Software VS Civil

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#1 WXY  Icon User is offline

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Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 12:37 AM

Well guys, It's my 2nd year in university, and the one I am going to requires me to nominate a major before courses commences (in 20 days). I am kinda torn between two at the moment, Software engineering or Civil engineering (yes i am under the engineering program)

Software cause I've been interested in it since I was 11, however I've been told all this stuff about how software is a lame carrier choice and you can't do it for long terms which is a bad investment of 4 most brightest years of your life studying it and so on. On a personal level, I guess their talk is getting to me and I am starting to get bored of writing code, but I honestly, in high school I loved to code. However since I've been to this uni I for the first time in my life made friends that I could actually relate to, and they all are going to be doing software...

Civil is my family preference, though personally I see no apparent reason in doing it, cause my math professor once said to me "Do you like concrete? if so you'll love civil" which didn't sound too appealing. However my family do make a very good point about it, it has a high employment rate, and pays better (according to national statistics), and personally I don't hate it despite I'm more or the less apathetic towards it.

I guess the purpose of this post is to get an idea of what "commercial professional programming" is all about, and getting some compelling reason to chose one or the other. Cause up to now, I regard myself to be doing hobby & freelance programming where everything is basically one big "lol".

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#2 Nayana  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 01:26 AM

Can't you do Civil Engineering as a major, and SE as a minor?
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#3 WXY  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 01:32 AM

The uni didn't officially offered it as a choice, and if i want an exception I needed the dean's approval, which he said no to, he thinks theres no relevance in the two despite my marks in my 1st year courses was 90% and I said I could do a double major if I needed to....

This post has been edited by WXY: 04 February 2008 - 01:33 AM

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#4 Nayana  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 01:43 AM

Well, I think he's wrong. There are endless applications of software development in civil engineering. Or does your dean think they design all the bridges, and calculate the weights, stresses, bearings, strains etc. on paper. Tell him he's an idiot and it's relevant.

In bridge design, there are literally (used properly) thousand upon thousands of variables that need to be considered.

Sewer systems, and aqueducts and so forth have their routes mapped out on computers, which often use things like graph theory to find the best routes. That is a CS thing, and also very relevant to civil engineering.

The point is, someone has to make the software that does all these things. And that person needs to have an understanding of civil engineering and physics, and of course programming (duh)

But there's nothing wrong with a double major, so long as the workload isn't too heavy for you.
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#5 WXY  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 02:05 AM

Heavy ?? -_-... I've finished introduction to SE with full marks and I've barely even turned up to more than 3 lectures... In Multivari calculus & differential eqns I've only lost 1.5 marks for the entire semester which it ran <<... and I've passed Engineering mechanics with 80%+ when 60% of the class failed (we had a crap lecturer)
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#6 Nayana  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 02:29 AM

Right, then doing the double-major, which I assume the Dean will let you do should be a viable option.
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#7 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 06:09 AM

View PostWXY, on 4 Feb, 2008 - 02:37 AM, said:

I guess the purpose of this post is to get an idea of what "commercial professional programming" is all about, and getting some compelling reason to chose one or the other.

no one can give you this reason - either you consider it a desirable career choice or you don't. I can tell you that I've been programming (and related activities) for quite some time. and make quite a good living at it. That should not influence anyone else, however. You should decide on a career because of what you want, not what your freinds or family want.
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#8 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 07:10 AM

I'm going to be a programmer, most likely make some good money, but most of all I'll be doing what I do best ^^
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#9 baavgai  Icon User is online

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 08:01 AM

View PostWXY, on 4 Feb, 2008 - 02:37 AM, said:

I guess the purpose of this post is to get an idea of what "commercial professional programming" is all about, and getting some compelling reason to chose one or the other.


Programmers in the real world solve problems. Depending on where you work, the problems will change, but the idea is the same. Most programmers customize business processes to fit specific needs. This can involve everything from customizing someone else's code to writing from scratch.

