Computers are everywhere. We interact with computers in so many different ways on a daily basis, so surely it makes sense that we understand how they work, right?
But Computer Science isn’t just about computers. It’s about problem-solving, designing experiences, creating accessible solutions and probably breaking a few things along the way. The computer is just one of the tools used to create these solutions.
I remember computing classes at school being about how to use word processing and spreadsheets, until one afternoon, we were introduced to the world of coding. I thought it was the most frustrating thing in the world spending a lot of time writing a program only for there to be big red error messages when I tried to test it out.
But one day, something clicked. My program worked and there were no big red error messages, it did exactly what I wanted. I did that. Me. No one else. Just me!
From then on, I had a love-hate relationship with coding. It was still frustrating when I couldn’t work out why my program wasn’t working but I loved how a few lines of code could make something happen.
But it isn’t just programming careers that you could get into from studying Computer Science. I studied Computer Science at university and I’m now a Learning Experience Designer for a start-up in Edinburgh who make robots for classrooms. I didn’t even know that was a job.
The best news is that as time goes by and we change the way we use computers and technology, new jobs will come along - the job that you do in the future when you finish school might not even exist just yet. That’s why I think Computer Science is one of the most exciting areas to learn about. The world of computing and technology is constantly moving and changing, as does the world around us because of those changes.
There’s always something new coming right around the corner……and you could be the person who helps to design and build it.
Tanya Howden is the Learning Experience Designer for Scottish start-up, Robotical, the creators of the eye-brow wiggling, robot playing robot called Marty. She works with schools and community groups to introduce coding to change the perception that coding is too difficult, dull and just for boys. As a Computer Science graduate from Heriot-Watt University, Tanya found a way to combine her interests in coding and teaching through running CoderDojo coding clubs across Edinburgh leading her to work with organisations such as Apps for Good, Stemettes and on Heart of Midlothian FC’s new Digital Skills Programme.