Growing up, when most of his friends were playing video games, Kyal was designing his own.
“I grew up tinkering with computers and now I’m tinkering with frigates in the digital world,” says Kyal, a Digital Specialist at BAE Systems Maritime Australia, which is responsible for delivering 9 of the world’s most advanced anti-submarine warfare frigates to the Royal Australian Navy.
“I was intrigued by graphics, motion, sound and the technical artistry involved in games.
“Over time I discovered that it was not simply magic confined to wizards in Silicon Valley – there were platforms, resources and communities that allowed anyone with the right aptitude to design their own game, which led to me releasing my first game on the internet at age 12.”
Like many teenagers, Kyal didn’t know what career he wanted to pursue after high school. But he knew what he liked.
“I liked video games and graphic design, and knew I was good with computers, so I signed up for a double degree in Media Arts and Computer Science, figuring I’d try for a graphic artist with computer programming as a fall-back option.
“But it turned out to be that blend of arts and science that shaped my career – it is one thing to be able to make awesome graphics, but another to understand how to use all the silicon behind it effectively.”
According to Kyal, digital products not only need to look good: they need to be user friendly.
“You can have the most amazing technical achievement in the world, but if it isn’t easy for the user to engage with, or does not meet a need, it won’t be used,” says Kyal.
Kyal has worked in the increasingly complex Defence industry for 10 years, and knows the skills he’s honed are becoming increasingly important.
“Everything is digitised, all our design is three dimensional and everything needs to be interconnected and trackable in order to maintain a competitive edge.”
Kyal, Digital Specialist
As for computer games – Kyal now plays his vintage collection with his own children.
“Gaming is fun – not only that, it’s led me to a diverse career that has landed me on the Hunter Class Frigate Program, the largest surface shipbuilding project in Australia’s defence history.”
Find out more about a career at BAE Systems: