Drew Buddie (aka Digital Maverick)

Drew has built up a large online following, he’s also Head of Computing at Brampton College.

BSc (Hons) Computer Studies, 1986

Did you enjoy your time at Dundee Institute of Technology?

I did, but probably too much as I ended up with a third class honours degree.

I lived the life of Riley a little more than I should have! I liked helping with the entertainment and I enjoyed helping out with faculty events, including weekly disco nights at the Marketgait where the union used to be.

What were your next steps after graduating?

Well, I applied for the College of Education at the end of my third year but I didn’t get in. I stayed on and did my honours year. After that I applied again and I think they admired my persistence. I did my teacher training and didn’t really think about doing anything else.

Had teaching always been your ambition?

My dad died when I was 12 and used to work with Rolls Royce in East Kilbride. They were making a large amount of redundancies at the time and he decided to leave and go to Jordanhill College to train to be a technology teacher.

He died in the summer after his first year of teacher training and that stuck with me. My dad wanted to become a teacher, but never got to do that. That led to me wanting to be one.

 

I always proudly tell people I went to Abertay whenever the chance arises.
Drew Buddie | Brampton College | Head of Computing

So how did you feel when you landed your first teaching job?

When I got my qualification I was looking for jobs. I wanted to work in Scotland, but jobs in my subject were so few and far between that I ended up in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex.

In those days the dole would pay for you to go to interviews and I ended up on the cheapest mode of transport – a bus – to travel there from Dundee. It took around 9 hours.

I had the interview and was offered the job. At that point if you’d asked me where in England I’d accepted work, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you! I thought it was down in Brighton or Plymouth, while in actual fact it was on the east coast. It was a bit nerve-racking because I didn’t know where I was going to be based.

My first job was in Biology, not computing, and I very quickly realised I was forgetting everything. I realised that the longer I taught this subject, the more I’d forget and the harder it would be to teach computing in years to come.

I ended up working at the Royal Masonic School for 23 years.

You’re just starting a new job at Brampton College, how does that feel after working at the Masonic School for so long?

My favourite quotation is from a Tom Waits song – “you never miss your home town until you’ve stayed away too long.”

I’m regretful of the things I didn’t do, even over 23 years. The Masonic school is in 300 acres of park land, it’s gorgeous.

I’ll hopefully forget them soon. It’s a challenging new role. Half of my time is devoted to teaching, and the other half is devoted to helping my colleagues use technology in their lessons.

What do you make of what Abertay has become?

Because my subject is computer science it’s something that makes me really proud. I always proudly tell people I went to Abertay whenever the chance arises, particularly to parents of students who want to get into the field of computer games. They’re always really interested.

 

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