By Fran Molloy
Melbourne-based Maia started a yearly event called HealthHack, where software developers meet with medical researchers over a weekend to build solutions to big challenges in health – like finding treatments for cancers. “The researchers are really into it, and all the software people are delighted to get the chance to work on something awesome like cancer research,” says Maia.
HealthHack also attracts designers, data analysts and game makers. And it sees some fantastic results – like Team Girror in 2014, who came second with a series of apps that help gambling addicts and psychologists understand what triggers the urge to bet. Team Gene Machine, meanwhile, found a way to visually map the stages of sequencing changes in DNA, a cell’s genetic ‘blueprint’, which will help speed up genetic testing and the medical treatments that follow.
By day, Maia is a full-time business analyst for ThoughtWorks, a global software company on a mission to help humanity and drive social change. Maia trained as a biomedical engineer before working in science communication and then as a data analyst.
She started out at ThoughtWorks as a software tester, where her job was to find “cool and interesting ways to break things”. Her work as a business analyst involves helping companies figure out how to solve their problems through software.
“I wanted to have a job where I was having fascinating conversations with interesting people!”
Author: Fran Molloy
FRAN MOLLOY is a freelance journalist and university lecturer whose career has spanned newspapers, radio and online publications. She writes about business, careers, research, science and environment.