CSS

Autumn 2020

Hi everyone!

CSS, despite 2020’s best efforts, has had an awesome Term 1. We’ve held socials, workshops, career events, and most notably started up our very own Discord Server! I’ve written a bit about what we’ve manage to achieve over the past term here in this article, but you can get an even better idea from looking at our social media, which you can find linked from our website at cssbham.com

Over the summer, we wanted to provide events and a place to talk for our members who may have been stuck at home. We started up the CSS Discord Server, which has grown incredibly into a thriving active community consisting of students and staff from all levels of the School of Computer Science (and some members from outside the department!). It’s also where we’ve been hosting most of our events this year, like our Summer Virtual BBQ, which included games, a Summer quiz, and the hosting of our own Minecraft Server! You can join the server yourself at cssbham.com/discord.

We started off the term with a Welcome Week a little different than our usual fare, with a Fresher’s Quiz that had over 75 attendees! We finished off the week with a Virtual Games Night, playing favorites such as Codenames, Among Us, and various Jackbox games. Overall, CSS helped welcome a record number of new joiners to Computer Science many of whom have become active members of the community.

In October, as always, we participated in HackTheMidlands, an inclusive hackathon for all ages and skill levels. This year it was hosted online over 72 hours, and was a great opportunity to work on fun, innovative projects. We always encourage our members to go to hackathons, and we had a great presence at HTM this year, with many of our members winning prizes for their work.

After an action-packed first few weeks, we continued onwards to hold a variety of different events including a tech talk from our sponsors at Kainos on ‘AI in the Cloud’, a CS:GO Tournament, and various workshops: on such topics as Formal Logic and how to write your CV. Our members tested their knowledge both general and CS-specific in our regular Quiz nights as well as during a streamed CS Trivia Quiz! In December, we’ve been highlighting UoB’s LGBT+ staff role models on our social media accounts as part of a collaboration with oSTEM. We’re also participating in Advent of Code this year, hosting our own leaderboard for everyone in the community. It’s been amazing to watch our members consistently solve each day’s challenge over the past month! You can check out the details on our Instagram, and on our Facebook Group.

Our Developer Student Club initiative is still going strong, with our team this year hosting a ‘Git and Github’ workshop, which provides an introduction to this widely used version control system, and is an invaluable tool both for students and people in industry. You can watch the talk, and any other workshops we record on our Youtube channel. Most recently, they hosted a talk about Cloud Technologies with Google employees. DSC has more exciting things planned for the next few months, so stay tuned!

We’ve had a really great start to the year with CSS, and there’s still more to come! Watch out for our partnership with AFNOM in which we’ll run Lightning Talks in January, and sign up to be on our team for the EPS Running Festival! We’ll be preparing more workshops, quizzes, and fun events for you all when we come back for Term 2.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a wonderful New Year!


Jacqui Henes
President of CSS