Why should you choose software?

This is a little bittersweet. After finally finishing my last assignment for the semester, it’s crazy that I get the chance to reflect on my journey once more and tell you guys all about it. While I’m typing out this post, I’m reminded of what it was like for me last year. I remember carefully reading all the Part II blog posts from previous years. I remember asking my friends what they were thinking. I remember staring at the 5 spaces where I would input what I’d like next year to look like. All of them are blank, except the first one.

I know I might not have painted the best picture of software in my previous post. So, it might seem a lil surprising to realise that I actually have something nice to say about the spec. And to be honest, despite all of my complaining and the stress that I have and continue to experience because of my choices, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

asdfghjkl. Anyway, ENOUGH OF THE THEATRICS. You’re here to read why you should choose software. Again, just like the last post, I will give you some of my reasons – which pretty much swayed me into pursuing this spec!

Finally, why should you choose  software engineering?

It’s actually, surprisingly, pretty fun!

To be honest, after all the struggles that I’ve faced this year, I can’t believe I typed that sentence as one of the reasons why you should choose software. But yes, software engineering can be fun. While I didn’t exactly feel this way when I was fighting for my life in the past couple of weeks (and in the weeks to come), some aspects of software I thoroughly enjoyed. To give a few examples:

  • Staring and complaining about assignment questions with my friends while we struggle to understand what it’s actually saying.
  • Meeting other software students at club events and getting to know more about how they’re going in their journey, and learning from their wisdom and past experiences.
  • Creating a fully working app with people I didn’t really know, and actually learning a few things from the app itself. (I know how to spell my Māori colours now, guys B))

    me realising I could actually use the app my team built to learn how to spell Te Reo

I’ll admit that my definition of fun might be a lil’ twisted from what you expected. Perhaps this might be a good time to say that if you really don’t find any of these appealing, maybe software isn’t for you. However, when I think of some of the good times in software engineering, I think of these moments. Yes, it’s been hard – preeetty hard, I’m not gonna lie – but as I always like to say, I wouldn’t be the person I am now if I hadn’t experienced everything I’ve gone through this year. Even the difficult tests :’)

I’m so grateful for all the people I’ve met – the people who have helped me navigate the trials both in and out of university. I’m so amazed at how I can actually somewhat grasp the concepts that I used to blankly stare at in lectures. And I’m actually very excited to see what else I can create and achieve in a growing field like software, leading me to my next point.

There’s so much to learn <3

Quick story time. I distinctly remember the moment I decided that pursuing a medical career wouldn’t be for me. In a car ride, maybe around 5 years ago, my mom asked what I wanted to be. I said doctor, to which my sister said that I’d have to keep studying for the rest of my life (or something along this lines). Back then, the thought of doing so scared me. Hence, here I am in an engineering degree. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons why I chose engineering over biomedical (physics >>> biology), but the moral of the story is that I used to hate the idea of constantly having to study – to learn. Jokes on me because software – a field that’s continually growing in this age of technology – requires a lot of learning, trying to keep up to date with new tech.

Even from simply looking back at my own journey, it’s crazy to think that I didn’t even know how to code in Java at the beginning of this year. Now, as my favourite programming language, I managed to build a functional Java app with actual buttons and cool colours – something that doesn’t just print to console.

a gif I made for the app!

I know there are so many other tools that would allow me to create better things, and the thought of learning more about them makes me pretty excited – which is precisely what I love about software. As someone who isn’t exactly the best at creating physical things, the fact that I get to build something by simply just mashing my keyboard a bunch of times is genuinely amazing. In addition, you get to work almost anywhere. Literally anywhere, because software is always needed in every industry, everywhere. If it isn’t yet, it will be in a couple of years (don’t quote me on this). The possibilities are endless.

The growth I’ve experienced within this spec has been immense. Pushing myself to keep up with my class, to understand what’s happening in lectures and to actually apply these concepts has been undeniably hard, but oh-so-rewarding after some time. Just kidding. But if you like feeling like you’re becoming a better version of yourself because of all the things you’ve learned, then you’re in the right degree.

If you genuinely liked the assignments in ENGSCI 131, I think that’s enough reason to pursue software (just like I did :DD). Or be a lil more practical and take the time to learn more about software. I’ve simply shared my experiences, but it’s a great idea to go out there and ask others about their own journeys – whether they’re in software or not. Do some research, watch all those “Day In Life Videos”, read all the other blogs! At the end of the day, you know what’s best for you. Do what you want to do, and I’m sure the rest will follow. :’)

Again, this might not be the most practical post you were looking for – there are a lot of other sites that cover all the benefits of working as a software engineer. This post is basically a diary entry of me saying why I personally enjoy software but feel free to ask me literally anything in the comments, and I will do my best to answer these. I hope that whatever path you choose will bring you joy, and if it doesn’t, know that it isn’t the end of the world. We’re all still learning about ourselves, so dare to take action for yourself.

That’s all from me, folks. Good luck with exams! Take care of yourselves! And I wish you all the best for next year. <33

bye bye!

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