I belong to IT

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At the Raspberry Pi Foundation, we believe that everyone belongs in computing and that it’s a much more varied field than is commonly thought. One of the ways we want to promote inclusivity and highlight the variety of IT skills and interests needed is through our “I Belong” campaign. We do this because the tech industry lacks diversity. Similarly, in schools, there is an under-representation of computer science students along the lines of gender, ethnicity and economic status. (See how the researchers describe data from England and data from the United States.)

The ‘I Belong’ campaign is part of our work on Isaac Computer Science, our free online learning platform for GCSE and A level students (aged 14-18) and their teachers, funded by the Department of Education. The campaign celebrates young computer scientists and how they came to love the subject, what their career path has been like so far, and how they feel about inclusivity and belonging in their chosen field.

These people are role models who demonstrate that everyone belongs in IT and everyone can bring their interests and skills to the field. In this way, we want to show young people that they can do a lot more with IT than they think, and inspire them to think about how IT could be part of their own life and journey. careers.

Meet Salome

Salomé is studying Computing with Digital Technology Solutions at the University of Leeds and doing a degree apprenticeship at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Salome smiling.  The text says I belong to IT.

“I was very lucky because growing up I saw a lot about women in STEM which inspired me to take this path. I think to improve the online community we need to continue to challenge stereotypes and get more and more people to join us, improving diversity.This way more people can have role models and identify with someone currently there.

“Another thing is the assumption that computing is just coding and not a big, diverse field. I still have to explain to my friends what computing entails and can become, and then they’ll say, ‘Wow , it’s really interesting, I didn’t know that.”

Meet Devyani

Devyani is a third-year apprentice at Cisco.

Devyani smiling.  The text says I belong to IT.

“It was at level A where I developed my programming skills, and it was more practical than theoretical. I managed to complete a programming project where I used PHP, JavaScript and phpMyAdmin (which is a database).It was after that that I started looking and applying for degree apprenticeships.I thought college was not for me,because I wanted a more hands-on and hands-on approach,because I learn better that way.

“Right now, I’m currently in a Product Owner position, and that’s where I hope to graduate. It’s a mix between a commercial role and a technical role. I have to stay on top of the current technologies we are using and developing for our clients and clients, but I also have to understand the business needs and ensure the team is able to develop and deliver in time to meet these needs.

Meet Omar

Omar is a Mexican paleontologist who uses computers to study dinosaur bones.

Omar.  The text says I belong to IT.

“I try to bring highly developed aspects of computer science and apply them to paleontology. For example, when scanning vertebrae, I use information theory a lot. I also use a lot of data science and integrity to make sure what we’ve captured is comparable to what other people have found.

“What pushed me towards computers was the fact that you are always learning. That’s what interests me about science: that I can continue to grow, learn from others and teach others. is the other thing that makes me feel like I belong, which is when I’m able to communicate the things I know to someone else and can see the face of the other person when he begins to grasp a theory.

Meet Tasnima

Tasnima has a degree in computer science from Queen Mary University of London and currently works as a software engineer at Credit Suisse.

Tasnima smiling.  The text says I belong to IT.

“During the pandemic, one of the good things that came out of it was that I was able to work from home, which means working with people all over the world, bringing together all races, religions, genders, etc. Even if we are all very different, we all have in common that we are passionate about technology and computing. Another thing is being able to work in technology in the real world. This allowed me to work in a highly collaborative environment. I always feel like you’re involved from the start.

“I think we also need to break the image that computing is about coding. I’ve had friends who stayed away from any tech work because they think they don’t want coding, but there are so many other tech roles and jobs that don’t actually require any coding.

Meet Aleena

Aleena is a software engineer who works at a health tech startup in London and is also studying for a Masters in AI Ethics at the University of Cambridge.

Alena smiles.  The text says I belong to IT.

“I do a lot of different things as an engineer. It’s not just coding that’s part of it, but it’s a relatively small percentage, compared to a lot of other things. […] There’s a lot of collaboration time and I’d say a quarter or a third of the week is me writing code. The other time is spent collaborating and working with other people and making sure we’re all aligned on what we’re working on.

“I think it’s actually a very diverse area of ​​technology to work in, once you find yourself in the industry. When you study STEM subjects at the college or university level, they are often not very diverse. Industry is the opposite. A lot of people come from self-taught or bootcamp backgrounds, there are a lot of ways to get into technology and software engineering, and I really like that aspect. Computers are not the only way to go about it.

Meet Alice

Alice is a final year undergraduate student in Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence at the University of Brighton. She is also the winner of the Global Challenges COVID-19 Research Fellowship offered by the Universities of Santander.

Alice wearing a mask over her face and mouth.  The text says I belong to IT.

“[W]We need to portray IT as more than just a room full of computers and portray IT as highly collaborative. It’s very creative. If you’re part of a team of developers, there’s a lot of communication involved.

“There’s something about computing that I find so special: the fact that it’s a skill anyone can learn, no matter who they are. With the right idea, anyone can build anything.

Share these stories to inspire

Help us spread the message that everyone belongs in IT: share this blog with the schools, teachers, STEM clubs, parents and young people you want to inspire.

You can learn computer science with us

Whether you are studying or teaching Computing at GCSE or A level in the UK (or thinking of doing so!), or you are teaching or studying in another part of the world, Isaac Computer Science is here to help achieve your IT goals. Our high-quality learning platform is free and open to everyone. As a student, you can register to track your progress. As a teacher, you can sign up to guide your students’ learning.

Two teenagers are coding on a shared computer during a computer class while their teacher observes them.

And for young learners, we have lots of fun project guides to try coding and creating with digital technologies.

Three teenage girls in front of a laptop

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