Closed: Virtual Mission to Mars with Software Cornwall

Software Cornwall

Available Between

Software Cornwall, with the support of its members, runs two versions of the ‘Mission to Mars’, work experience activity. One is a week-long structured activity which is complemented by a two day accelerated version. The programs invite budding software developers aged 14 to 24 to code Ada and Alan, our Mars rover robots, allowing them to traverse the tricky Martian terrain in search of extraterrestrial life. This Virtual Work Experience is based on the week long version.

The Mission to Mars work experience programme is designed to provide a realistic experience of being a software developer. Working in teams, participants are supported in completing a set of incrementally difficult tasks, each built upon the abilities of the robot rovers. Industry professionals join us throughout the week to coach participants, helping to develop problem-solving skills and writing quality software.

During the mission, applicants will:

  • Develop solutions using C++ Arduino based hardware.
  • Work as part of a close-knit team.
  • Create software using an Agile development process.
  • Utilise Git, Github, Discord and Tinkercad to communicate and work together.
  • Test solutions before deploying onto the rovers.

A key objective of Software Cornwall is to support young people into careers in software engineering. Our members were delighted, but overwhelmed, by requests for work experience. Due to the nature of the industry, it is difficult to provide an engaging and hands-on work experience for placement students meaning places are in short supply. To alleviate this problem, companies have decided to collaborate and volunteer their time and developers to help run a work experience week for budding developers.

Mission to Mars is an award winning education initiative and is part of Software Cornwall’s education outreach program, designed to stimulate the computing industry from the ground up.

In 2017, Cornwall was ranked in the top three tech clusters for growth, for the third year running but ranked poorly for computing subject uptake in further education. To support future growth, we are investing in learners from a young age, which is hoped to increase the pool of homegrown talent for the wider tech industry within the county in years to come.

For the virtual work experience students will need:

  • Internet access at all times
  • PC, Mac or Linux computer (no tablets) with permissions to install software (school laptops may not have this).
  • At least a working microphone for conference calling.
  • Parental permission to install and create accounts.

Placement Notes

Software Cornwall represents one of the fastest growing tech clusters in the UK. Software Cornwall connects, promotes, represents and supports Cornwall’s digital tech community. We aim to be the best way for you to plug in to our fast-growing community. We run work experiences three times a year based around the Mission to Mars, monthly Tech Jams allowing anyone access to computers to learn how to code and outreach to local schools in Cornwall with assemblies, workshops and careers fairs.

Skills/Experiences You Will Gain:

Decision Making
Public Speaking
Communication Skills
Problem solving
Time management
Using new software
Team work

Great For Students Who Are:

Team Player
Able to learn quickly
Willing to learn
Keen to try new things
Interested in problem solving

Candidate Questions

Below are a number of questions which you will need to answer to apply for this opportunity.
Please be aware that the work experience starts with these questions. Think of these as your CV. What is your experience and knowledge of computer programming?

Tells us about your experience with team work and your communication skills.

Why do you want a place on this work experience?