Thomas Walsh Thomas Walsh | 20 Nov 2023

After completing an undergraduate degree, teacher training and a master’s in education, an apprenticeship isn’t what I expected to be doing at thirty years old.  Yet it’s been a month since I started at Quba as an apprentice software developer, and seven months since I left my last permanent position as a teacher. 

If you’re of an age with me, you probably also missed the boat for the computing overhaul in schools. I didn’t learn any kind of coding and it had taken on this mystic, unknowable aura. I worked to dispel that perception when I started as a teaching assistant. I’d just finished my forensic psychology degree and needed to learn a bit of coding so that when pupils got stuck, I could offer more than a blank stare. I found that I really enjoyed helping pupils with their code and went on to complete my teacher training.

There’s a lot to love about teaching; anyone who works with children every day will tell you that they will never run out of ways to surprise you! However, I came to realise that what I loved most about my job was what little programming I taught.

We talk a lot in schools about which careers are linked to our subjects and where our respective qualifications might take you. I needed to do some research and talk with people who had the experience so that I could pass on what it was really like for my pupils. Every time I did, there was more than a pang of jealousy, and a little voice that said; “I wish I did this!”. I love the problem solving and learning new things, and there is seemingly an infinite amount to learn.

Each year I’d pass on the information to pupils and encourage them to pursue it, and each year the voice got a bit louder until it was impossible to ignore. I left teaching and started learning as much as I could, and talking to anyone who might be willing to help me along the way.

That brings me back to my first month as a Quban. Just as I’d hoped, there’s been a lot to learn with a lot left to go, but if this month has been anything to go by, I’ll have plenty of support. Thanks to everyone at Quba for being so welcoming. I can’t wait to learn, forget, get stuck and learn all over again.