Computer wizard wins competition to visit Microsoft headquarters

Simon Allison from Havant and South Downs College. Picture: Supplied
Simon Allison from Havant and South Downs College. Picture: Supplied
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A STAFF member from a Hampshire college has spoken after going on the ‘trip of a lifetime’ to the Microsoft campus, after winning an international competition.

Simon Allison, an IT development team leader at Havant and South Downs College, was one of nine selected from across the globe to go on an all-expenses paid trip to the Microsoft HQ in Redmond, Washington.

Simon, who has been part of a programme called ‘Windows Insider’ for more than four years, has spoken about how the five-day trip was a ‘dream come true’ for him.

He explained: ‘Windows Insider looks at the future of Windows, I like to see what is coming next so that I can plan ahead for what we can do as a college to support new Windows platforms.

‘The way that technology is going ahead is rapid and changing every day – and that is why we need to keep up with what Microsoft is doing.’

Simon received a late-night email to say he was going on the trip – which he says has opened his eyes to new technology and methods that he can bring back to the Havant college.

He said: ‘I had an email come through at 1am saying I had been selected.

‘At first, when I saw it, I thought it was a dream and I went to bed.

‘I woke up in the morning and checked again and I couldn’t believe it.

‘It was incredible to see how their future is looking for the modern workplace and the future of the home.

‘A lot of what I experienced is really useful to my role at Havant and South Downs College.

‘The communication tools that they’re using could benefit us for the future – it has broadened my mind to what is possible and what can be done in the workplace.

‘Our college’s mindset is definitely on the right track for what a modern workplace will look like in the future.’