The Benefits of a Placement Year

by Shanna Hardy, Employability Programme Officer.

Entering higher education is an important stepping stone in reaching your career aspirations, goals and dreams. But do you know that leaving university with employability skills is just as important? If you were a hiring manager looking to fill a sought-after position within your organisation, who would you chose? Graduate A, who’s worked in industry during their studies, understands the pressures of working life, and can hit the ground running, or Graduate B, who has little or no evidence of how to handle job specific tasks and has not yet entered what we all refer to as ‘the real world’?

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HackTheMidlands at Birmingham City University

by Dan Hind, BSc Computer Games Technology student.

Last month I attended HackTheMidlands here in the heart of Birmingham City University at Millennium Point. HackTheMidlands is a 24 hour hackathon for people of all skills to come together and make something innovative over the course of the weekend.

So what is a hackathon? The official student hackathon league, Major League Hacking, describe a hackathon as an “invention marathon” where “students can augment skills learned in the classroom by teaching themselves how to independently research new technologies and fix problems they encounter”. So in essence, people of all specialties come together to make software and hardware under a time constraint to solve challenges and meet criteria set out by event hosts and sponsors.

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Student Societies: BCU Racing

BCU Racing is a student-led team that competes in the Formula Student Challenge in July each year. Formula Student is an event run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and over 150 teams from all across the world have the chance to design, build, and race their cars at Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix. 2018 is the 20th anniversary of the Formula Student event, so it’s an exciting time to get involved!

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The strength to last the distance

by Richard Blagrove, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer for BSc Sport and Exercise Science.

In October, our engineering lecturer Laura will be taking part in her first marathon, the Birmingham Marathon, which finishes outside our Faculty home Millennium Point. In her last post, Laura explained what made her decide to take on this challenge. Today we have a guest post from Richard, from the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences here at Birmingham City University. Richard has been helping Laura train for the big day.

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Moving to Birmingham City University

by Dan Hind, BSc Computer Games Technology student. 

The weeks leading up to moving were crazy and full of panic. I was excited to be moving to Birmingham to study Computer Games Technology but at the same time anxious to move from home. After massively overpacking and only just managing to squeeze everything into the back of the car we left the small seaside village of Felpham and set off for the growing city of Birmingham. The road trip took just over three hours but on Friday 8 September at 10am I arrived at my new home here in the heart of Birmingham.

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The long, slow journey to my first marathon

by Laura Leyland, Senior Lecturer in Engineering.

In October, our engineering lecturer Laura will be taking part in her first marathon, the Birmingham Marathon, which finishes outside our Faculty home Millennium Point. In future posts, we will look at how she has been working with colleagues from the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences to prepare for this challenge. In this first blog, Laura explains what made her decide to take on this challenge.

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Insomnia 61: The UK’s Biggest Gaming Festival

by Dan Hind, BSc Computer Games Technology student. 

For almost 20 years now Multiplay has been hosting what they claim to be “the UK’s biggest gaming festival”. From its humble beginnings in a small office in Swindon with a few hundred people, it is now filling out the UK’s largest exhibition centre, the Birmingham NEC. Insomnia started primarily as a LAN event for people to bring their own computers to compete in tournaments to win prize money. Since then it has grown to a massive exhibition full of upcoming games, stage events featuring popular YouTube personalities, a showcase of small indie titles, retro games, tabletop games, lots of evening events, and the list goes on and on – there’s even a live robot wars tournament!

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Brilliant inventions that shaped our world

Did you know that the first person to talk about ‘de-bugging’ a computer was Admiral Grace Hopper in the 1940s? Admiral Hopper was a pioneer of computer programming, and worked on Harvard’s Mark I computer, a five-ton, room-size machine. She used the term ‘de-bugging’ in a very literal way when she had to remove a moth from the machine. Hopper’s commitment to the idea of machine-independent programming languages led to the development of COBOL, an early programming language which is still in use today.

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