Why I Want to Become a Software Engineer and How Holberton Will Help Me Reach That Goal
Growing up, I’ve always been curious, driven by my desire to dissect the depths and intricacies of even the most seemingly simple concepts. In using my curiosity to solve the challenges of my past experience, I discovered that the most elegant solutions arose through collaborative feedback. When I started learning about programming, I discovered a trade built around understanding problems and creating solutions. It fascinated me that each solution would be a part of a larger project, making it essential to be able to work collaboratively. I believe my innate curiosity and collaborative nature places me in a position to flourish in the program that Holberton offers in order to become part of the next generation of highly adaptable software engineers.
In my undergraduate math courses, I experimented with applying mathematical theorems and axioms to the problems given to me. I consistently applied the logical concepts I learned in class that built and reinforced on one another. As a result, I developed a problem-solving mindset that relied on supportive reasoning built on a foundation of rigor. In my real analysis course, I used examples from calculus to contextualizing each problem’s foundation to apply the appropriate theorem. The problem-solving framework I developed continued to be immensely valuable as I began to learn how to program at a basic level. If given the opportunity, I believe that I would be able to translate my problem-solving skill set towards learning the complexities of creating logically constructed code — an essential in programming.
Furthermore, being part of a two-man food business taught me to work collaboratively to create real, hands-on solutions. To start with, I had to develop an efficient manufacturing process for our products that would comply with health department guidelines. I contacted similarly sized food companies regarding their approach and learned about their manufacturing processes. I worked with my colleague, Alex, to categorize the manufacturing tasks into three core components: measuring, mixing, and packaging. This allowed us to experiment with each tool’s ease of use and strategic placement. As we continued operations, Alex and I tested our newly created manufacturing process. However, the staggering amount of time devoted to manufacturing inspired me to seek and refine the task inefficiencies of each core components. Manufacturing time decreased by 20% per batch as we shifted to larger bags, simplified bagging methods, and regularly optimized the physical movements of manufacturing. I continued to explore improvements to increase production efficiency. Through projects like this, I have learned how working collaboratively can lead to more comprehensive and efficient solutions. I believe my interdependent skills coupled with my desire to find the best solution to a problem would help me as I develop as a versatile software engineer in Holberton’s project-based and collaborative work environment.
When it comes to programming, I find that my curiosity and desire to understand a concept’s inner mechanics drive me into an entranced and focused state. For example, I investigated how the interpreter’s actions applied the strategy of the Tower of Hanoi, a game to move a series of stacked disks from one peg to another with the fewest steps, to more deeply grasp the concept of recursion. I figured out the pattern of code-generated output and created physical representations of the disks and pegs. I realized that the code’s representation of pegs were not fixed to the board like the game’s real-world counterpart. At each recursive step, a disk from the peg in the first position would be placed onto the peg in the second position, two pegs would switch places, or the base case was reached. I ecstatically shared my findings with my programmer friend Uriel. We whiteboarded the solution and discussed how the simplicity in the logic of programming encourages creative abstract solutions that are confined only by the limitations of one’s mindset. It was here that I discovered the appeal of programming. Speaking with Uriel gave me a taste of what it would be like to dissect the intricacies of programs and understand the mind of a software engineer in designing new possibilities for programs. I believe that Holberton will provide numerous opportunities for adaptive learning and growth which is why I am excited to come alongside this program and be a part of the next wave of innovative software engineers.
Each of my past experiences have uniquely put me in a position to make the most out of my learning and development if accepted in Holberton’s program. I continued to develop my creative and cooperative mindset from my experience tackling the food business’ open-ended project; internalizing the lesson that knowledge can be strengthened through working with others and adapting my resourcefully gained findings. As I continue my studies in programming, my desire will continue to motivate me to seek out interesting problems and to work with passionate people to adjust my learning process. The lessons I’ve learned in dissecting problems, creative resourcefulness, and continued optimization have equipped me to approach unfamiliar disciplines, similar to those that would be expected from Holberton’s curriculum, and assist in my pursuit to become a competent software engineer.