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Is CS the major for me?

  1. Nov 20, 2011 #1
    I am finding that I like CS, even though my first exposure to it was only one year ago at the age of 26 in a C++ intro class. I've managed to land myself a part-time job with a start-up; I am doing research for the company, working on scripts in Cygwin and Groovy, both of which were totally new to me. I've been using many sources for help, and I get a LOT of help from stack overflow (re: cut and paste, then try to reverse-engineer the copied code to deepen my understanding - I admit that I often use code I don't fully understand, and this makes me wonder if I'd be any good at real development past the level of low responsibility that I have now). I enjoy my job for the most part (it is usually fun, and is only a drag when I feel like I am totally under-qualified for my tasks, am doing repetitive tasks, or when I am dreaming about surfing or nature and I'm stuck indoors).

    I came back to school (City College) to become an engineer (Electrical, Civil, Mechanical, Chemical - I am the most indecisive person you'll meet), but now I find myself wondering if I should just dive into CS and see where it takes me. I AM scared of always being at a desk, but I also realize that many engineering jobs are like this AND at my current job there is some flexibility with my hours (re: I can show up or leave whenever as long as I put in ~8 hours - this is a surfer's dream schedule). I worry sometimes that I'm not meant for software development because I am NOT a person who has been doing it for fun from an early age. I DO, however, love science and math, and I see many parallels between my math classes and programming (re: transpose, arrays/matrices, etc). This makes me wonder if I could make up for my lack of experience with a deeper understanding than some other programmers might have about the actual way in which software and computers work.

    I took two weeks of a SCHEME class last summer, and was really liking it, but I gave it up because I had to rebuild my truck's engine and also had other things to do. I mention this because it is another positive experience I've had with a subject that, if you asked me two years ago, I'd say was not for people who love the outdoors and who want to make a real difference in the world (i.e. the last thing I want to get into)

    Sorry for the long post; I need to apply for transfer in the next two weeks and I want to bounce this off some people with more wisdom than myself:) I worry about: Outsourcing, becoming outdated, not getting hired/ having a job past the age of 50, and, worst of all, realizing 5-10 years down the road that I am tired of programming and that I want to build things but I blew my shot at becoming a more hands-on engineer. If anyone cares to share thoughts or opinions, I would greatly appreciate your words. Thank you.
  2. jcsd
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