AWSN and Swinburne University joint project

Australian Women in Security Network

AWSN and Swinburne University joint project

Author – Antonio Moretta – Swinburne University Graduate

First of all, welcome to the new AWSN website! It was a pleasure to be personally part of the project team that helped shape it into what it is today.

The AWSN website project was a collaborative effort between Swinburne University Hawthorn, external industry supervisors and AWSN and was part of Swinburne’s industry project scheme that provides students with professionally focused learning experiences during their final year of study.

The scheme is mutually beneficial, small businesses and organisations can come forward to find a fresh approach in solving their business problems and students gain valuable experiences working inside a project team with real clients on a real project, helping them grow professionally.

My amazing team comprised of:

Elizabeth Bonny, Bachelor of Information Technology Student and current member at AWSN, Liz worked tirelessly with the team as the Project Manager being the main liaison between our client Jacqui Loustau and other stakeholders as well as planning the project, managing the team, creating the university deliverables and assisting in other areas such as requirements gathering and analysis.

“I found the AWSN website project to be an invaluable experience, as I had the chance to apply the theory and skills I had learned at university to a real world project that actually benefited real people!” – Liz Bonny

Dai Trung Duong Luong, Bachelor of Information Communications Technology Student, tackled most of our development, first creating wireframes and then, alongside our industry advisor Sajeeb built the infrastructure and web application using various tools and testing the security along the way ensuring security was inbuilt from the start of the development, and not an afterthought.

“I had great experiences with a great team. In addition, I have significantly improved my communication skills and broadened my knowledge in web developments.” – Duong Luong

Saraga Medikonduru from the Bachelor of Accounting & Information Systems was the tester for our team performing functional and usability testing. Some of her work involved creating and executing test cases to ensure the website was performing as intended with all functions present and working and seeking feedback from stakeholders.

“Valuable experience. Thoroughly enjoyed the project” – Saraga Medikonduru

Antonio Marotta (Me) Bachelor of Information Technology.  In this project I functioned as the Business Analyst, gathering and documenting different types of requirements from meetings, emails and Slack channels which were then used to kick off the Agile SDLC approach we chose. I aimed to be the bridge between the business problems and the technology solutions.

The team operated in conjunction with our industry advisors Sajeeb Lohani (Hivint) Negar Shabab (PS&C Group) Li Ching Liew (PS&C Group) who played active roles throughout, with our Swinburne academic supervisor Bambi Price overseeing our work, making sure things were in check, and providing occasional advice.

“The AWSN website is a project that allows our initiatives to reach out to larger crowds and formalise interest. Considering the cause and seeing how it helps people, we are happy to support this project and see it through.” – Sajeeb Lohani

Even though we were all in IT, our backgrounds all differed which I found intriguing to observe how each individual in the team brought something unique to the table and it was riveting to see the different skill sets being utilized throughout the project. Since some of us had never worked together before our first week was predominantly setting up communication channels and building our relationships to pave the way for the rest of the project.

Our project was part two of the AWSN project, it was our job to solve the business problems that were identified by the previous Swinburne team’s capstone project. The core problems that the previous project highlighted as business problems were:

  1. Membership lifecycle
  2. Membership database
  3. Website

Given how the project period was limited to effectively 10 weeks, with the approval of AWSN, we put focus on the website component to avoid spread our resources too thin which could potentially result in deliverables that neither party would be happy with.

After consolidating the core business problem we were tackling, we settled on the following scope:

  • Contact web form functionality, to clear previous confusion about who to contact and how;
  • Centralized, up-to-date information about events, locally and nationally
  • Leadership team information so others know about the people holding the reins.
  • Aesthetic appeal and user-friendliness to invite and engage the user
  • And security, I don’t think I need to explain that one here!

The work that the team put in towards the project is more than I can express in the limited space I have, given that each of us had other assignments and university commitments running parallel to the project, it was a challenge. We found that proper time management is essential to the success of a project.

Furthermore, we received plenty of praise from our Swinburne academic supervisor who said we were pioneers in terms of our utilization of industry advisors to further our project and how well we employed management and collaboration tools such as Trello and Slack.

“The ASWN is a much needed organisation with goals that I admire. Combining that with a committed and dedicated project team of final year students, means that the AWSN has been able to progress their organisation to the next level. It is a great achievement for all involved.” – Bambi Price

Working on this project was a valuable experience for our team, not only did it provide us a means to apply some of our recently acquired knowledge accumulated from 3 years of study, but it taught us how to work on a project with real people that would benefit from our achievements. Knowing that AWSN is a not-for-profit industry association from humble beginnings that exists to connect, support and inspire women who work in security really drove us to put in the effort and make the most out of the experience.

“This student project helped to give the AWSN a great platform to communicate and promote what we do. 

The unique use of industry advisors/mentors, Negar and Sajeeb alongside the students on this project gave the students an opportunity to learn more about website security. In addition, it helped them get a good feel of how awesome our industry is!

Thank you to the team, we know you all worked hard on this.” – Jacqui Loustau

We were really pleased we were handed this project, we found working on this project challenging yet inspiring and we hope that our efforts have provided a step in the right direction for AWSN and what they stand for.