Last week we had James Budnik over for a “work experience week”: a nice opportunity for British high school students to get a feel for what it is like to sit in an office all day and a way to gather some extra data to make an informed study career decision. It was good fun to have him over and to see him work on his first ever computer program.
It brought back memories of my first coding experience on my old TI 99/4A, with a squeaking tape recorder, a black and white TV, and an elementary form of basic. We have come a long way since then. James could start with a slick laptop fitted with a silent hard disk, a high-res colour screen and F# instead of basic!
Here is what he wrote himself about the experience. –Onno
My name is James Budnik and I have just completed a week’s work experience from the 25th to the 29th of June here at the Applied Games Group. As the end of term drew near for me after the completion of my AS examinations I had the opportunity to apply for work experience. Instead of applying to any old local company I decided I would look for a placement further a field that would allow me to see where subject choices may lead me. I am personally very interested in Computer Science and I am taking the A levels with an aim to study it at university. After a great deal of searching I discovered Microsoft Research’s website, whose combination of exciting cutting edge technology and obvious relevance to Computer Science was exactly what I was looking for. I was lucky enough to get a place (thanks to Mel Digny for her help with that), at the Applied Games Group, at the envy of many of my classmates.
I am very grateful to Phil, Onno and Lukasz whose time, help and enthusiasm have made this both innovative and thoroughly enjoyable. I leave now even keener to pursue a career in Computer Science thanks to this experience and I hope to be fortunate enough to return here in the future, not as a student, but as employee.