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Be Grateful?

So whilst I was on the plane back from Rome, I was sitting next to this lovely American girl who was the same age as me, flying to London Luton to then get a lay over to then Iceland and then Chicago! A very long journey for her.

We started chatting about the World Cup and then just introduced ourselves and she told me a bit about why she was flying from Rome back to Chicago where she grew up. She explained how her parents didn’t want to raise children in the Italian economy but wanted the “American Dream”, so they immigrated to Chicago, and how she’d been given the opportunity to go to college and become a teacher because of it and how glad and grateful she is of her parents’ uplifting their lives from Italy, for their future unborn children.

We naturally then went on to talk about Trump’s America and she said she wanted my opinion on how America is now seen because of him becoming President, and later onto Brexit. Throughout the whole conversation though we were able to say things we were grateful for, mainly about education, and it dawned on us that we were actually incredibly lucky to have been born into families and countries that allowed us to go to university and get good jobs etc. Many people like this girl’s parents who migrated from Italy are not so lucky. It’s weird to think it is just down to luck?

I think it’s important to celebrate your achievements, but to also express your gratefulness to how you got there.

What are you grateful for?

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Taking A Break

I’m sorry I’ve not posted in a while, this is because of all the holidays I have been on recently with my friends and family… and other commitments which have needed my attention, it’s been quite nice to just put my phone to one side for a while and now I’m slowly trying to get back into a routine and answer all my messages!

But, I have lots of ideas for the IT Girl blog and community and am very grateful to now have over 200 followers on the twitter page πŸŽ‰ … hopefully more to come with more content I will be creating!

Watch this space πŸ‘€

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Roman Technology

I’m in Rome at the moment with my family and it’s amazing to think that over 2000 years ago the Romans had the knowledge and technology to create aqueducts and antiquities that weren’t possible elsewhere.

The Pantheon is an amazing structure with a self-supporting roof, the Romans knew to put the heaviest materials at the bottom and lightest at the top. We can all use this analogy when it comes to taking on a modern tech project… solid foundations of heavy code and a database as a base for softer web code to make it look good!

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Life + Code

Take a look at Bekah Hawrot Weigal’s blog Life + Code… or follow her on Twitter @BekahHW

Learn about her personal reason of why she codes: https://bekahhw.github.io/blog/2018/04/23/How-coding-has-been-therapeutic-for-my-PTSD

And see here for a beginner explanation of html, CSS and JavaScript: https://bekahhw.github.io/blog/2018/04/13/The-House-that-Code-Built

I’ve found Bekah’s blog and articles included in this post, to be both inspiring and empowering!

Keep doing what you’re doing Bekah πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»

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Throwback to School

I visited my high school the other day and it was such a surreal experience to think I’d left 4 years ago, but really it hadn’t felt like I’d left at all. Seeing my tutor and the Heads of A-level was so great to catch up with them, still the same old humour and supportiveness that I’d received at school.

I’d learnt that last year my school was unable to continue IT A-level because it had stopped existing by the exam board and because there wasn’t enough IT teachers to cover it, but they informed me that they are going to be bringing it back to my high school as a BTEC course. I’m so glad they’ve decided to bring it back because I personally felt that it was limiting the students, if I was a student there I probably wouldn’t have gone elsewhere for A-levels just because they’d stopped that one subject and it may not have led to what I’ve achieved over the last 4 years and the excitement I’ve found in IT and STEM.

With a lot of changes recently in government and the change to GCSEs, it’s left educators even more so chasing paperwork than concentrating on actual educating. I know the government are trying to entice STEM teacher training, but why would the majority of STEM graduates choose teaching over industry if the starting salary is at least Β£5K a year more in industry. I know it’s not all about money, but to live comfortable after university and be able to afford a house within several years, industry has to be chosen. Personally, I do want to go into teaching at some point in my career, but I want to gain industry experience before I do.

It can also be said that the people in charge of the curriculums do not understand STEM subjects (flashback to Mark Zukerberg’s hearing about Facebook) and the constant changing and innovation within them, this is why it’s hard to teach them because there’s so much content to cover… maybe they could and should, be split even further?

Regardless, of how STEM is being told to be taught or being taught, it’s apparent that it’s becoming more of a priority. πŸ€“

What else do you think the government or schools themselves can do to engage more students in STEM?

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World Cup Vs Tech

Every event is riddled with technology from the selling of the tickets… to the checking for fraudulent tickets, from being able to show the game live on TV… to giving live updates through mobile apps.

But what is incredible in the 2018 World Cup is the Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) for the first time, technology is assisting on the pitch alongside humans. This isn’t the first time it is being used in a football tournament, but it is definitely more accepted than in the 2017 FA Cup where players and managers accused it of ruining the art of the game. I can see their point of view, but I also think that embracing this technology is important. There is nothing worse than thinking your team have scored a goal but the referee doesn’t agree… well now the referee is able to go and re-watch what happened to make an informed decision. The technology may not be perfect right now but in time this could truly take the bias out of the game. That is what technology is designed for, to eliminate human error.

In my opinion, we are only going to see more of a technology impact in sport and sporting events with the development of the Internet of Things, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality… they are already appearing in some training sessions.

What technology do you think could be used in football/sports?

 

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Share Your Story

Are you a woman in STEM?

If so… do you have anything that you’d like to share on the IT Girl platform?

I would love to create a collaborative platform where it isn’t just my opinions about the industry, but a wide range of experiences with the aim of inspiring younger generations of women to pursue STEM.

If you’d like to be involved, then get in touch!

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Degree Results

From the moment you finish your final exam until the moment you receive your results is a nerve wracking time, however much calculating of grades you’ve done and pep talks you and others have given to yourself, it is always on your mind.

DegreeResults

A week ago I woke up very early morning to the news thatΒ I had achieved First Class Honours in Business Computing with Professional Practice BSc and an A* in my dissertation… it still feels very surreal! I’ve loved school and it feels weird that for now education has come to an end.

When I found out my result I was in Cornwall on a family holiday, staying with my grandparents whilst my parents were in their caravan at another site. So I went straight into my grandparents and told them, they hopped straight out of bed and then we spontaneously got ready and drove over to my Mum and Dad’s caravan to tell them… about 6am! The reactions of my family definitely were the best bit about achieving the result.

The messaging between all my friends from my course and finding out what others had achieved throughout that day was fun, very proud of my peers and how hard they have worked over the last 3/4 years! Especially finding out my tutor group’s dissertation grades was such a nice moment after spending many hours with them over the year. Cannot wait for graduation in a month’s time and to thank the staff of the Computer Science Department for all of their support over the last 4 years in person.

I know for sure that my experiences and my degree has set me up well for my future, and I will always be thankful for that.