Most of the students face an important question before they finish high school. Which profession to chose and why. I was no different, but I had a passion. Read more, why did I choose Computer Science.
What did You know about programming before University?
I have to be honest, I did not have any programming background before I went to University. I had a vague image of how the industry works and how my workday would look like as a programmer.
I knew that I will type a lot, and the end result will be a program that people can use. I thought if you master the field, a software can be done in a few weeks, with UI, and then you only have to tinker on it to make it more friendly and pleasing for customers.
Reflecting back on it, I was quite right about the process from a 30,000-foot view. I just misjudged the scale of study and work that is involved in it. Not just only the technical, but the business part as well.
I few months before I applied to the course in 2010, I started to read the Learn Java in 24 hours book, but it did not excite me enough to get far. I was looking for math problems and science. In that book, I did not find any of that. I was also interested in how computers work, and I did not see the answer in that. I noticed that learning programming will be much more challenging then I expected at first glance, but I was still excited. I had that feeling, I am choosing the right field.
As I wrote in my “Before I started learning Programming!” article, I was already playing with computers as system admin for PC owners around me. Because of that passion, I wanted to know more. And I also had to decide what will I spend most of my time on as a profession.
Why did I chose programming?
When I was reading up about different professions, like math, chemistry, biology, psychology, none of them had a real career path compared to programming. Programing was well marketed at that time. Although I was interested in the other sciences as well, I had the following reasons convincing me, I have to start learning computer science.
There are more jobs on the market than available developers
I was reading it everywhere:
- “There are not enough good developers.”
- “Programmers are in high demand.”
- “Programmers can earn more than doctors.”
- “In the next decade, the world will have twice as many open jobs than available developers.”
And other marketing texts along these lines.
If you Google for this: “programmers supply vs. demand,” you will see what I am talking about. And as I was reading about it again after a decade of my decision, it seems it was right. I am happy about that 😊
The preciseness in computing technology always enchanted me
I was always interested in how computers work. I was fascinated by it. Although the first Java book did not move my fantasy with the black terminal much, I put all my hope in the University to teach me all that computer science has to offer. Well, after starting my study at the University of Debrecen, I soon discovered there is more in the profession that I could have ever imagined before. Although that is probably true for now as well, I am happy that I will not be bored with my working days while I will be able to work in the field.
For a while, I was overwhelmed and almost depressed that there is just too much I could learn, and I was not able to keep the peace I set for myself. I wanted to learn all the topics I was interested in. Eventually, I slowed that down, and I put more time to practice what I know, and I learn new skills as the demand arises.
There is more than programming skills involved
There are hard skills, soft skills, and I am not sure how to call them, but there are skills that come with experience, that neither soft nor hard skills. I would call it intuition and expertise that comes from practice. Building a good software architecture is something you can learn, but to put it into practice and understand it, takes years of practice.
In the meantime, computers, software tools, technology, business practices, and the way how we work is changing with lightspeed. It has both the up and downsides. You chose which one to give energy when you on the field. 👆🙃👍
Programming is a way to understand and recreate the world
When I read that Java book, one thing stood out right away. Programming and Computer Science is one of the best tools to understand the world around us, including physics, logic, processes, human nature, business, psychology, philosophy, mathematics, the world, or a single atom.
You can take a look at anything, and you can recreate it with code. Programming languages are tools to write your knowledge down in a way that computers can understand. Not just to store data, but also to store logic, movement, energy, imagination. You can simulate a model you try to understand. You can tell how it should behave, and your model can come to life in the computer’s inner world.
Computers, for me, is like a separate world where my imagination comes to life.
I only have to spend my time writing my thoughts down. And then rewriting it as my understanding grows on that particular topic. The computer will understand it and simulate it for me. It can show it to me, it can read it for me, it can draw it for me. If I want to go a step ahead, I can create any tool like an arm and leg, and the computer will know how to use it. I just have to tell it.
I imagine it is similar to how a storybook is made. You have an idea, and you can see it in your imagination. You have a story. You write it down. On the first draft it includes everything you imagined, but no one understands. That is when you start rewriting it over and over again until everyone is amazed at how well the story is delivered.
When you write code, it is the same thing. The only difference is, you not talking a human language, but a computer language. In my opinion, programming languages are a bit simpler than human language but more precise. The other difference is, when you write code for work, you usually end up in the commercial world. You are not writing stories but practical processes. That is how tools are created by code—a similar approach to book writing, but an entirely different end result.
Unless you create apps and games that tell a story with visuals. Now that is a different level of storytelling 😉, including story writing, art-making (2d or 3d and everything in between), and audio, music.
What about robotics and artificial intelligence? Modeling the quantum-physics?
That is why I chose to learn how to program.
Why did you choose to learn how to code? I wonder what your story is. You can tell us in the comment section.