Why I'm Studying Software Engineering

szam profile image Samuel Grasse-Haroldsen ・3 min read


Not so long ago in "Tiny Town", Idaho I wanted to know how computers worked. What was the connection between the cryptic text hackers typed in movies and these bulky boxes containing wires and metal? I wanted to learn how to code and how the computer took that code and turned it into the 0's and 1's I had always heard about in school. Enter my first attempt to code: C++ Hacking is cool


A friend and I decided to join a club in high school called BPA (Business Professional of America). There were various events students could compete in. Being interested in code, we were torn on which language to learn. Looking into C++ we realized how challenging coding would be. We also realized we probably wouldn't have much competition... at least not in our area. So we jumped into some books our advisor bought for us and tried to teach ourselves about functions, operators, etc. We didn't get very far (not even close to Object Orientation) but we managed to qualify for nationals. It was a good time and I realized how challenging and rewarding programming was.


Knowing I wanted to study computers, I declared Computer Engineering as my major. I still hadn't learned enough about how the physical parts of a computer made it work so I wanted to go into the hardware side of things. Classes were tough but again I saw the rewards of working hard and debugging (I was still taking a lot of programming classes). After learning about boolean algebra, gates, registers, and designing my own simple CPU in a digital design class, I was finally satisfied with my knowledge of hardware. I realized I didn't want to design hardware. I wanted to pursue programming at a higher level of abstraction.


Studying at university can have many side-effects both good and not so good: the "Freshmen 15", all-nighters gaming with friends, debating politics, self-discovery, etc. My studies came with many of these and also the happiest side-effect of my life: meeting, marrying, and having a baby with the woman of my dreams. Moments spent with my family have definitely been the most joy-filled, exciting times of my life. In order to support my family I had to drop out of university and get a full time job.

Flatiron School

Working and raising a child are typically fairly time-consuming. Although I wasn't going to university, I continued to code and read articles on coding (shout out to dev.to) in my free time but I still missed learning as much as I once did. I wanted to program professionally so I started looking into alternatives to the 4 year route. Self-teaching wasn't a bad option but I had trouble finding motivation and a specific route to becoming a software engineer. That's when I started looking into bootcamps and came across Flatiron School. I looked into the curriculum, pacing and tuition options, and even the founders' Twitter accounts Adam Enbar and Avi Flombaum. I liked what I saw and immediately applied.

Current Status

Right now I am full-time student at Flatiron School, and I am loving it. My cohort is very supportive, and I have a great instructor and educational coach. I am learning Ruby and absolutely loving it #syntactic_sugar. I can't wait to learn more and eventually get an offer to become a full-time software engineer! Looking forward to posting more and hearing your thoughts on my journey thus far! Upward and onward!

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