Louis Droguett: alumni profile
You graduated as Dux from CCGS in 1999, what has been your post-school journey?
During school, I had known that I wanted to follow a career in software engineering. So, after school, I went to UNSW to study Software Engineering, graduating with First Class Honours. At the same time, I worked part-time as a software developer at Toyota. Working in software whilst at uni meant that I could genuinely understand why what we were learning at uni was important and how it applies in real work scenarios.
After Toyota, I was fortunate to join the Commonwealth Bank of Australia where I built some of the most powerful software applications in Australia. A highlight was leading over 500 engineers in developing the NetBank and Commbank App applications, relied upon by many Australians daily.
As a side hustle, I also took the challenge to become Chief Technology Officer of Go Fundraise. Here I led the development of a platform that empowers individuals and organisations to make a difference for charities and worthy causes around the world.
Most recently I joined a disruptive fintech, Recreo Financial, where I hold the role of Chief Delivery Officer. I have the incredible challenge to lead the Solution Delivery, Production Support, Feature Engineering, IT Operations, and Quality Assurance departments to re-create administration for the Superannuation industry.
During my time at CBA, I met my wife and got married. We bought a house in leafy St Ives, and I now have two very energetic boys and a newborn baby!
What is the CCGS experience that most prepared you for where you are today?
It would be achieving Dux and the Outward Bound experience when we camped through the Hawkesbury River.
Both experiences set important foundations by teaching me about setting goals, the importance of resilience to overcome challenges, and the feeling of success that comes after hard work.
What do you love most about your role as Chief Delivery Officer at Recreo Financial?
I love being able to make a significant impact by solving problems to enhance the lives of everyday Australians in their retirement. Working with such a great group of people has made the work extremely interesting and leading my teams at Recreo has been highly rewarding.
What advice would you give to students wanting to pursue a career in software engineering?
Be passionate about lifelong learning. The technology space is constantly changing and at a rapid pace. I continually read books on various topics, including the technology industry, leadership and even military strategy, and world history. Don't stop reading!
Find opportunities to practice the way you approach problem-solving. Challenge your solutions and look for creative and out-of-the-box ways to solve problems. You will be surprised by how many unique options there are to solve one problem.
What are you passionate about?
My background is Chilean, and I love to cook a mean South American barbeque known as Asado. This keeps me in touch with my heritage, and I've also loved learning about the techniques, modern and traditional, that help me tame the fire and cook the meat well. It's also a great excuse to have a wine with some close friends.
Growing up on the Central Coast, I also became quite addicted to fishing, which I continue to do, and am now teaching my sons. It's a great sport where knowing the right strategy and practices for different scenarios will drastically increase your odds. It's not all luck!
What is your proudest moment post-school?
I constantly feel proud of my family and work experiences, but if I had to pinpoint the proudest moment, it would be locking in the first date with my beautiful wife. I think studies, uni degrees, and work achievements all culminated in impressing her enough to take a chance.
Professionally, my proudest moments would be being part of the teams that pioneered advances in the Australian financial technology industry. Some of the smartest minds were working together to break new ground and overcome challenges to delight and streamline digital experiences for users and members.
What advice would you give to your Year 12 self?
Chase different experiences and challenge yourself beyond your comfort zone. You will find diverse and surprising ways to learn new skills and grow.