The road of the aspiring Software Engineer
It feels quite interesting to be writing a blog post for the first time in my life.
This website was actually an assignment from a course on Computer Science I’m going through. But I figured it was quite a good chance to actually get my homepage up and running. It is widely believed that a Computer Scientist or Software Engineer or whoever working in this industry needs* a personal website; not only to stand out and have a way to easily share your work and skills with other people, but also, the existence of the website itself shows some of your skills. This is good and all and I needed to catch up with other Software Engineers by also having my own website; but leaving aside what I’ve mentioned, I have to say it is also a pretty great feeling to have something to call my own. My own little corner of the internet. Even if no one reads it.
So this feels like a rather fun moment, building my website and planning what to place in it and what to write on my blog and so on. But it also reminds me of how much more learning I still have to do. I am a Computer Engineer (still to get my actual degree); So I received teachings in stuff like C Programming, Data Structures, Analysis of Algorithms, Calculus, Logic, Discrete Math, Formal Languages, Compilers and many other Computer Science subjects. I have to be honest and I’ll say that I don’t fully remember many of those things but they were still part of my “training” and I feel glad to have at least studied them at a glimpse. It feels like I studied a formal, rigorous and scientific career. It makes me feel smart.
Unfortunately, I was never the best student. And at this point in my life (and probably always from now on) I am quite regretful of not being a better student. Now, looking back at my studies, I believe that I could have gotten way better oportunities if I was a more dedicated student. For example, right now one of my interests is staying away from web development (especially front end) and trying to get a Junior C++ role. And while I’ve been studying quite some C++ in the last few months, it would have helped a lot if I had a better preparation in for example, Systems Design and/or Operative Systems and so on. Note: This is just a silly example that comes off the top of my mind. I could be mistaken.
On the other hand, the industry right now holds many web development jobs, be it full stack or front/back end. Many colleagues I know have managed to get their first or even second jobs on webdev and are kickstarting their careers, while I haven’t. And that brings me to my point:
I have close to zero webdev experience and for whatever reason, for most of my studies and the last few years, I had close to zero interest in learning webdev. Back in college, we learned how to set up a server and some web services, including http and so on, we toyed around with databases and some PHP, I hated it. And for years I kept this idea in my head that I did not want to work on anything webdev related. I changed my mind recently. I figured it can’t be that bad and that what I really dislike is mostly front end, so maybe if I stick to back end I could have some fun. But I still have a huge lot of stuff to learn. And I guess this is what being (or aspiring tobe) a Software Engineer is like. Does being a Software Engineer equals being a web developer? It is implied that if I am a Software Engineer, I work at web development? Back in College, was it an error for us to not receive more webdev teachings? I have no idea, to be honest. But every day I keep getting face to face with the idea that the Software Engineer can’t stop learning. Sometimes this empowers me, but sometimes it really overwhelms me. I can only try and hope to be up for it.