Recently, we caught up with Anna, a first-year Computer Science student at the University of Cambridge, who attended 7 (yes 7!) of our courses as a teen. Continue reading as she answers our questions about her experience with Fire Tech.
Why did you decide to take a Fire Tech course?
I remember I was talking to my mum about my design technology classes at school and I found it frustrating like you can’t do enough in a single term at school. I asked her about holiday camps that do more things with technology, so she went away and found Fire Tech.
I signed up for the app design course, and after that course, I did the HTML/CSS and I thought, this was fun! I wanted to go back for the next school holidays. I definitely started on the more artsy courses before going into the more coding and programming ones. We then started coding a bit during school, which I felt really confident with doing, because of doing the Fire Tech courses.
Which courses did you do and why?
I actually counted them recently, I think I’ve done about 7 or 8. Naturally, I started with the more art and creative ones including App Design, HTML/CSS, and Digital Photography because I was generally interested to find out more and more about technology.
After doing a few I grew a lot more confident to try out coding courses including Greenfoot/Java, Python, and Unity. I think my favourite was the Java course with Greenfoot. I remember making a game with minions running around and I used the banana song in the background and later on I re-adapted the knowledge and made a game for Blue Peter using the same 2D platform.
“[The courses] were fun, it made me feel confident and think YES I can be the girl at school who’s good at coding!”
Do you have any tips for kids looking to enter into tech but are unsure of how to get started?
I think we have access to so many resources, when you look on the internet there’s so much. But anything you can do in your own time to get excited about the topic is really useful because it builds your confidence and helps you be more familiar with the technology.
At Fire Tech, during the course they teach you things like how to present the work you’ve done which I found really useful too. So it’s not necessarily all about technology but maybe something you like doing such as playing video games.
I think at a younger age, you might not understand why exactly you’re learning about things like object-oriented programming and it’s only now at University, where we’re learning more about OOP that it clicked. I am sort of understanding why we were taught these things at such a young age.
“Just start somewhere and keep doing it and continue building up confidence.”
How have the courses have helped you later on in life?
When it came to choosing a subject to study at university, I wasn’t sure whether to go down the science or computing route. I remember writing down a list of reasons for each and I found it so much easier thinking about computer science. I think exploring all the different programming languages and technology in the courses helped me to figure out what I was really passionate about. Thinking about it, there was a lot more history there having done so many courses with Fire Tech and I felt like I associated science with school more so I found technology and computing more interesting.
“The [Fire Tech] courses taught me a bigger variety of tech topics than what I would have learnt at school.”
I am now in my first year studying computer science at the University of Cambridge. In the modules now we are learning about both Java and Python. Even the Arduino and the Robotics courses taught me skills we’ve already started touching on.
To bring it back full cycle, we’re actually doing a human interaction design module at the moment which is all about identifying stakeholders and designing things to meet their needs and we’re designing a weather app and so bringing it back to app development which started it all!
We also do a bit of machine learning and a lot of maths, the thing is with computer science is that it teaches you a lot of logical and numerical skills. I’m still not sure about the career I want to pursue but Software Engineering and for now I want to share the knowledge I have with students who attend the courses after me.
About Fire Tech
Fire Tech’s online and in-person courses have a maximum of eight students to one teacher, are taught live by expert tutors from the UK’s leading universities, and give young people access to world-class technology courses. Discover our courses booking now.