It's not real glamorous and no one will make any movies about it, but it's computer programming and entertaining on that level. Hopefully with the bonus for making something work for someone.

For example, my last project involved processing trucks bringing thousands of gallons of waste into a plant. There were automatic gates, lab samples, customer databases, interfaces to legacy systems, and on and on. Those trucks generate about $25M dollars a year in revenue.

Other programs include all manner of tracking systems, custom front ends to existing systems, interfacing data between systems that know nothing about each other. Scanning for porn in the email... yeah, you really don't know how your skills will be used. Other programmers I know are similar. They're the programmers, they can do the stuff people need the computers to do for them.

Hope this helps.
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#10 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 09:17 AM

View Postbaavgai, on 4 Feb, 2008 - 09:01 AM, said:

View PostWXY, on 4 Feb, 2008 - 02:37 AM, said:

I guess the purpose of this post is to get an idea of what "commercial professional programming" is all about, and getting some compelling reason to chose one or the other.

...

It's not real glamorous and no one will make any movies about it

...

Posted Image
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#11 fooboo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 05:18 PM

w00t teh h4ck3rs.
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#12 Nayana  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 05:52 PM

Anti 1337 Manifesto

*JJ I don't care

What movie is that picture from?
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#13 fooboo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 06:29 PM

Duh....Hackers...the movie...1995...Angelina Jolie...Johnny Lee Miller.
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#14 WXY  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 07:11 PM

View PostWolfCoder, on 4 Feb, 2008 - 07:10 AM, said:

I'm going to be a programmer, most likely make some good money, but most of all I'll be doing what I do best ^^

I remember when my mind set was like that. Come to think of it I was like that ever since I was 12 and had a 386 & wondered what all the gibberish in the old no$gb gameboy emulators was about (XD), and very little has changed till the beginning of last year =/.

View Postbaavgai, on 4 Feb, 2008 - 08:01 AM, said:

Programmers in the real world solve problems. Depending on where you work, the problems will change, but the idea is the same.....
..... Other programmers I know are similar. They're the programmers, they can do the stuff people need the computers to do for them.

Hope this helps.

It was very helpful, thank you. You could probably imagine that it was difficult to think about the industry when everyone you know would talk about it like it's plutonium >__>. Though what I would like to know more about is like, the typical working conditions & the ups and downs of commercially involved programmers, if you wouldn't mind telling me about that. Cause as of now, whether I was in a team with a big project or doing a one man job on a small project I've always been able to work at my own speed in my relaxed home environment and everything seemed more good than bad.
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#15 Nayana  Icon User is offline

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Re: Software VS Civil

Posted 04 February 2008 - 08:27 PM

OK, well it's different for everyone, but if you're a good programmer, you can usually nail out some pretty good deals. I'm not sure what the conditions in Australia are like (it does vary between countries) but I'd say you'd get a decent renumeration and your boss SHOULD leave you alone to do your work.

It's possible that they'll try shoving the latest 'methodology' upon you. At the moment they call it "Extreme Programming", but there are others and they just keep coming. Humour them.

You'll find out- about the joy of fixing bugs. Especially those ones written in that weird abstract language by the guy with long hair and a bald patch who left five years ago. (random example).

Just like anywhere else, there will be nice people, and there will be arseholes. Try to be one of the nice people.

At most places you'll probably be working from 9 to 5 with well-renumerated overtime. I personally work from 11am to 11pm or later. My boss quickly learnt that making me come in at 8 meant that I'd come in with about 2 hours sleep.

You'll probably be treated with respect, and people will probably be listening to you. But that depends on your workplace.

You strike me as a very proud person. That's all very good, but people that are older, more experienced, who have been working longer than you probably won't appreciate that. Be humble.

Overall, the conditions are usually pretty good. Good pay, good holidays, good people.

I really enjoy my job as a programmer, with a smatter of customer relations.

But everyone has different experiences, so you need to listen to different people. You should also try researching both civil engineering and software engineering on the Interwebs. I personally find both subjects rather enthralling.
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