Chapter one — secondary school.
„Imagination is more important than knowledge” — with this quote I started my journey to the world of science. It was in… secondary school.
I started my adventure relatively early. It all began when I was 13 years old, that’s when I came across some fantastic teachers. They introduced me to the extraordinary world of science and knowledge. They were organizing workshops — „Imagination is more important than knowledge”, which showed me that studying can be very far from “an unpleasant duty”. As a part of this project, I participated in extra classes in mathematics, physics, and computer science, given both by teachers and academics from Tricity universities.
The capstone of each school year was the 2-week holiday science camp held in Kaszuby — which, of course, could not be missed by me! In the course of time, I tried to get the most out of given knowledge. I participated in as many classes and camps as possible because I saw them as an opportunity for my personal growth.
To sum up, what have these experiences brought into my life?
I discovered that poring over math tasks or creating programs doesn’t have to be boring or tedious, but it gives us the opportunity to develop on a multi-level. This is the most valuable lesson I learned from this chapter of my life!
Chapter two — high school.
The work put into secondary school paid off. I got accepted into one of the best schools in Poland — 3rd High School in Gdynia. There, I quickly found out that my main interest is programming. So, I tried to get involved in as many projects as possible. I took part in the IT Olympics, I went to various camps expanding my knowledge and skills, I was looking for places where I can learn more than at the school desk.
The most developing and interesting experience was creating an application that was used to navigate around my school. This project was realized in the cooperation with JIT, which is my current workplace. It allowed me to get to know the realities of work related to designing a functional application and opened the door to my first job!
What conclusions did I draw from what I experienced in high school?
Even though when entering this stage of my life I had a well-established view of my interests, not everything turned out to be so easy and not everything I did was successful.
The first thing I did in high school was the IT Olympics, in which I wasn’t necessarily successful. After that, some doubt about my own abilities appeared, but it didn’t make me give up my interests. Finally, instead of solving programming tasks for the Olympics, I found my place in creating the application, which absorbed me completely.
High school showed me that it is not worth giving up so fast if something does not work out the first time. We should learn from our failures and mistakes. We should look for our place within the discipline we choose, because work put in all the years eventually will pay off.
Chapter three — studies and work.
High school is over, and so the longest summer begins! However, instead of resting, I decided to get involved in another project. Thanks to the cooperation established in high school, I was able to take part in the recruitment for the position of an intern at JIT Team. Thus, from June 2019, I became a part of the Team. My task at the start was to create a mobile version of the company application — WeJit — that helps in managing work of internal departments. Of course, in the meantime, I enjoyed a short holiday, because rest is very important, it should not be omitted ;).
In October, I also started studies at the University of Gdansk, in the field of computer science with a practical profile (less math, more programming!). It doesn’t mean that I finished my cooperation with the company. At this point, the busiest chapter of my life begun. Combining work and studying, I tried to get the most out of both environments. Still, in 2019, I went to the Koderek conference in Warsaw as an employee of JIT, where me and my colleagues summarized our cooperation with my high school.
A few months later, (not only) my plans were thwarted by COVID-19. Regardless of the restrictions, I was looking for another chance for development in this situation. And so, working and studying, I started a research project with mathematicians from the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics, and Informatics of the University of Gdansk, for whom I prepared the Golly rule format for all two-dimensional number-conserving ternary cellular automata. Thanks to this format, each cellular automaton can be imported to Golly (a cross-platform application for exploring John Conway’s Game of Life and other cellular automata) to see how it works. After this successful debut, I created an application displaying space-time diagrams of reversible number-conserving multi-state one-dimensional automata. Therefore I became a co-author of scientific work. The culmination of our joint work and efforts was the possibility to participate in a scientific conference about cellular automata at the Aix-Marseille University in Marseille. During it, I presented the application to a group of scientists. This conference resulted in new contacts and opened our research group to potential cooperation and new projects.
This period in my life allows me to say one thing — it is not worth limiting yourself to one development perspective. When you study, you don’t have to deal only with schoolwork, it is worth taking a risk, taking on a little bit more responsibility and trying various possibilities.
In my case this is what give me the greatest satisfaction. True action, loads of work and the responsibility that I take on myself. That’s my cup of tea. All of this will surely return in favor as a great opportunity of learning experience.
How to work, study and not go crazy? Allow yourself to find what you really like and devote 200% yourself to it. Look for different paths of development, work hard, and believe in your abilities! Satisfaction guaranteed :).
Chapter four —
Thanks to all work put into it from beginning of my journey until today and thanks to the people I met on my way, I was able to collect a considerable baggage of experiences that I can now share myself.
In the company, I joined a commercial project and became a mentor for new interns — my peers. On the other hand, I went to a science camp, where I was a participant not long ago, this year as a tutor and teacher.
What will this chapter bring?
I don’t know yet, but the road is going to be interesting :).