First, a little bit of background… I’m a very recent graduate from Edinburgh University (A fairly prestigious university if you read world league tables, a mediocre one if you read national league tables) and like all recent university graduates I had no idea what I was going to do next – I knew what I wasn’t going to do; working for a bank, or Microsoft/Oracle/IBM sounded tedious as hell, even working for Google or Facebook never really appealed to me, I would probably have started a company…
But then I heard about a thing…
A new thing called SVIP (http://www.siliconvalleyinternship.com), I applied, I got accepted and now I live in San Francisco. Anybody who is studying Computer Science (and/or related subjects) should definitely check it out. It is the best program for entrepreneurial software engineers. In total, 15 people were selected to move to Silicon Valley – 15 of the best computer science graduates in the UK. Now, Imagine what they would be like.
I’m sure you have vivid images slightly reminiscent of something you might see on The Big Bang Theory or The IT Crowd, in all honesty when I was looking ahead to meeting the 14 other SVIPers for the first time I had similar expectations – introverted, nerdy, monotonous, asexual… the list could go on. During my time at university I met a lot of people like this, I befriended a few of them, we’re no longer in touch.
Then I met these guys, and I was surprised, because nobody completely fits the stereotype. Sure, as we’ve lived together over the past three weeks this has been played more than a few times and we have had discussions that began
What’s your favourite algorithm?
But, in general, just normal guys, doing stuff that normal guys do, we’ve attended bars and nightclubs, eaten out, played sports, had a BBQ which had a respectable male-to-female ratio, a few of us have even had sex. And now, 5 seconds into retrospect, I see that as a completely unfair statement, because these guys aren’t really normal, they’re all way above that. We’re part of the wave that is rapidly changing the world’s view on what we do – our careers and our passion. Computer Scientists, Mathematicians and Physicists are becoming the new Doctors and Lawyers, Videos games are becoming the new football.
Why?… Because (and it gives me great pleasure to say this) sociologically maybe we’re not all that conservative, and more and more we’re becoming less conservative. Change is awesome and sociologically we’re starting to embrace that – viva la revolution.
My name’s Chris and I’m a computer scientist, and that’s really fucking cool.