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Friday, February 01, 2008

£2000, a qualification and a job opportunity, not bad for three sides of A4!

Ok, here goes, my name is Dan Geater, second year scholarship student from Exeter University and the "blogmaster" for TCL. Now thats a bit of a mouthful, so lets break it down:

First things first, as I said I am currently a student at Exeter University doing my second year of BSc Computer Science, and so far its going well. I first heard mention of TCL last year during my Frehser's week, when - on an introductory lecture; we get a visitor offering £2000 to anyone who could answer a question in an essay. Well one night out led to another in Fresher's week so that essay never got written. However the opportunity arose again at the end of the summer term, and this time I went for it. Choosing a question on "how much testing is enough?" I wrote my 960ish words on a subject I knew almost nothing about - however I had recently completed a legal module that pointed out some of the issues, and had books to fill me in on the rest; and submitted three nicely stapled sheets of A4 paper to the University of Exeter External Affairs office.

After that, silence for months, believing myself inadequate and unknowing enough, I resigned myself to write a better essay next year, but hey, like I said, wasn't a strong point for me anyway, so not too surprised. However on my birthday of all days a letter arrives from Exeter innovation centre saying, yep, you guessed it, I had won. A nice clap on the back for me and a nice day to receive a gift.

Well summer went by and during the first semester of this year, I was contacted by TCL asking me to meet with them informally so they could see what their prize winner was like. During a very relaxed and informal meeting with them I decided that not only are they very generous to provide these scholarships but they are also down-to-earth, genuine, friendly people.

After a couple more meetings I was offered a chance on an ISEB/ISTQB foundation course in software testing, well who am I to refuse, especially after chastising myself for not knowing enough about my essay subject. The course was a refreshing and eye-opening look at testing, coupled with a chance to meet a fellow scholarship winner, Nick. So now I have a nice prize, a new qualification and am hoping to take on a work experience placement here over the summer.

But they don't stop there. Two weeks ago I was contacted asking if I would like to work as the "blogmaster" for TCL's three major blogs, this one, the US one, and the India one. Well it seemed like a good opportunity, so here I am, having already altered colour-schemes to match the main site, and now letting the readers know what the students think of the scholarship scheme. Plus more ideas for the blogs in that little collection of grey matter I call a brain, so lets see how it all works out.

The following link points to TCL's press release regarding the scholarship students:

In short the scheme is a brilliant idea, from one essay, I suddenly have a much more impressive CV, I have found a job opportunity - albeit a minor one; to help me through University, and I have met some great people. Thanks guys


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