Creativity in IT

A job in IT suffers from the misconception that it’s dull and techy. But how can that be true when almost every aspect of our 21st-century lives has information technology at its heart? We spoke to people working in different sectors who would argue that IT can offer a career that’s both exciting and creative…

creativity IT

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Video games

After leaving Croydon College, Stuart Billinghurst worked as a freelance Theatre Designer in London before changing career tack entirely in 2001 and taking a job with computer games company Guerrilla Games in Amsterdam. He says: “I was able to use my theatre set design skills digitally and create environments for the games. Now I am much more involved in the high-level design of the game itself.” It’s obviously a job he loves because he’s still doing it and recently worked on the latest version of the hit first-person shooter video game, KillZone.

Cybercrime

Sandeep Jadav works for Ernst & Young and describes his job as being a bit like the hit TV crime show, CSI. “We’re often called in to find out how hackers have got around an organisation’s IT defences, what they may have taken, and why they may have been targeted. He continues: “Cybercrime has no borders, so it can mean international travel – and there’s also the variety of it being relevant in different industries. If the investigation leads to a criminal prosecution, you could also be called as an expert witness, and put your IT knowledge to use in a legal setting.”

Entrepreneur

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Entrepreneur

Software Engineer and online entrepreneur Adam Pilling “stumbled into an IT career” having completed his degree and PhD in chemistry but now says that: “I live and breathe coding.” The co-founder and Technical Director of the furniture and homeware search engine Myhomeneedsthat.com says: “Every day is different. You don’t know what sort of problem you might have to solve and the thrill of seeing a new system or website go live is fantastic, knowing that you have created something tangible.” He adds: “The working environments in software development are undoubtedly the coolest of any industry – I’ve worked in places with table tennis tables, free bottled beer, table football and other cool stuff. Not to mention the relaxed dress codes.”

A seat at the boardroom table

Peter Birkett, CEO of IT company adept4, says: “IT is no longer seen as a dull and boring career choice. IT professionals now have a seat at the boardroom table because IT is a key strand in business strategy.” He continues: “IT engineers are professional problem-solvers. On any given day you could be faced with a simple call about a printer that isn’t working, right up to a full-scale system failure. The solution may not always be obvious, and a creative approach is often needed.” How can a job in which you are constantly exposed to innovation and new technologies be boring, he argues, and points out that while IT has suffered from having a dull image in the past, it is now an essential vehicle for businesses to run smoothly.

Super-savvy, dynamic career option

Boo Zandu – IT Lecturer at Stoke on Trent College – reckons the misconception that IT is dull and techy has been “rebooted and reloaded as a super-savvy, fresh, fast-paced and dynamic career option”. He adds that IT experts and Software Engineers “have the ability to change the world as we know it. It’s a fact that almost every aspect of life now involves an element of IT – and the good news is that the prospect of incorporating IT into any kind of job role or industry is endless.”

Change the world

Edward Bell, Managing Director of Cordant Dynamic, a specialist Recruiter for technology professionals, points to real-world end results that demonstrate how IT can produce exciting things. “Combining technology, engineering, medicine and software produced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which has saved the lives of millions by allowing the early detection and treatment of disease.” He adds that MP3 players have fundamentally altered the way the entertainment industry works, while the internet has caused a revolution in everything – from the way we share information to our shopping habits. “It will be exciting to see how the next generation of Software Developers change our world over the next 20 years.”

Rock stars of the future

Lawrence Jones MBE is founder and CEO of internet hosting firm UKFast. He says: “Coding contains the building blocks of the future. It’s like laying the foundations of a building; when you write code, you actually build something. You’re allowing your mind to develop these incredible tools. It’s exercising a level of creativity that is actually being missed elsewhere.” He continues: “Take it from someone who’s seen a group of kids use a Raspberry Pi to program a toy helicopter to take off – there’s no reason that any subject, especially coding, should ever be anything less than enjoyable. Programmers are the rock stars of the future!”

coding

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Beautiful art form

Visnja Drinjovski is a Web Developer for MVFglobal.com: “Coding is something which many people see as boring algorithm and endless lists of numbers and letters – and if you look at my screen on any given day, that is perhaps what you will see. But just as an architect works with angles and calculations to make beautiful structures, the code on my screen is the foundation of my latest design and the beginnings of something I see as quite beautiful.” She adds: “Code may look like boring script but for those who work with it, it is the paint that goes on the canvas or the manuscript which makes the symphony, and to me it is just as beautiful an art form.”