November 16, 2021

Life@CS101: Get to Know Course Facilitator Hannah Beder


In our Life@CS101 series, we’ll meet the brains and experts behind our bespoke computer science program, CS101 and get to know them a little better. The new accelerated program, powered by OpenLearning, is designed by industry and for industry, bringing together leading technology companies, computer scientists and learning designers to create a one-of-a-kind online program that makes computer science accessible to everyone.

Meet Hannah Beder, she’s the Course Facilitator for the bespoke CS101 program who’s passionate about all things education and software engineering. Not to mention, her impressive calibre of experience has led her to become NSW Young Woman of the Year in 2020. With a background in Computer Science, she is also currently working as the Tech Lead at Creatable, connecting companies that are shaping the future of work with professional development of teachers.

This week, we sat down with Hannah and had a candid chat on CS101 and her journey so far:

Tell me about your role at CS101. What do you do?

I am a facilitator for the CS101 program! I run consultation groups with students via Zoom, answer questions and prompt thoughts in the comment sections of activities, and generally float around the OpenLearning platform.

What led you to CS101?

I’ve been around OpenLearning for a long time! I studied Computer Science at UNSW and my first computer science course, COMP1917, was hosted on OpenLearning as a pilot in 2013. Since then I’ve watched the company change and grow. The Sydney tech industry is a small world, so after virtually bumping into Adam during an online meeting recently we got back in touch and he asked whether I’d like to teach!

What’s your favourite thing about working on CS101 so far?

My favourite thing about working on CS101 is being around excitement and wonderment. There is a steep learning curve when tackling programming and computational thinking for the first time. However, friendly connections and community based learning makes that curve less intimidating to traverse.

What made you choose your career in your role?

I enjoy making complex concepts accessible and exciting. That’s what underpins my work as a technology lead and tech educator. It’s an incredible feeling helping students of all ages and backgrounds to be curious and gain confidence about technology. That’s what led me to move more formally from a software engineering role into tech education.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

“What got me here won’t get me there”. Strategies you used to achieve career goals in the past won’t necessarily help you achieve your future career goals. You may need to seek advice and change your approach! It sounds obvious but sometimes we keep doing things the way we always have and expect it to keep working, and that’s not always the case.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to upskill or reskill in Computer Science?

You won’t regret it! Find a community of supportive peers; a problem shared is a problem halved and that is very true in Computer Science. Having people around you to bounce ideas around with and problem solve collaboratively will make the learning journey more enjoyable.

In your point of view, why should learners choose CS101 as their choice of study? 

The skills taught in CS101 transcend any single language, framework, or trend, and will equip learners with the curiosity, ability, and desire to truly understand Computer Science. When you learn something, there are layers and layers of information that build a foundation for that concept. For example, when peering under the hood of a programming language, there’s a compiler, there’s machine code, there’s logic gates and electrical signals, there’s binary… The more you understand about how something truly works, the better positioned you will be when things don’t work - and they often won’t! 

Connect with Hannah today:

What next?

Keen to learn more about Computer Science? Download our CS101 Course Syllabus below for a preview: