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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Why Computer Science

When I was first deciding to attend college I was not certain my major would be computer science.  During a meeting with my guidance counselor, we spoke about my grades, interests and which schools I favored.  I had fairly good grades in math and science courses at that time so she felt that should be my focus as I went forward.  Then I went home to start researching careers and what I thought I would like to be doing years in the future from that point.  Though I had grades in those courses, computer science and programming were completely new concepts to me.  Having that fresh, creative and innovative aspect to it really made me feel positive about college and being a full-time student for another four years.  It eventually took me much longer than that to get my first degree but I can tell parts of that story another time.  Honestly I just seen it as a really intriguing challenge to go to college for something I did not have any prior experience with.  Though I was up to the highest level of math courses available to us as calculus and took nearly every entry level version of science offered to me, I was not sure I wanted to make a commitment wholeheartedly to that path moving forward.  And I hope I am not offending everyone reading this with that last statement.  Computer science and programming was seen as college to me because I did not try it at any other point.  I was happy with computer science and still find it fun to some degree today.

              One of the main obstacles I had to overcome was the learning curve.  I have been taught C, C++, Java, HTML, PHP, XML, SQL, MASM, Visual Basic and COBOL as coding languages.  There was also the concepts of numbering systems, digital logic, pseudo coding, search and sort algorithms, network architectures, operating systems, multimedia applications and internet suites.  All of that was during the pursuit of my Bachelor’s degree and there may be some things I forgot to include.  Each course was different and presented a new form of coding to learn.  I leaned on sites like for tutoring away from the classroom.  The speed of the courses was my main obstacle in addition to the balancing of all my credits each semester was another core issue overall.  It is quite difficult to explain but I knew what I was attempting to do however the completion and execution remained problematic.  The theories were in my mind but convincing the computer did not always go so well.  Programming took the bulk of my time for adjusting to the major and it negatively affected other assignments like tests.  Being a graduate student now, I look back on those times with wisdom about what it took to get to this point.  To gain a Master’s degree would simply mean I was better than I thought I was as a student.  It would always confirm that this discipline is within the range of programs I am capable of.  

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