Guest Judge Comments:

I am honoured to award this essay a 100% scholarship. The story that is woven throughout the essay combined with fantastic explanations  of technologies, how they affect us while sometimes being seamlessly present in our everyday lives clearly comes from someone with a real passion for technology. The writer has taken a holistic approach to their essay while providing great examples that demonstrate a fantastic depth of understanding.

Since 2015, Mike Oram has been training students at iO to become software developers, leveraging his prior experience as a software developer for Mayden and other companies in fintech and digital sectors, including iO Academy partners Hargreaves Lansdown and Future Plc.  Mike is self-taught and earned his first paid contract whilst still in school. He has since tutored aspiring developers, who have all progressed to careers in established tech firms.


The Winning Essay:
The Practical Applications of Computer Programming in Everyday Life

Computer programming, a fascinating field that has transformed the modern world, holds immense practical value in our daily lives. From the moment we wake up to the time we rest our heads on the pillow, computer programming silently shapes and enhances our experiences.


In the morning, as sunlight peeks through the curtains, our smartphones come alive with a symphony of notifications. It is through computer programming that these devices, with their intricate operating systems, seamlessly connect us to the digital realm. From social media updates to weather forecasts, our phones serve as personal gateways to the world, all made possible by programming languages like Java and Swift. 


As we step outside, we encounter an array of technological marvels propelled by computer programming. Traffic lights hum in unison, orchestrating the smooth flow of vehicles. Embedded in their circuitry lies the intelligence of programming, enabling us to commute safely. Moreover, public transportation relies on computer programs to coordinate schedules, optimize routes, and provide real-time updates to commuters. Programming transforms mere machines into efficient systems that keep cities moving. 


Arriving at work, we find ourselves surrounded by computers, a testament to the ubiquitous presence of programming. These machines, powered by sophisticated algorithms, assist us in complex tasks and streamline productivity. Whether it is analyzing data sets, creating intricate visual designs, or managing inventories, computer programming simplifies and accelerates the way we work. 

In the healthcare sector, programming has brought about significant breakthroughs. From diagnostic software that aids in identifying diseases to robotic surgical systems that enhance precision, computer programming revolutionizes medical practices. Life-saving equipment, such as pacemakers and artificial organs, relies on complex algorithms to ensure optimal functionality and patient well-being. 


Education, too, has undergone a remarkable transformation with the advent of programming. Interactive learning platforms, educational apps, and online tutorials leverage programming to engage students, making learning accessible and enjoyable. Programming has become a vital skill in the digital age, empowering individuals to navigate an increasingly technology-driven world. 


In the realm of entertainment, computer programming serves as the invisible hand behind captivating video games, immersive virtual reality experiences, and stunning visual effects in movies. The intricate coding that brings characters to life, renders breathtaking landscapes and simulates realistic physics captivates audiences worldwide. Programming melds art and technology, creating immersive entertainment that transports us to new realms. 


As the day draws to a close, we unwind by streaming our favourite shows and movies. Recommendation algorithms, driven by machine learning and programming, analyze our viewing patterns and curate personalized suggestions. We enjoy a seamless streaming experience, thanks to the sophisticated programming that optimizes video playback, adjusts quality based on internet speeds, and synchronizes audio and visuals. 


Computer programming extends beyond our personal lives and permeates broader societal aspects. Governments leverage programming to enhance public services, manage resources efficiently, and promote sustainable development. Financial institutions rely on secure programming techniques to protect sensitive data and facilitate seamless transactions. Furthermore, scientific research harnesses programming to model complex phenomena, analyze vast datasets, and simulate experiments that push the boundaries of knowledge. 


In a world increasingly shaped by computer programming, its practical applications are innumerable. From the devices we rely on to the systems that govern our lives, programming is the backbone of modern society. By adopting a montage structure, we glimpse the interconnectedness of programming in various facets of our existence. It is a testament to the remarkable ingenuity of human beings and their ability to wield technology to improve and transform the world we live in.

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