By Staff Writer Thomas Sauer
Technology evolves. We used to move to it, now it moves to us. Man has created a universe with endless possibilities for innovation. Imagination truly becomes reality. What once redifined cutting-edge months ago is obsolete today. Students at Timberline are taking advantage of technology to break into career fields and make money.
“I’ve always been interested in how things work,” said senior Xavier Mendez, “so taking things apart and learning how they work as I put them back together was like a revelation. Computers are a lot more complex so I got interested when I found out that it was more than just putting hardware together.”
A new trend has swept the nation: computer science majors increased 7.6% across the country from 2009 to 2010, according to the Computing Research Association. With such a resurgence in the demand for these new tech job openings, companies are actively seeking new talent in an increasingly computer-dependent world even in the economic state of the nation. Students have taken steps to ensure a future in this rapidly expanding field that covers a broad variety of talents.
Experimentation sparks interest. Senior Brandon Warner started in computers when he was “about in the seventh grade. It’s a very cliched story but I took apart the computer when I realized you could take it apart with a screwdriver. Instead of my family getting upset with me, they actually encouraged me to get into computers.”
Since then, Warner has learned how to build computers and is currently attending the AP Computer Science class offered at the New Market Skills Center.
Every piece of technology has a foundation built upon programming languages, whether it be a computer operating system, word processor, cell phone operating system, robotics, games, etc. Programming languages allow a user to communicate to the computer so it knows what to build. There are a number of programming languages, including C, C++, C#, and Java.
Warner hopes his future is with robotics and that a “good college program will help me secure that future, majoring in computer science. I’ll even go military if I have to.” While the traditional college route is a way to learn the skills necessary, it is not the only option.
Trevin Roberts, senior, also equipped with the knowledge of computer hardware looks towards a technological future but with the Air Force. “It started out as a hobby,” said Roberts, “but now it has grown into a future goal. I want to work with satellites in the Air Force.”
Throughout the branches of the military, there is a high demand to fill high tech jobs, and despite the recent budgetary cuts to the military, bonuses are being offered in an attempt to attract recruits. Training is available for anyone who is either enlisting or planning to go in as an officer after acquiring a bachelor’s degree.
While learning about computers may sound daunting to some, the versatility and amount of activities that can be done with computers create hobbies like writing HTML or building webpages. “Teaching yourself about computers is very easy, especially if you’re more into the hardware, which is a great way to get started into computers,” said Warner.
“It’s actually really accessible. There are a lot of resources online for people who are learning, and there are quite a few languages that are easy to pick up. There’s no reason someone couldn’t just do it as a hobby,” said senior Christine Sandquist.