About my Education

Believe it or not, I finished my education 20 years after I started primary school. Back then 20 years was a long time, but it's over (as far as I know). This may be shocking when many friends have been in full time employement for 3 to 5 years more than me. I did the usual school and college routine like many, but unlike many of them I went to university.

I went to Portsmouth University and have completed a 4 year course that included 1 year in industry. Computers are easy (apparently to some), but a degree is not. Not many people actually get a first class degree. When I started my degree there were over 200 students. In year 1. Professor Cripps (aka Crippsies as I like to call him) said "look to your left and right and say bye to your collegues as you will not be seeing next year". Amazing to us this was true, as 2 thirds of the students were not in the second year. In year 2 there were around 80 students.

During the 3rd year of the course I went to work for a year (this is part of a sandwich course). The year involved working in a job related to your degree course and should last for at least 9 months. I did 13 months (lucky for some). I have finished my university degree and this means the academic education is over but I plan to further my knowledge in Network Administration, Website Development or IT Security. Find out more about how my career history is progressing.

The Project

During the last 10 weeks of the degree I had to work on a Project. This is a practical activity that required an end product to show to the public on the final day of university along with a written report saying what we done, what we found out and how we went about it. This is much harder than a dissertation that just requires a written report to be handed in.

The project was named CAPTCHA SAM. It involved the development of a website using a CAPTCHA and carrying out research. Research projects are harder than software projects as you have to research work (both good and bad) in a subject area, come up with a hypothesis, create a survey, have the guts to go up to people and get them to help with the participation, collate the responses in both qualitative and quantitative form, compare this with other research findings as well as your hypothesis to show that you have found similar results or new information that others can use. To make this project even harder than it was, I could not cut corners skipping tasks (like the survey) to come up with a conclusion. Well done if you have managed to take all this information as you have some information of what I had to go through.

The worst thing was if someone said my findings were irrelevant, different to the "norm" or even if they didn't like what they had seen, then it could have made me look like I wasted my time and I could have received a bad result at the end. With that in mind, there is a lot of research carried out that people take for granted. It doesn't help when people cut corners or play with the findings (the stats) to flavour them in a way to make some people look good or bad (including our governments).

All of the project work has been uploaded to this website and can be located in the project section of the site. Please feel free to download the content and have a look at it in your own time. The report is also available for download and you may find some interesting findings. Part of the reason is that the project was a success and I achieved a score of 80%. This was a brilliant result and one of the best results from my course.

Project Continuation work

Completing my degree does not mean the project has finished. In fact, this is just the beginning. I have started to create a website SimpleCAPTCHAs.com and this is about creating easier CAPTCHAs that are easier to you and me to read and work out. All the CAPTCHAs on the website will be free to download and you can create a CAPTCHA of your own to share with the community. This is to give CAPTCHAs a good name whereas some website like RapidShare are making them more annoying (download project report for more info) and making the public hate them more and more. Please visit the website and let me know what you think. Thank you.

Academic Achievements

Throughout the time at School, College and University I will have gained the following qualifications:

If you are interested in finding out more about me or think that I may be a great assett to your company, please feel free to contact me. If you are interested in a copy of my CV please select "cv request" in the subject drop down in the form. I will email the CV out in either pdf or doc version hopefully within 24 hours of a request.