Computers are amazing; endless assortments of numbers and switches can create insane and incomprehensible images, calculations that have taken thousands of years to perfect can be replicated in seconds and messages can be spread across the world in real time with just the click of a button. As a child of the digital generation, I have always been surrounded by vast numbers of computers so, as I’ve grown up, the leaps in the wonderful world of technology have been a constant presence in my life.
As a child, I remember studying a few basics of PowerPoint in primary school however, within school, I never properly studied IT until I reached secondary school and with that new experience came a new realisation – I sucked at it. This was particularly saying something as I had always been a fairly well rounded student who never really failed miserably at anything. However there I was, not even being able to programme the little figures in Scratch whilst the rest of my class created games and small scenes.
Over the next two years my IT lessons continued as normal and I managed to retain a fairly decent grade due to the design aspects of the work, however I never really focused on the subjects – the year later everything changed.
Building my confidence
The new year brought me new IT and maths teachers and just like that my skills in both subjects immediately started to blossom – my new maths teacher was amazing at encouraging and answering even the most complex questions and my whole class soon started to understand how to use logic and maths; I started to gain an unlikely love for the subject and this soon transferred to IT. For the first time, we started to study programming and, to my own amazement, it all just made sense. Suddenly my maths and logic skills could be used in IT and I started to rocket to the top of the class, being able to help explain the programs and assist my classmates when before I had never understood the subject. This spurred me on and encouraged me to choose computing for GCSE and before I knew it Year 10 rolled round and I was in my first computer science class.
When I first started studying computing the theory was complex and there were lots of anagrams and foreign terms, however I continued with the subject and, before I knew it, started to love it again. We stared the programming tasks and, once again, I started to improve and rocketed to the top of the class. My computing teacher encouraged me wonderfully and she really seemed to love having a high ability female student in a male-dominated subject and, with her encouragement, I started to not only see computing as a good subject but also as a possible career decision in my future. Then, in Year 11 I arranged to do some IT work experience at ASDAN and soon I had completed my GCSEs and my week of work experience was rapidly approaching.
Work experience at ASDAN
When I started this week I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect and although I knew I would be working in IT and would do four days of computer based tasks, I still was unsure about what it would be like in a workspace – however the reality turned out to be great and incredibly worthwhile. For one thing, the people were amazing – they were all really encouraging and were happy to help at any time and, on top of that, I got a real feel of working in IT. Throughout the week, I researched, designed, created and started to code what a new ASDAN blog would look like as well as deconstructing and rebuilding a computer (something I had never imagined doing before!) and completing many other design, research and practical tasks. I was always active and productive and all the work felt like it went really well. This week I’ve really started to understand the world of IT in more depth and this has helped solidify the idea of IT as a career in my life. My experiences with IT have been long, rocky and never certain but I now know what a wonderful world it is and know that I will happily be part of that world in the future.
Beth was awarded a Careers and Experiencing Work Short Course certificate by Jenny Williams, ASDAN Managing Director, to accredit her week's work experience