October 21st, 2013, 09:43 AM
Mech engineering student - Love programming
Hi guys, I've been having this dilemma.
I am a mech. engineering student (senior year). I am an A student and I like science a lot, and I have a very creative mind so I am good at engineering design. I've also been working for the past 6 months for an engineering company as a mechanical engineer intern.
The problem is that Engineering school stress has been killing me, I can't take it anymore, I can't get along with some teachers and their education based in memorization (which I DON'T HAVE) is killing me.
My relationship with my girlfriend is suffering a lot due to all of this stress, and I rather go to work and do cool design projects than school. I am tired, I am definitely ready to graduate now.
My story with programming is completely different. I've been a self learner programmer since I was 12, I loved it. I started with some web developing and then moved to programming game servers for Ultima online. I also did some hacking, developed some Trojan horses and other sketchy things. I enjoyed it so much, it relaxed me, I would program for hours and be happy the whole day. It makes me feel really good. However, I had to stop because I was literally failing high school, so when I was about 16 I stopped programming, my parents took away my computer, I had to memorize and memorize and pass stupid history exams and things like that - what a waste of time and talent, I think I would be a really good developer if they wouldn't have bothered me.
I came to college in the U.S. for engineering, and little by little I started getting into programming again, it happened naturally, like inertia. I enjoyed it so much it is almost the only thing I want to do, when we have to handle data in labs I use Python/Numpy, while everyone else uses excel just to get done with it.
At work sometimes they give me programming projects and I get really excited and my life is great.
I am going to graduate soon, and start thinking about grad school. I wrote in this forum just to see if anyone else ever felt this way, and what school/specialization would you propose for me. I've been thinking in software engineering a lot, but I am not 100% sure. I just want program a lot, and be very successful about it, because I feel I have a very strong talent for it, and it would make me the happiest person ever.
October 28th, 2013, 09:00 PM
Go for what makes you happy. It's nice having a job you enjoy because then it makes earning a living a lot easier and even just waking up and going to work.
October 29th, 2013, 08:41 AM
I think that it depends a bit on your country and many other things, but however main idea is that if you feel something goes not pretty correctly, then perhaps something should be changed.
I can relate my own story, however I am in Russia and minor details in education system could be bit different.
When I first came to University (in 1999) I found that probably the course was for more clever guys then I (there were ACM ICPC champions in our group). I've tried to change the department, but new course appeared to be very dull and eventually I was kicked out
I was drafted and spent two years in army service. Not the best time of my life, but surely it gives me more wisdom
In 2003 I returned and tried to enter another University (problem was that I have no money so I need to pass entrance exams well enough to pretend for free education - thanks God I've succeeded).
At first I had a great passion to learn and first 1.5 years I have highest marks at all disciplines. However, it became boring by and by
After 4 years I eventually (and occasionally) got the bachelor degree. Then I started 2 years course for the master degree - but in a year I became employed in a full-time job and education became not only dull but also quite nervous.
I almost could not comfortably sleep at night since I should work on my master project - and I did not started it. At last a good idea came to my mind - when only 3 months left of the 2 years master program - I understood that I can take my bachelor diploma and quit University.
It was greatly relaxing. Now, 4 years later, I have 4 times better paid job. I learned industrial programming, dived deep into Java and web / ee development. I continue my "self-study" (internet is a great thing for it). Perhaps later I'll try to complete master education, but I do not think it is quite likely.
You see, I could not give any advice about colleges on the other side of the globe. However I believe (and it is based on my own experience) that programming is the thing which allows self-education very well. One only need to have enough moral powers to struggle through.
There are some specific science-related branches in programming which are better to be learned to some scale from good University course - however, for 95% of industrial programming positions it is not necessary.
Last edited by rodiongork; October 29th, 2013 at 08:48 AM.