Published on: 31 May 2013

IT and mathematics students, from Years 9 to 12, heard about the role of a computer programer for the world’s most widely used search engine recently. Old boy Jim Mussared (Class of 2001), who works at Google’s Australian headquarters in Sydney, spoke to classes and interested boys during lunchtime.

Head of Information Technology Chris Anderson said Jim returned to Christ Church to speak to senior computer science students, Year 10 maths students and Year 9 computing students, and led a question and answer session at lunch.

Mr Anderson said Jim discussed his role, how he got into programming and how he ended up at Google. “His talks were very well received by all the boys and they were extremely interested in what he had to say,” he said. “It was great to have someone from outside, who works in the industry, confirm that the skills they are learning in the classroom can actually lead to some pretty cool jobs!”

Alumni Officer Andrew Baird said the questions for Jim were quick and fast, ranging from ‘how does Google earn money? Is hacking a big problem? What happens to stored data when a person dies? Are you paid well?’

“Jim seemed to handle all these and more questions with aplomb,” Mr Baird said.

When asked what significant event, if any, happened at Christ Church to set Jim on the course he had followed, Jim said it was learning to program Lego robots in Year 4 with Preparatory School teacher Jamie Fagan. In the Senior School it was Dr Peter Lewis, who furthered his programming opportunities.

When asked about the hardest problem he had ever faced in his job, Jim said managing staff was complex and quoted having once been told: ‘Computers are easy, people are hard’.