Working with Educated Machine: Interview with Michael McAndrew
How did you find out about Educated Machine and their recent internship?
I run my own freelance web design company called Corrib Digital and a lot of the work I do is based around creating and building WordPress sites for small businesses. I came across Educated Machine who were doing a lot of things I was interested in. I had contacted Micheal previously so when the internship opportunities came up he got in touch to offer me a place.
What attracted you to Educated Machine?
The fact that they focus on web development and design but I also wanted to get more into the development of different design services such as Apps. I had delved a little bit into this but not majorly. I needed some sort of introduction and guidance so the internship was a perfect fit.
How did you originally start to work in computers and web design?
My grandfather and father have always had a huge interest in computer science and technology so it trickled down to myself and my brother from a very young age. We were always encouraged to explore electronics and software and once I got into it, it was the only thing I ever wanted to do.
What differences have you found between your university work and working at Educated Machine?
I’m studying computer science at Trinity College in Dublin and there is some crossover between my studies there and what they do at Educated Machine. One aspect of university studies is that you cover a lot of material that you may not necessarily use in the working world, I find that is still beneficial though as it broadens your understanding of the subject. My work as Educated Machine helped me apply my studies in the working world in a practical way.
Do you think your summer spent here will be of benefit to you when you return to College?
Absolutely. Dealing with so many clients on a weekly basis for one thing has been a great experience. Having such an interactive environment to be a part of and taking opportunities to talk with interesting people has allowed me to be more confident in social situations in general. I learned a lot about teamwork and how to maximise productivity – something which I have always struggled with and will definitely be of benefit with my studies.
Would a lot of your peers be into technology?
They definitely use it a lot more but I think few people are really interested in the actual make up and workings of technology and digital tools. I guess that is why computer scientists are always in demand.
What makes technology an interesting subject to study?
Computer programming encourages a very unique approach to thinking and solving problems. The internet itself encourages curiosity as its now easier than ever to access knowledge, which is an approach I saw taken at Educated Machine. The attitude here is that if you don’t know something it’s because you haven’t learned it yet, not because you are necessarily lacking.
Most of my clients in Corrib Digital would not have been particularly familiar with technology or websites and that was how I became introduced to teaching. At first it was very much a process of figuring out my teaching style and what worked and what didn’t. I began to study the methods of teachers I found helpful and applied that to my own teaching which has helped its refinement and enabling me to see that with the right method anyone can learn web skills.
What was the biggest surprise during your time here?
I have had experience with internships before, some of which left me with a negative view of the working world. I wanted to give it another try and it has been an invaluable experience to be in an environment where you are treated as an equal no matter what level you are at, our voice is heard and you have a good relationship with your colleagues.
It makes a world of difference and you don’t get that Monday morning dread but actually look forward to another week in the office!