I went along to a _nology event as a first year studying Game Technology at UWE and I didn’t really know what to expect. But after talking to the co-founder Peter Anstey for a while about the course, how it works and what sort of stuff you cover, I was so excited that I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards. I completely forgot about my degree and just thought, ‘that’s it. I’m definitely going to do that.’ It made so much sense so me.
My parents initially didn’t want me to leave University and if I’d stuck my degree out, I may well have got the grades I wanted in the end. But I wasn’t enjoying it and I also didn’t feel it was preparing me for working life. At University you might have an hour’s lecture one day and then not need to go in again all week. It’s so different here – it’s intense, there’s no doubt about that! But it suits me far better.
I’d never been in an office environment before _nology
We do long, working hours, we get in around 8am and we don’t finish until 5.30pm…and I’m still getting used to coming in five days a week! But it’s giving us a proper taste of what the professional world is like. At University you can study in your pyjama’s if you want but _nology is taught within a proper workspace, surrounded by professionals and you have to look professional. I’ve never been in an office environment before this. I worked as a lifeguard when I was younger but I had no idea what a tech office, or in fact any office was really like.
You work on real life projects
Although the hours are long, because we’re working on projects that are not only interesting but will also help us get better jobs – like building our own CV’s, you don’t mind the hours. You’re passionate about what you’re doing so you will often stay late or work at home. I want my online CV to be the best it can be and also its really good fun making it.
You get opportunities to work as a team
I enjoy the fact that _nology encourages you to work with the other students together and to help each other out. We’re put in groups for certain projects, just as web designers would work in the real world. At Uni it was all about what our grades were like compared to other students and it was really competitive.
I’ve wanted to be a games developer since I was about 15 and my brother and I built an app that eventually went on to appear in the App store. In the future I’d love to set up my own indie game company and after finishing _nology I’ll definitely have the skills I need to develop games. But first I think I’ll look for a job within the tech industry, perhaps web development and get some experience – and some money – before eventually launching my own company.
Gaining the skills and experience to pursue a career in any industry
I’m only three weeks into the course but one thing I do know is that I can definitely get an app out earlier than it would have taken to complete my degree – and I’ll come out in less debt too. Whilst my parents were unsure at first, they can see how much I’m enjoying myself now, particularly when I can share with them some of the stuff I’ve been working on. It was definitely the right decision for me.