ICT studies led to engineering job in online financial services
Four years ago he moved from London to Stockholm to study for a bachelor´s degree in Information and Communication Technology at KTH. Louis Cameron Booth now works as a software engineer at global payments provider and bank, Klarna.
When Louis Cameron Booth finished high school back home in London, he had firmly decided to study to become a software engineer. What attracted him in particular was that software engineers are able to build things with small resources.
“You don’t need a workshop, you only need a computer and your own ideas. It is a bit of a creative process, like writing a song or painting a picture.”
Instead of studying at one of the universities in London, such as Imperial College, Cameron Booth decided to apply to the International BSc programme in Information and Communication Technology at KTH.
Cameron says that as an EU citizen (prior to Brexit) he was attracted to KTH not only because of the tuition-free education Sweden provides to EU citizens, but because of the study environment and freedom. "In Britain, university education is very expensive and not necessarily better.”
One consideration behind Cameron Booth's decision was the greater freedom students enjoy at Swedish universities, at least at KTH. He says that students are able to choose their own courses and how they want to study to a great extent.
“At British universities they are much stricter and say, ‘You are going to study this.' And if you can’t keep up, there is no way back. It is more like high school. It doesn’t feel as though it is for adults.”
Hacked an electric scooter
As his major at KTH, Cameron Booth chose IT security, which includes ethical hacking, a method of finding security gaps in computer networks. As part of his bachelor's thesis, he hacked an electric scooter.
“To begin with, I wanted to hack an electric scooter out on the streets. But we were not given permission to do this. So we bought a scooter and hacked it. We were even interviewed on the Swedish national news."
While he was studying, Cameron Booth also worked as a research engineer within IT security in Professor Robert Lagerström’s research group. An experience that proved highly beneficial to him when he applied for a job as a software developer at the global payments provider and bank Klarna a year ago. The fact that he had done practical work with IT security and had worked with Lagerström, a renowned expert within the area, helped him land the job, he believes.
“I think that is what made me stick out a bit compared to the other applicants. And Robert Lagerström has worked with the Head of Security at Klarna. So his name was known there.”
The job is very largely about writing code for different systems, and security aspects are naturally especially important at a bank like Klarna.
“The rules are very strict. You can lose your banking licence if you mess up.”
When the work tempo speeds up
In a high pace workplace such as Klarna they expect rapid results. Cameron Booth feels he has benefited a great deal from his time at KTH. Above all, he thinks having a scientific approach and an in-depth understanding when it comes to computer science and ICT is valuable.
“It is a big help that you always have this in the back of your mind. Because when you are working you don’t have any time to think about it. You simply have to solve problems, make things happen and complete them on time. The in-depth understanding you gain at KTH, means you can work faster.”
Aims to start his own company
When it comes to future plans, he think he will stay in Sweden for a few years at least. One thing he would really like to do in the future is to start his own business.
“The whole point of technology is to solve problems for people. And that’s the bit I find most interesting. So if I can get the opportunity to make decisions at a higher level in my own company, that would be the ultimate goal for me.”
He and a few friends already have a business idea they call Busybee that they are developing at KTH Innovation. Busybee is a website that shows how busy KTH venues are.
“The idea is – due to the Covid-19 pandemic – to show students how many people there are in these venues. So if they need to come to KTH campus they can plan their visits."