Talking careers: every kid wants to be an inventor

Last week I was invited by a local school to give my first ever careers talk. It was really nice to be asked, but it got me thinking: what is my career?

Leading digital development at the Herald & Times Group is certainly a big part of it, but that’s not the whole story – a history of freelancing in game design and interactive exhibit development, plus being involved in the whole Maker movement, have been a huge part of my career path. So I decided to talk to the school about all of those.

In just over half an hour we covered everything from Arduino to Actionscript and from shooting water balloons with Triggertrap to working with Thinktank and Sony Pictures on an interactive exhibit for the Aadrman Animation Pirates movie.

The outcome was more positive than I could’ve hoped for. The kids – from a wide range of backgrounds and interests – were hugely interested in every aspect of my work. They asked dozens of interesting, insightful and relevant questions around everything from web design (we had a fun chat around the ‘hacking’ you can do to the Children’s BBC site with the DOM inspector) to illustration, animation and electronics.

The best bit was the show of hands at the end when the teacher asked if anyone would like to do the same job as me – about 75% of the room raised their hands.

I don’t plan to make this a very regular thing, but if any other schools would like me to give a careers talk please feel free to get in touch.