength of the Department lies.


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