I try not to think too much about who I am and where I am. I’m not alone, and not unsupported and unencouraged (from all angles), which makes things seem right, even if I barely know left from right in this place (and had to peck and hunt to figure out italics on my shiny new Macbook). But so far I feel like I fit in, there is a fantastic energy here that projects downward from the instructors and is contagious, and the stuff is just so interesting (I promise to limit italics in the future. They slow me right down).

I had an idea to write about the disconnect in the perception that people of my generation might have about opportunities in IT/tech, that it is saturated by kids and jobs are corresponding scarce, and how that is not the vibe I’ve been picking up. But I can’t comment on the reality. Since being here I have heard about companies that have had to move away from Sydney because they couldn’t find people for their good jobs. Not all (or even enough?) of today’s kids are programmers. Surely the skills are a bit more ubiquitous than they might have been 20 years ago, but there is still a dearth of relevant talent trained in an applicable way. Is the opportunity real?

I’m not here to learn to code simply to get a job. I’m here because I have an idea that I couldn’t let go (we’ve learned this week that is a good sign). Is my uninformed “idea” for an IT startup three years too late or naive in some unimagined way? Is coming here to test my optimistic hypotheses the best or worst idea ever? But the truth is: I don’t know for sure. I am excited about the relevancy of the program here at UIT but I’ll can answer this better in 12-18 months.

I’m old dog learning to code and launch IT companies, and I think it’s all working well together. And I like it.

4 thoughts on “Preconceptions”

Eric Lortie says:

I appreciate the honesty in your post. I’m a fairly energetic and positive dude and like to think that I express that well, but I always try to be pragmatic in it. I see a similar level of pragmatism in what you’ve written here and have no doubt it will help you throughout the next 12-18 months as you work towards finding those answers. I’m biased, obviously, but I’m putting my money on the fact that you coming here will prove to be a great idea.

As a parent of a kid who does nothing but eat, breathe and sleep games, coding, computers, creation and tinkering with technology, I can tell you that some of the disconnect comes from the hesitation of the generation of parents who are still holding on to the idea that traditional education is the answer to all of the world’s problems. I personally struggle with comments and feedback from other people – often unsolicited- about how much tech my son engages in, but as someone who works in tech and knows the opportunities, I encourage him to dig deeper and do the things he wants to do. It is hard for people to understand because there is a stigma that this is all beyond people. This is a bigger conversation but your hesitation is not unfounded. I thought tech was a mythical place where computer nerds went to live, but it’s full of opportunity. The problem is to get people to see and buy into that opportunity. As more and more people get on board, the barriers will be broken down – by people like you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Looking forward to reading more from you and seeing your successes come to be!

David Hachey says:

Thanks Heather! I’m glad my rambling blog wasn’t incoherent as you really hit the nail on the head with your comment. On the way to school yesterday I heard on CBC radio that by 2020 six percent of the workforce would be replaced by technology. I think the feeling that “it’s too late to learn tech/coding” is something that is not true and not helpful. You comment on “barriers” is very much on point.

This is probably a discussion that has been going on for a long time in the tech world but it’s not really a discussion I’ve otherwise heard. I’m glad UIT is what it is and has taken me in. I feel as though the prospects are great for both me and UIT. Also, with a young son, the debate about kids and technology is looming large on the horizon


Leave a Reply