On Graduation : Connecting the dots.
Today I graduate college with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science, a huge personal accomplishment. Lets rewind and take a look to how I have gotten here. 4 years ago, I knew that I wanted to major in Computer Science once I got to college. How you may ask? During my gap year in Uganda, I met Steve Wallace, a versatile application software engineer who I look up to.Due to his brilliant problem solving skills,entrepreneurial spirit and passion for what he was doing, I was inspired . I easily related and got along with him and best of all he didn’t have to show up to the office everyday just like I did since he could work remotely. After several inquisitive talks with him, I knew then too that I wanted to do Computer Science given that I had a passion for computers even though I had no programming experience. Little did I know what it would take.
“You see as a young person, the best thing you can do is to ignore the way jobs are being advertised and simply observe the older people working there.They are the future you. Do not think that you will be substantially different. Look carefully at how they spend their time at work and outside of work, because this is also almost certainly how your life will look”.-Moxie Marlinspike on career advice
In college , my goal has been learn as fast as I can and as much as I can and still graduate on time. As I achieve this goal, I would like to share what some of my guiding principles have been.
Life throws so many challenges at you that it is becomes so easy to give up if not positive minded. Personally, I have had set backs with missed great internship/job opportunities, failed some classes, gotten heartbroken a few times among other things. Looking back now, I am thankful that all that happened because I have learnt more on being positive minded from those short-comes than from my success. If any of them had panned out, I would have missed or compromised my goal.
“Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was being re-directed to something better”- Dr. Steve Maraboli
With a positive attitude, I know that life doesn't owe me a thing. This mentally prepared me to have the belief that when preparation meets opportunity, the magic happens. Not dwelling on failures but rather learning from them, focusing on the small victories has all been vital in getting me to the next opportunities and enabling me to move on.
When I encountered something new, I always felt the need to have the immediate right answers. From my course of study, I have learnt that I don’t always have to have the right answers. In Computer Science ,everyday presents a new challenge i.e a program might have compiled the night before but failed to in the morning. This might demand for a new approach or design for a fix. If one is not persistent , it becomes easy to give up due to constant frustration and fear of the unknown . This has compelled me to learn to ask for help when need be. Most of us are afraid of being thought of as naive for not knowing but without questioning one forever remains naive.
Nothing happens overnight and therefore there is no such thing as overnight success. Computer science has taught me how to be patient. I made small programming mistakes that cost me hours of debugging only to find a semi colon missing. I have had to patiently work through all possible hypotheses and test each one in turn. This can be frustrating as much as it is exhilarating. On the bright side, this has ensured that I gain an eye for small details.
I don’t need anyone’s permission to do what I would like see done. University of Maryland, College Park has instilled me in a spirit of fearlessness that has encouraged me to try out and go for the things am most passionate about.
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”-Henry Ford
I didn’t get to this day alone and therefore would like to thank my parents for their love of education,professors,counselors for the countless time spent shaping my aspirations and dreams over the years,startup shell family and friends who have been instrumental in me getting here today. Without their support,advise ,counselling , opportunities and lectures this would all be non.