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My First Year of University

natonathan profile image Nathan Tamez Updated on ・2 min read

My first year at university is just about to finish; my last exam is tomorrow. This first year was both harder and more comfortable than expected. I found I already knew or understood many concepts and found more than a few harder to understand, but I have enjoyed this year of university. I have learned just as much outside the lecture hall as in class. I don’t regret leaving my job as a trainee software engineer, despite being on track for a promotion to junior software engineer. I feel I will go so much further than I would have otherwise, I have gained so much from the first year.

Being a developer/software engineer is so much more than being a good programmer. Almost anyone can write code, but it takes an engineer to design and build a system. An engineer needs to be able to design the system as a whole, from the user interface to the data processing algorithms. As system design is vital to the success of a project; a poorly designed system will lead to poor implementation.

During my six months working in the industry, I began to understand my deficiencies; I lacked some vital skills and knowledge. I know I could have gained this knowledge during though experience. But I felt I would have been held back, as many companies ask for degrees. That said I’m aware that lack of experience is just as much a setback maybe even more so then lack of education. To solve this, I plan to work in the industry over my summers. I’m also working on a new CS podcast and blog with my friend Henry, where we plan to talk about CS and build cool and exciting projects.

I’m so glad life has led me to this place in life. I have had a few setbacks, including dropping out of sixth-form college (post-secondary education), but these setbacks help prepare you for the future. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Let’s end this with a message to high schoolers starting College or University this fall. It may be weird, strange, and even scary to live without your parents, who may make sure you’re up for school in the morning or cook dinner every night. And it may be sad to leave friends behind. But remember this experience will help you provide to your self what you’re capable of. Use it to grow as a person, explore new ideas and help humanity progress as a society.


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natonathan profile

Nathan Tamez

@natonathan

I'm a CompSci Student, with real-world Software Engineering experience.

Discussion

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Nathan, could you tell us what courses you took this year? Were any of them easy from your past experience or was it all brand new knowledge?

 
 

Great post, Nathan. Very concise and inspiring. I' found similarities between your path and mine. Two years ago, I left my white collar job to pursue a degree in computer engineering. I always thought that math were for genius and that I was just out of luck. Then after convincing myself it could be done with enough efforts, I gave it a go. This is by far the best decision I ever made in my life. Because it is so demanding, it forced me to develop many useful skills. I became disciplined, more organized, I plan ahead and I diversify what I learn. I got involved in the robotics club, in the local tech meetups and into tutoring. Having prior experience as a developer and IT tech really helped me secure very intersting internships during summer.

There is still 2 years down the road and plenty of very hard courses before I get my ring (eh, Canada) but I can't wait to crush all the challenges on my path.

 

I am glad you enjoyed my post. Also it’s awesome that your in involved your local tech community.
Summer jobs and internships are an amazing way to build experience and learn about different aspects of the industry. I have a contact lined up for this summer.
Also I have 4 yeas including a year placement or internship to do before I graduate, 5 years if I do a masters in CS.

 

Being a developer/software engineer is so much more than being a good programmer. Almost anyone can write code, but it takes an engineer to design and build a system. An engineer needs to be able to design the system as a whole, from the user interface to the data processing algorithms. As system design is vital to the success of a project; a poorly designed system will lead to poor implementation.

This shows me that you're right on track more than any grade or degree. Keep going!

 

thanks, I will keep going.