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Your IT Career on the Shoulders of Giants

Build Your IT Career on the Shoulders of Giants

Apr 5, 2007
Mary Hobson
Technology Schools Columnist

It has been fifteen years since the World Wide Web was invented, and it's striking how many of the major inventions and ideas have arisen from information technology students. In fact, without technology schools and computer science students, we would not have the Internet capabilities that we have now.

Start with Science

The Internet started in 1991 as a network between the European universities who were contributing to the work done at the Cern laboratories in Geneva. Tim Berners Lee used hypertext to link different documents on the Internet, thus allowing access to material without having to know where it is stored or even what it is called. He also made all the files available to anyone who wanted to use them.

This kind of development was particularly attractive to computing students, and some really seminal developments happened in technology schools. A group of computer science students at Cambridge University put the first webcam online because they wanted to monitor their coffee pot, which was a couple of flights of stairs away.

Yahoo! was started in 1994 by a couple of Stanford University computer science students who created a web site with a hierarchical directory of other web sites. This became Yahoo: Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.

Carry On with IT Education

These developments, often begun by information technology or computer science students, make the Web the fascinating, evolving, unpredictable, essential item of everyday life that it now is. If we did not have technology schools, if we did not have people who just love playing with technology and want to go that one step ahead, then we would be the poorer for it.

You may not essentially be a nerd to create a career in information technology. But you do have to understand the technologies and the rules, and the best time to do that may be during your technology education.


About the Author

Mary Hobson is the Head of IT School at a Polytechnic in New Zealand. She also works as a freelance writer.