VRTGO LabsOn the 19th and 20th March TICE, kicked off their two day silver stage workshops in Computer Science, day one started at the incredibly scenic Baltimore House, where the newly installed VRTGO Labs is to be opened (we were the first ones in!) and Northern Design Centre, based on Gateshead Quayside.

To start the morning session TICE welcomed Ricky Graham from Future & Co, an advertising company who are enjoying continuing success as an award winning film production company, animation studio, web design & app development company. The talk soon turned into a Q&A session, as our students were keen to know more of the really important questions like…. What celebrities have you met??

Following on from Ricky we met Steve Jelly and Christian Frausig from Hammerhead VR, this company develops Computer Scienceconcepts and breakthrough applications for Oculus Rift and VR head-mounted displays. Specialising in both entertainment and commercial application, including games, product experiences, visualisation, training, design and research applications. It’s great to see the variety that computer science brings, and it is incredibly inspiring, listening to the various paths these people take to get where they are today.

Next we had a little break from the conference room and took a trip upstairs where we were met by Adam Nicholson from Opia Sales and Promotion and got to witness the fast paced environment in which the team work in – not to mention all the bilingual teams, that was an incredible insight!

Recite MeBefore lunch we enjoyed two more speakers who kindly took time out to tell us their story. Meet Ross Linnet from Recite Me. Recite Me is a Cloud based web accessibility solution which allows your visitors to customise websites the way they need it to work for them. Ross had a fascinating story, which inspired our students completely!.

Our final speaker before lunch was by Mark Cuthbert from On:trac, a company that creates individually tailored IT solutions, who gave our students some invaluable advice on getting into the IT industry.

After lunch we split into two groups and headed over to the Northern Design Centre next door to Baltimore house. On rotation each group met two teams and was shown the difference in which they use their computer programs within the workplace. Anne Lewis from Northumbria University showed us the benefits of the new advanced software’s available now for training exercise’s when used for teaching practices. In contrast to this, we met Stuart Howard from Kuro Dragon from an animation company, they use powerful visual Tby1communication tools, across a range of platforms to target a wide audience…they also have a ping pong table…seems to be a recurring theme throughout these creative work environments!

After the short tour, we went back to VRTGO Labs, here we had two final speakers! (I know!… jam packed with insightful speakers!) Here we met Emma Nicol from Drone Labs, first it’s fantastic to see a young lady in digital which particularly all the young female students were really happy to see. Emma gave us a great insight into her background as a web designer and talked about what she does with Drone Labs. Finally we Kate1heard from Darren Bykerk, from IG Media, he is actually also a lecturer at Sunderland University too.  Darren rounded off our day with a brilliant talk about working his way up in the IT industry, telling students to choose to do something they love.

Today was all about listening to other people’s stories of how they got to where they are today; it was a great insight into the vast and various ways in which computer science can be used. The exciting thing is not one area is the same! We would like to give a special thank you to all of the speakers who were involved today our students had a blast! Roll on day two!

A huge thanks to all of our speakers:

Ricky Graham (Future & Co)
Steve Jelly and Christian Frausig (Hammerhead VR)
Adam Nicholson (Opia Sales Promotion)
Ross Linnett (Recite Me)
Mark Cuthbert (On:trac)
Stuart Howard (Kuro Dragon)
Anna Lewis (Northumbria University)
Emma Nicol (Drone Lab)
Darren Bykerk (IG Media)

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