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#1 Subalee   User is offline

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Should I continue pursuing computer science at university?

Posted 25 October 2014 - 03:05 AM

Hey this is probably a little bit of cry baby post but I really don't know where else i could get some opinion on this.

I started my first semester at university studying IT, I don't want to boast but it's the best IT university in my country and probably amongst the hardest too, even though I live in Slovakia, which isn't that big.

My vision of studying on university was probably a little bit different. I thought of it as a time for personal development i.e. studying the uni, reading (a lot) of books, going to the gym, learning german (or third language) and work on my english, possibly find a girlfriend.

I found a girlfriend and even though things got a little complicated I'm quite sure I will be leaving my current Uni, so that we can study in the same city or atleast more closer. I never thought I would be the one who chooses relationship over my future, but I haven't been this happy for years.

But to get to the MAIN part of my question of whether or not should i pursue computer science.

Whole my life I've been told how smart I'm and stuff like that even though I've never felt that way. Since i was 10 i was working with computers, it started with playing videogames but throughout the years I pretty learned to troubleshoot computers (mostly windows, that's why i got a mac to get in touch with something else) build computers (basic builds and one watercooling build for myself :)/> ) learned using sony vegas, photoshop. I can manage some basic front end development (don't really know javascript/jQuery yet)

Unfortunately I think my biggest problem is my ability to solve problems and myself. I never excelled at math and math on my high school was so scarce and easy that i never ever studied so sometimes i struggle even with algebra.I mean i don't really have trouble with arithmetic operations or equations (except for parametric equations) and even though I have a grasp of combinatorics I have trouble applying it to word problems.

As far as programming goes I never really struggled with grasping basic concepts as loops, conditions, arrays, however some of the assignements have been just hard for me.
for example the typical exercise with printing shapes using nested for loops and asterisk, I really didn't have problem with doing stuff like right triangles however I struggled a lot with diamond shape and I'm still not able to do it properly, is this exercise just a matter of practice? I mean if I look at the code I would understand it, however it feels like cheating if I don't figure it out myself.

The problem with myself - I get frustrated easily,I always underestimate myself and usually when I'm not good at something from the start my brain just shuts off.

I guess my problem solving and abstract thinking just sucks.

I thought that maybe if I chose easier university things would be a little different and most importantly i would be more happy :)/>

However after this experience I'm not sure if I'm actually cut out for this career.

I also don't really feel like academic type, I would much prefer real life problems to writing papers.

My question really is should I change my field and leave computers as a side gig and hobby? or should I continue pursuing it?

How can I improve my problem solving skills and basically think more like a programmer and perhaps a little bit more like mathematician.

Thanks for any answers, they will all be very appreciated :)/>

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Replies To: Should I continue pursuing computer science at university?

#2 Jazzanoob   User is offline

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Re: Should I continue pursuing computer science at university?

Posted 26 October 2014 - 01:58 AM

Well, I think you shoudn't leave the fields of IT, because based on your story you are good in computer and doing stuffs in it. That is your passion and if you change your field you may be regret it. The things you should do now is to surpass your weakness. Improve yourself from such weakness, practice more, read more. Programming is more on analizing, solving problem and logic, you should read many problems that contains all that. And also focus to what you are doing. Don't just give-up on something that you are not capable to do. Challenge yourself. There is no easy thing in this world. Everyone of us have weaknesses but we can surpass that it by practicing and doing it again and again. And sorry for my bad grammar, I'm not that good in speaking English. :)
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#3 Subalee   User is offline

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Re: Should I continue pursuing computer science at university?

Posted 26 October 2014 - 01:19 PM

Thanks :)

I would still like a little bit more answers,so please if you come by this topic, please try to give me some word of advice :/
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#4 modi123_1   User is offline

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Re: Should I continue pursuing computer science at university?

Posted 26 October 2014 - 01:35 PM

What is your alternative to computer science?

What's the pros/cons of moving to a different school? (Career wise)

What are you passionate about?

Where do you think you want to be in five years? Ten?

Is this all just self sandbagging so you can justify moving to some other school and swallow that pill?

Have you *TRIED* to work on your project management, design, and problem solving skills?

Honestly, no one here can make your life choices for you. You need to suck it up, think hard, and take a look at the long term instead of right now. Folks have survived long distances relations before, and I would imagine you can as well.
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#5 macosxnerd101   User is offline

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Re: Should I continue pursuing computer science at university?

Posted 26 October 2014 - 01:42 PM

Quote

for example the typical exercise with printing shapes using nested for loops and asterisk, I really didn't have problem with doing stuff like right triangles however I struggled a lot with diamond shape and I'm still not able to do it properly, is this exercise just a matter of practice? I mean if I look at the code I would understand it, however it feels like cheating if I don't figure it out myself.

Welcome to programming. It's hard, especially at first. This is the time where you really build up a lot of your problem solving skills. Read again- you're not expected to come in an expert or a programmer.

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The problem with myself - I get frustrated easily,I always underestimate myself and usually when I'm not good at something from the start my brain just shuts off.

So you actually have to work at something? Perhaps it's time to suck it up, grow up, and learn to put in the effort to succeed.

