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Software Engineer Shares His Story with Boys

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Andrew Warburton, who left Bolton School in 2014 having attended from Nursery through to Sixth Form, returned to his alma mater to tell the current crop of GCSE and A Level Computer Science students in the Boys’ Division about how he became a Software Engineer. 

Andrew recounted how he took Computer Science, Maths and Physics for his A levels. He told the audience that he had initially intended to study at the University of Manchester but they had required three As and he only achieved two As and a B. Newcastle University made him an offer and he did not look back, thoroughly enjoying his time in the North-East. He found the course to be very practical, which suited him and thinks the course at Manchester might be a little more technical. 

Recalling his own A Level study, he said these were a tough two years but worth it. His top tip for A level and degree study was to look at past papers and to do them all again and again and again. He found the first year of his degree course to be relatively straightforward and then things got increasingly difficult. Ultimately, he graduated with a BSc in Computer Science, specialising in Gaming.  Andrew advised the boys to start planning what they are going to do next as they enter their third year of their Bachelors. He went on to Manchester University where he undertook a Masters in A.I. This, he said, was a really hard year, which moved very quickly but it was very much worth the effort as it sets you apart from other graduates. As you are in the top tier, he told them, you can potentially earn more. He also said that a PhD is an incredible amount of work but very much worth it if you pick a subject which is in demand from employers and gave examples of graduates earning as much as £150k pa. 

In his new job, Andrew said he has learnt that education never stops and he is improving all the time at fixing bugs. He looks upon every problem as being a puzzle to be solved and the bigger the problem, the better. Advising boys on their careers, he told them to choose something that they enjoy and to ‘go with your gut feel’ as that is probably the area you are best suited to go into.

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