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Andrew Owen

MSc Informatics

I wasn’t able to take time off work and I had found distance learning difficult in the past so Birkbeck was the perfect fit.

Brief career to date

I graduated from the London Institute with a BA (Hons) in Journalism in 1996 and spent the next four years as a news reporter. After that I travelled the world and worked as a deck hand on square-rigged ships until 2005. I then retrained as a technical writer and have been doing that ever since.

Please summarise your current position/job

I am a senior technical writer producing print documentation and online help for cloud web security software for a large multinational company.

What made you decide to study for a qualification in computing?

I had been working in the IT industry for four years but the only relevant qualification I had was an A-Level in computer science. I wanted to round out my knowledge and understanding, and bring it up to date.

Why did you choose Birkbeck?

I wasn’t able to take time off work and I had found distance learning difficult in the past so Birkbeck was the perfect fit.

How did your qualification help you in your career?

With a deeper understanding of underlying technologies, languages and methodologies, I can now play a much greater role in the development of software which means makes it much easier when the time comes to document it.

Did your time at Birkbeck help you in other ways?

I made new friends at Birkbeck who I still see on a regular basis. I’ve become a lot better at time management.

Which parts of your course were particularly enjoyable or useful?

I particularly enjoyed introduction to software development, object-oriented design and programming, computer systems, and information security. I found database management and Internet and Web technologies especially useful.