Back in 2012 I met Professor Margaret Ross MBE, who suggested I campaign for more women in IT and introduced me to BCS Women, a specialist group founded by Dr Sue Black.
Speaking with Education and looking for statistics to use as a baseline, my findings were disappointing. Almost nobody was studying Computer Science GCSEs or A-Level. Women in IT was just the tip of the computer skills shortage iceberg and it seems, thanks to Margaret I find myself campaigning to promote computing’s many facets, always aiming to inspire people to consider a career in fields such as Cyber Security or programming.
Over the years 3D Printing, Robotics, Drones, and Virtual Reality have made it easy to catch people’s attention and whilst this provides a springboard to start events like Jersey Techfair, we really need to do much more to help close the skills gap.
A good old-fashioned way to learn computing is to build your own computer. It’s a little like learning to use adult Lego, connecting the components such as Processor, Memory, Storage, Graphics and Power to a Motherboard in a computer case. Learning coding is more fun when you understand how a computer works. The IT industry needs more women with these skills, I believe there are great opportunities ahead for those in possession of such skills and Chamber calls on Industry and Education to put these building blocks in place.