My first week as a Computer Science student at UoPeople

Tamal Anwar Chowdhury
Software Engineer’s Journey
4 min readApr 16, 2019

--

This week I attended my first class at University Of The People. I started from term 4, on April 11th 2019. I enrolled as a computer science major in the four year undergraduate degree program.

UoPeople student portal login

Prior to this week, I finished 3 weeks orientation class at UoPeople. It helped me guide and prepare for my online college studies. Before starting the first week, I was very nervous. Having taken the orientation course, I learnt I have to put 15–18 hours each week to study for the course.

I was worried about my time commitments. As a master procrastinator, I thought I may not be able to put the time into my class requirements.

As a non native English speaker I got enrolled into the English Composition 1 (ENGL 0101) course. Before starting the English course, I thought I know enough English and this is just a waste of my time. But right after taking the first lesson, I was hooked. I realized my current level of English needs work, and it can be improved.

I made a budget of 15 hours for the classwork this week. However, I was done within 4 hours this week. This is probably because it’s just the first week and this course is not that intensive.

Why I enrolled into Computer Science?

One and a half year ago I decided to become a full-stack web developer. I self studied and learned Node and React with the help of various online courses. After learning a lot I thought of going deeper into JavaScript.

As I went deep into JavaScript, I saw I’m entering the borders of more computer science level concepts. So I thought, “Okay, why don’t I learn all of it?.” For those who don’t know, having CS knowledge can make a huge difference when working with programming languages.

I came across an open source Computer Science program. After reviewing it I noticed it would take me 3–4 years to finish. I was chatting with a friend and expressed my idea about the CS education. He recommended me about University Of The People. So I thought to myself, “If I am going to spend 4 years in study, why not keep it organized and get a degree along side?”

By following a curriculum I will be focused in my studies. Academic education has the concept of tests and grades. This will keep me on my toes all the time.

Back to school

So earlier I mentioned I finished my first-week studies within 4 hours. I tried to spend my remaining hours studying for the next weeks. I finished my reading assignments for week 2 and 3 ahead of time. There are 8 weeks of study material per subject.

I read two short stories: The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde (1888) and In Cuba I was a German Shepherd by Ana Menendez (2001). Both of the stories were wonderful and I am glad I am getting to focus on reading. In total I spent 11 hours studying for my college this week.

I met many new people in my class and already made a few friends.

Client work rocked this week!

So I also managed to squeeze in 2 client projects this week. One project I had for a custom Node web application, which is ongoing. Another one was a small WordPress project I did. The WordPress client is happy with her finished site.

Self-study:

This week I continued my WebRTC learning but had to put it off because of my studies. Later this week I watched a Lynda course on Functional Programming. I had this course downloaded on my computer for more than a year but finally, I got past the boring parts.

Anyways, I have to quickly finish this entry. I’m going to publish this one without further proofing, so please excuse me for that. I will get back and maybe fix the typos later on.

Hope to write again next week.

Oh, about this mini-series: I want to document my journey while I am on the way to becoming a software engineer. Let’s see how it goes.

Update Oct 2019: I passed this course with 4.00. I took the next course which I also passed with 4.00 GPA and now I am doing my 3rd term at UoPeople.

Update Mar 2021: I got 21 credits, just shy of 9 credits to finish the freshman year. During the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020, I got stressed out and took three terms off (about 6 months) I am back again and will be taking the course head on! Let’s do this!!

--

--

Tamal Anwar Chowdhury
Software Engineer’s Journey

Software Engineer working with React, JavaScript. Looking for my next role in tech. https://tamalchowdhury.com