Quote

However after this experience I'm not sure if I'm actually cut out for this career.

You're taking an intro class, I assume. That's not enough to say "yes" or "no."

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How can I improve my problem solving skills and basically think more like a programmer and perhaps a little bit more like mathematician.

Take more math and programming classes. Practice is the only way to get better.


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My question really is should I change my field and leave computers as a side gig and hobby? or should I continue pursuing it?

There are plenty of IT jobs that aren't programming- help desk, system administration, networking, business analyst (technical go-between for the developer team and the clients). Play around with things and explore.
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#6 Subalee   User is offline

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Re: Should I continue pursuing computer science at university?

Posted 26 October 2014 - 03:36 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 26 October 2014 - 01:35 PM, said:

What is your alternative to computer science?


I don't really know, I was thinking of something like business/management, but I really don't want to end up as a manager.

View Postmodi123_1, on 26 October 2014 - 01:35 PM, said:

What's the pros/cons of moving to a different school? (Career wise)


Different school in IT field?

pros: more free time (I don't want free time for partying, drinking. I want more free time to read, to travel, to spend it with my girlfriend, to live)
cons: other schools don't have such a big name really. Which basically means with my current school I can be 100% sure i will get a very well paid job in the field.

View Postmodi123_1, on 26 October 2014 - 01:35 PM, said:

What are you passionate about?


Computers, programming, I really do enjoy it but I've never dealt with it on professional level, projects (mostly website, perhaps a mobile app) etc. Sometimes I have an idea about making some extra money for myself but it's really the process of creating the project that intrigues me but I lack most of the skills or my skills are not good enough.

Apart from that I'm or used to be passionate about photography, I always wanted to do graphic design but never really got into it as i can't draw, which would probably limit me in the later stages...

View Postmodi123_1, on 26 October 2014 - 01:35 PM, said:

Where do you think you want to be in five years? Ten?


Well I don't really see myself working for big corporations atleast not whole my life. Maybe have my own firm for deisgning websites/apps/IT solutions with few e-stores as side income. I don't really want to be a sillicon valley millionaire, As long as I don't have to count every single penny and can provide for my future family I'll be happy.

View Postmodi123_1, on 26 October 2014 - 01:35 PM, said:

Is this all just self sandbagging so you can justify moving to some other school and swallow that pill?


I don't think so, I just really want to hear/read opinions from someone who actually listens and understands :)/>

View Postmodi123_1, on 26 October 2014 - 01:35 PM, said:

Have you *TRIED* to work on your project management, design, and problem solving skills?




Not really, I don't know how to work on my problem solving skills and whether there is actually any chace of improving them. What would you recommend ? I was recently thinking about reading Pragmatic thinking and learning but due to heavy load from uni I don't have time for that.

View Postmodi123_1, on 26 October 2014 - 01:35 PM, said:

Honestly, no one here can make your life choices for you. You need to suck it up, think hard, and take a look at the long term instead of right now. Folks have survived long distances relations before, and I would imagine you can as well.


I realize that, but I needed to hear someone's opinion, for which I'm very thankful I hope you will find the time and respond to my answers :)/>

macosxnerd101:

Thanks for input. I'm not sure what you mean by taking more math classes, however education system here is quite different you can't really take more classes the only possible thing I could do, and I actually do it when possible is to get private tutoring.
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#7 macosxnerd101   User is offline

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Re: Should I continue pursuing computer science at university?

Posted 26 October 2014 - 03:55 PM

Quote

Thanks for input. I'm not sure what you mean by taking more math classes, however education system here is quite different you can't really take more classes the only possible thing I could do, and I actually do it when possible is to get private tutoring.

You're in college and you can't take more math classes? I'm quite surprised. You could always buy books and teach them to yourself.
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#8 Subalee   User is offline

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Re: Should I continue pursuing computer science at university?

Posted 26 October 2014 - 04:00 PM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 26 October 2014 - 03:55 PM, said:

You're in college and you can't take more math classes? I'm quite surprised. You could always buy books and teach them to yourself.



Pretty much, How would I take more math classes if i were studying in USA? Can you just go into more classes just like that?

The way it works here: Let's say I have an subject called introduction to Mathematics for IT. On monday I have 2 hours of this where there is like 20 of us and we solve problems about the current topic that was explained on thursday (previous week) where there is like 150 students and it's pure theory, you just take notes and try to learn as much as possible
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#9 macosxnerd101   User is offline

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Re: Should I continue pursuing computer science at university?

Posted 26 October 2014 - 04:07 PM

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Pretty much, How would I take more math classes if i were studying in USA? Can you just go into more classes just like that?

Generally there is a math department with a bunch of classes, like Calclus, Diff Eqs, Linear and Abstract Algebra, Combinatorics, etc. You take classes based on having fulfilled prereqs and interests.
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#10 Xaos   User is offline

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Re: Should I continue pursuing computer science at university?

Posted 26 October 2014 - 06:06 PM

To hell with those diamond pattern things, I'm not very good at them either. Don't let one small task push you away from computer science. Keep practicing programming out of class and you'll get better. If you like CS, continue to pursue it.
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