CSE 142 Class Reflection: Computer Science in My Future

It was only by the end of my Junior year when I discovered coding. During that time, the only thing I knew about it was that it made things do things and bill gates became a billionaire from it. Like the rest of the population, my idea of what coding or programming looks like derived from the media. Hackers in movies and the very stereotypical white or Asian males in T.V. shows ruled my representation of what an actual programmer looked like.

There would be a bunch of random green code on the black screen with a hundred lines written per minutes. And after a few minutes, BAM, he hacked into the White House.

However, after a full year of learning computer science this was definitely not the case. Similar to writing a story or painting a painting, coding takes time and patience. You are given a problem, a set of tools, and a blank slate. This is where the blend of logical and imaginative thinking comes into play. With those tools, you are to solve that problem in any way shape or form. And this was what I believe was the most important thing I learn from the year-long class. That you have to be able to think in this step-by-step way just like how a computer would but be creative enough to create those steps and approach the problem in more than one way. This was the best thing I learned because I can apply this to many aspects of my life. Being able to think outside the box and attack the problem from different angles but at the same time have an algorithm on how to attack the problem can be applied to almost everything I do or any goal I may have.

I share my notes. When someone misses something, I catch them up. I share my way on how I would approach a problem. I give ideas on how they can fix their code. All these small gestures are neither big nor small. However, they make a huge impact. These small gestures all contribute to the progress of the whole class and that was my biggest contribution. I am always happy to help someone with anything when they need it and they would help me when I need them. I am always there for someone to ask me a question and whether I know the answer or not I would help them and search for the answer with them.

I am already using what I learned right now and will surely use it for the future as well. This class has changed the way I think and process information. And I will certainly take this new way of thinking to college and in my personal life. But not only that, I will also use the new found Java skills to create my own tools in the future. Such as the final project is a tool used to keep track of volunteer hours, I will continue creating more tools.

If I could take the class all over again I would probably invest in a better laptop. Since my laptop broke down mid-year, it became difficult to work when I was away from home. Another thing I would work on was setting due dates ahead of the normal time just so I am able to pace myself more efficiently and definitely get everything in on time. Lastly, I would ask for help more frequently and not wait until last minute to ask for help from others.

All in all, this class was a vital first step toward my future career and goals and I will carry everything I learned on to the next step.

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