Learning new things

Now that my job is secure (for now!) my thought have returned to my earlier desire to gain a degree in an engineering discipline. I don’t especially need this to take the next steps in my career but it’ll help to focus my mind on learning new things and it certainly won’t harm my chances of finding my way up that corporate ladder.

I’m looking at cources from the Open University and I’ve found one that fits neatly into my current role and also offers some interesting systems design options. It’s the BSc (Honours) Computing and System Practice degree.

Most of my current work is based around computer systems. These are usually Unix-based but I’ve started testing Linux systems recently and there’s a suggestion that Solaris is going to raise its head next year. I already have a decent understanding of these different platforms and I think that this degree would reinforce my own on-the-job learning while providing me with improved tools for understanding the whole system design.

Systems thinking means analysing organisations, institutions and information systems holistically, with the aim of improving efficiency, decision making and professional practice, and creating sustainable development. The aim of the Computing and Systems Practice programme is to equip you with the knowledge and skills of systems thinking and the ability to apply these to information systems. In particular, our aim is to give you:

  • a grasp of the key concepts of computing and of modern information systems, with an ability to see information systems in a wider systems framework

  • proficiency in systems thinking and systems practice

  • an understanding of the types of software systems that are now being developed, and the tools and methods used to construct them

  • skills such as analysis, design, programming and evaluation, which can be used to construct both computer software and non-computer systems

  • the ability to organise, communicate and present your own work effectively, both independently and with others in a team

  • the qualities that come with being a graduate in any discipline: specialist knowledge, intellectual self-confidence and independence, analytical ability and the life-long learning skills needed to keep up with fast-changing technologies.

From my current work situation this is a great fit and it offers some challenging learning along the way. I think I need to do something like this to give my career some momentum – not because I need the qualification but because I run the risk of taking the easy option and just stay doing the same thing until something happens to change it. I want to be in control of my own career destiny and I think that this will give me some addition tools to shape that.