20.1.09

Look at me – I’m sooo clever

I’ve always lived by the ‘No regrets’ dictum. I believe that things happen for a reason and that even the bad things in our lives make us stronger. One thing I have questioned a few times, however, is my choice of degree at university. I studied Computer Science at university and while it introduced me to some of my friends for life, I have wondered if I would have been better off studying something that made more sense to what I actually wanted to do, perhaps an English or Journalism degree.

Today, while cleaning up my hard drive, I stumbled across my Final Report. Fellow CS graduates will know just how much headache and stress was induced by the dreaded Final Report (the words ‘Final Report’ should actually be boomed by one of those deep, film-trailer voices instead of rendered harmlessly on your screen). Basically, we had to plan and develop an innovative piece of software during our final year at university, accompanied by (cue booming voice) the Final Report. This report had to take examiners through the planning, development and testing phases of the software. It, along with writing the software, was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in an educational or professional setting. It sapped my spare time and squeezed every grey cell in my body. Since then, nothing has challenged my intelligence, ability, discipline or tenacity in quite the same way.

For that reason alone, I don’t regret my degree choice. While I’m sure an English or Journalism degree would have been difficult, I doubt it would have challenged me in quite the same way.

Plus, this way, I can say: Behold my Final Report! Come and witness my superior intellectual capacity! I write not just measly words but transcendent code!

In short, look at me – I’m sooo clever.

(BOOMING VOICE): The Final Report

Kia

PS. For those of you who actually click on the link, I'm PROUD of my geek roots, okay?

5 comments:

  1. Whatcha get in your degree again?

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  2. > Shak
    What do you THINK I got? (she asks indignantly)

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  3. oh man, the 'final report'. I remember it well. I gave a useless presentation and the panel weren't that bothered. Life in the ITL...now that was sad.

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  4. You studied computing science - and now you're a novelist?

    I studied computing science too, and now I'm a copy editor.

    My dad was a PL 1 programmer during the 70's and 80's, so I grew up with punch-cards scattered throughout the house. Then I had an early introduction to computers when my father brought home an IBM pc 8088, and put it in my room (since there was no place else to put it). I bought a text adventure game called Zork, from Infocom, and was immediately hooked.

    I made it all the way through to my 4'th year in computing science (I struggled to get there), when one day I went in during office hour and had a chat with one of my professors. In this particular course I had been studying languages, and I said to my prof that what he had been demonstrating in class the other day had reminded me of the past participle, which I had learned about in my high school English class - he said that it wasn't 'like' the past participle, but that 'it was' the past participle.

    We started discussing the differences between computer languages (which of course have grammars) and the English language - and my professor suggested that maybe I would want to continue my studies as an English student, rather than just graduate and proceed to get on with my life.

    I don't miss computing very much - other than the sheer feeling of accomplishment I would experience after finally getting a program to run adequately.

    The sensation of achievement, in creating a computer program, was immediate and gratifying - but of course frustrating when the program wouldn't run.

    Anyhow, there's me blasted comment, for whatever it's worth.

    I'm also the person who thought that the third book cover was the best - so I suppose I should add that there's no accounting for taste?

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  5. I had to do a final poster alongside my final report for my software degree. Took me right back to primary school and made the entire thing a lot less stressful.

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