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Software development personal statement

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  • Published: 11th October 2021
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Computers and technology have always interested me from me playing on PlayStation and game consoles at an early age (and now if ever I get a spare minute) to recently using my phone to order an Uber cab, technology has improved dramatically easing the way we live and work, changing industries and changing jobs constantly, some jobs are disappearing and being replaced with algorithms and computer technology. I’ve always wanted to know more about how the technology works.

I am studying Computing, Geography, and Economics at A Level at Roundwood Park School, in Geography and economics I have been able to develop my problem solving and time management skills whilst concentrating on my geography coursework and also focusing on computing coursework as well. I have also been able to increase my deeper learning and deeper reading whilst trying to connect the way that some jobs within the economic sector are being replaced with algorithms because of human error and is able to instantly react to changes within the market. Which I am enjoying but finding challenging. I look forward to being able to concentrate on just computer science so that I can examine in more depth at the different aspects that really interest me.

One of the more interesting topics I have studied at A-Level is Artificial Intelligence. I have particularly found the question of morality and ethics exceptionally interesting. This field not only explores the limitless capabilities of machines but also delves into aspects traditionally considered uniquely human, such as morality, decision-making, and even empathy, similar to human feelings. The big question is whether these more human traits can be replicated, using AI to find answers to complex problems. Those problems may be impossible for humans to process but very possible for computers. I am curious about what is possible and excited about the stage that the technology world will be at when I leave studying and enter the workplace, hopefully being a part of it.

In developing my Computing, A-Level skills, I have gained a significant level of knowledge as to how computers work; the theory behind them and why we need computer scientists, developers and programmers in the work environment. I think it is important to analyse problems and to program the solutions, as in the future this can lead to new problems being solved with more efficient working and pathways, which may not have been accessible in the past. Considering the rate of technological development currently and the needs of our changing world, we constantly need new ideas and new problem-solving ways of working.

I have, as a result of work experience, taught myself Angular to a good working standard and have had experience through school, with JavaScript, Java, Python, HTML and CSS. This is along with learning on Raspberry Pi which is interesting to use, as it can show immediate outcomes. I have tried to develop different solutions through a variety of languages as this has allowed me to see different outcomes and different methods that can be used to develop answers and to try and solve the problem as efficiently as possible so it meets the needs of the solution. Through this knowledge of languages, I have created a number of programs. A major example is the controlled assessment project for my computing A-Level based on the popular game, Battleships. I have used agile programming skills, as I have been making the program in stages along with the analysis, rather than completing the whole code and then doing the analysis. This has also involved finding and learning different procedures and functions through further personal learning to complete this project to the best of my ability. In my further reading and learning, I have read a number of books to try and improve my theoretical understanding of the subject. I have read ‘Computational Fairy Tales’ to work through different models, ways of programming, setting up programs in order to understand problems and how they can be solved more efficiently. Another book I am currently reading is ’The Pattern on the Stone’.

During my work experience placement in July 2017, I worked at Sopra (www.soprabanking.com) a company that specialises in banking software development. During the week, I collaborated with other people working there, learning about the task they were working on and how they are working on it. This helped me to be able to understand more about real life problems in programming and how tasks are completed practically. At the end of the week, I was part of a team in a 24-hour App building event, which was tiring but very exciting. The task was to come up with the idea for an app and create all of the different sections in 24 hours. I found this to be a unique, fast-paced and fascinating experience, as it allowed me to be part of a creative team, to design a fully functioning app very quickly. The benefit of working and socialising for 24 hours together really does pull a team of people together. The app we made was focused on controlling smart home accessories, with controlling internet access, helping to encourage homework, school work and general chores.

Outside of school, I have had a part-time job ever since I was 13 this has helped me to develop time management skills and to develop a hard-working ethic to be able to keep focus on my studies and also to be able to have spare time to be able to relax and to work at the same time. I wanted the chance to earn my own money and make choices about my own spending. Initially, I delivered newspapers, a job which needs good timekeeping, reliability and the determination to go out in the dark, the rain and the cold. Most recently, I have been working at the school sports centre, setting up equipment for customers and generally ensuring that events go smoothly. I communicate with staff on site, work as part of a team to ensure bouncy castle parties are enjoyed safely, help to maintain school property and participate in activities to increase customer satisfaction. I am entrusted with locking up the school buildings and have had to use my own initiative when faced with issues such as suspected intruders and failure of the security system.

I have also been a part of the local scout group for many years, through beavers, cubs, scouts and explorer scouts, which I have very much enjoyed. I will always be grateful for the experiences that I gained ranging from trying to avoid being caught by catchers on quad bikes in the Lake District, to plotting a route across checkpoints under timed conditions in the Peak District. Those experiences involved having to work as a member of a team, communicating effectively, being organised in terms of kit, working to time limits, problem-solving and being resourceful. I volunteered at the local scout shop as part of my Duke of Edinburgh award but enjoyed it so much that I continued beyond the required 6 months and carried on in this role for 3 years. I only gave it up this summer due to the time pressures of my A level studies. I worked there every Saturday morning, dealing with customer orders, taking money, being trusted to use the PDQ machine and sorting out the stock. As time went on, I was given increased responsibilities which included managing the shop if I ended up working on my own, as well as opening and locking up the building

I have also been involved in the local water polo team, playing weekly for the past 6 years. As one of the oldest players, I have been able to help other newer players develop their skills, as well as developing my leadership skills if the instructor can’t be there.

I am hard-working and full of curiosity about life generally. I thrive on the challenge of puzzles and problems and often find creative and original ways to deal with them as they arise. At the same time, I am always ready to learn and never frightened to ask questions. I enjoy working with others and will always try to listen to the opinions and judgements of others before making my own decision. I am dedicated, focused and always keen to offer my best efforts.

I am looking forward to developing further both personally and with regard to my computer skills in the future. I hope that when I have successfully completed my course at university that I will be able to join a software developing company as a programmer. I would especially love to go on to try and create new AI programs.

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