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Trailblazing student develops app to help Territorians get the keys to drive

CDU student Jade Doan
CDU Master of Software Engineering student Jade Doan is working through the design stages of an application called ‘NT Driver’s License Helper’.

Preparing for a driving exam can be a nerve-wracking experience, but a Charles Darwin University (CDU) international student is developing technology to help students prepare for the test in the NT.

CDU Master of Software Engineering student Jade Doan is in the design stages of an application called ‘NT Driver’s License Helper’, which can help people who are unfamiliar to the Territory’s road rules and want a convenient way to improve their knowledge.

Coding the app herself, Ms Doan said she drew from her personal experiences and feedback from peers and tutors to make sure it was simple, effective, and interactive.

“When I was studying for the NT license test, I was given a book with lots of pages to memorise”, Ms Doan said.

“I thought there must be a more interactive way to learn all this information and make studying easier especially for an international student like me.”

The application features multiple choice answers on road rules, graphics of potential driving scenarios and a user-friendly interface that shows the right answer when incorrect.

She hopes to host the app on both Android and IOS systems, as well as a website version.

“Driving laws are different in our home countries. As I keep working on this app, I want to make sure that it caters to diverse learning styles and collaborate with others to improve the way it works," Ms Doan said.

With a bachelor's degree in mathematics and experience as a teacher in Vietnam, Ms Doan defied social expectations in her pursuit of a career in Information Technology (IT).

When she was in high school, she was often told IT was "not suitable for a girl." 

“While I liked teaching maths, I was always more interested in coding and software development, and I learnt everything I could from scratch,” she said.

“But I didn't want to put myself in a box and teach for the rest of my career. Now at CDU, I am really enjoying my studies and look forward to becoming qualified soon, so I can contribute my skills to an IT company here in the NT.”

Ms Doan has helped to welcome new students as a committee member of the Vietnamese Student Association.

She believes international students can fill a vital gap in Darwin with their knowledge and skills.

“It is so nice to meet new students and welcome them into our CDU social groups, wherever they have come from.

“There are many opportunities for international students to share their culture and perspectives, as well as apply their skills in jobs that are in-demand in the Territory.”

Arriving in March last year, Ms Doan fulfilled a childhood dream of traveling to Australia, initially visiting as a backpacker. 

While she liked the vibrant cities of Sydney and Melbourne, it was the unique charm of tropical Darwin and supportive community, including at CDU, that made her want to stay.

“I heard that Darwin has the best sunsets, and it is true! Many people here are happy to help, particularly the Vietnamese community.”

More information on studying information technology at CDU can be found here.

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