22 Sep 2008, 1:16 a.m.

I'm a Student Again

So it turns out that as of now, I'm once again a student, this time with the Open University.

Strictly speaking, the course kicks off this coming Saturday, but since I'll be in the pub from lunchtime onwards that day, and since they sent all the materials through a couple of weeks ago, I felt it might be worth cracking on.

The plan - which is subject to change over time - is to end up with a BSc (Honours) Computing and Mathematical Sciences. I've started on MST121: Using Mathematics, which so far has introduced me to Mathcad, and forced me to rack my brains to remember some rudimentary algebra from my disturbingly distant school days.

The maths course runs until June next year, and I may start M255: Object-Oriented Programming with Java in February, so as to avoid the whole degree course taking a decade or so to complete. Whilst I'll have something of a head start on the programming, tackling two courses at once whilst holding down a full-time job might be a bit of an ask, so we'll see how this first one goes.

In the meantime I'll be working through the rather plentiful course books, watching the occasional DVD and fretting about the quite intimidating assessment schedule. I'll also have to find out where Croydon is, and work out how to get there for tutorials every couple of weeks.

One or two people asked why I'm doing this, and that's a fair question. I don't need another degree: an MA (Honours) and an MSc should probably be enough for anyone. I don't really believe that this will help my career progression either: that would suggest that I've somehow been held back by not having a BSc in Computing, which is not the case. I have a vague feeling that I'd like better to understand the theoretical foundation behind the code that puts food on the table, but I've struggled to put that into words. Never mind, the fact is that I really don't have to justify this to anyone, so I won't.

So anyway, I was feeling pretty daunted by it all, but the recently-opened course website does a nice job of breaking it all into bite-size chunks and letting you know what to do and when to do it, so I'm feeling cautiously optimistic, for the time being.

All that remains is to find out whether this qualifies me for the greatly reduced student pricing for Future of Mobile 2008!

Posted by Simon at 01:53:00 PM