Naval service provides inspiration for student Morse code app

Robert O'Brien inside the Walton Information Technology building at WIT

Robert O'Brien inside the Walton Information Technology building at WIT

Mature focus: Former Irish Naval Service Communications Operative Robert O’Brien uses his Information Technology degree to develop his Morse Code app

Robert O’Brien enrolled in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) four years ago, having worked in the Irish Naval Service as a Communications Operative for three years, Robert also spent six years working as a qualified stonemason before returning to college.

 Currently living in Carrick-on-Suir, O’ Brien applied to WIT to study BSc Information Technology , through the mature application process and the CAO.

Before entering WIT, O’Brien had successfully completed his training with FÁS, where he worked as a qualified stone mason for six years.

Following the recession, Robert took a step back from his profession as a stonemason and realised that his work may not be a safe sector to be employed in anymore and decided to apply for a course in WIT.

“Construction work is very dependent of the economy and with the recession it became apparent that the sector would need years to recover and work was going to become harder to find. I always had a strong interest in technology so it was the perfect opportunity for me to return to education and pursue a career within the IT sector.”

Having worked as a communication operative for three years with the Irish Naval Service, O’ Brien used this as inspiration for his fourth year project.

“My fourth year project was a Morse code training application which aims to teach people Morse code. The inspiration came to me having learned Morse code while in the Navy. I researched some of the Morse code application on the Google Play Store and I noticed a gap in the market for an app that gave the user a step by step introduction to Morse. The user can complete various stages, take timed tests and utilize many other features within the application outside of just training so it serves multiple purposes. It also contains a navigational voice assist and supports multiple languages.”

When deciding whether or not returning to college was for him, O’Brien took the opportunity to seek advice from peers and graduates of WIT, as well as doing some research into a number of courses that appealed to him.

“I have two close friends who studied the IT course at WIT so I asked for their advice and experiences - they both seemed to enjoy it and only had positive things to say.  I also attended an open evening where I spoke to two graduates, they gave me an overview of what to expect throughout the duration of the course which was very helpful.”

Having been in the workplace for a number of years, O’Brien was preparing himself for an astronomical shift in normality.

Having left school and FÁS years before enrolling in WIT, O’Brien had forgotten what life in a formal education environment was like.  

“As I had not been in formal education for a few years I was worried it would take some time to become accustomed to the environment. I think this was a feeling shared by students of all ages and backgrounds and over time everyone just naturally adjusts and it becomes easier.”

Entering the course as a mature student, O’ Brien was initially worried about the potential age gap.

 “My class in first year was a mix of students of all ages and educational levels so it was quite a varied group. The first two or three weeks were quite disorientating, as you don't know where the classrooms are and what each module will entail, but after this initial period everything becomes routine.”

O’Brien has just completed his final year exams and is looking at job opportunities both here in Ireland and abroad.

“I am currently looking at some of the graduate programmes that are being advertised. I also really enjoy traveling so I am not keeping the search for a job strictly within Ireland.”

To take a look at Roberts Morse code app, it can be found here at the Google play store,.


About the BSc in Information Technology

This course provides a variety of computer-based skills for the modern work place. It includes a good foundation in Information Technology, Web development, Multimedia, Maths and many computer-based tasks that can be useful in getting that first job. Other full time undergraduate courses offered in the Department of Computing Maths and Physics in the School of Science and Computing are;

BSc (Hons) in Entertainment Systems, BSc (Hons) in Computer Forensics and Security ,BSc in Multimedia Applications Development, BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing, BSc in Software Systems Development, BSc (Hons) in the Internet of Things

Related Courses

Bachelor of Science in  Information Technology

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