Author Topic: Switching Majors: Becoming a Software Engineer?  (Read 1739 times)

Offline Ryex

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Switching Majors: Becoming a Software Engineer?
« on: October 10, 2012, 10:49:55 PM »
I'm currently  at the start of my third year in school to get a Aerospace Engineering degree, and frankly I couldn't be more miserable. I've been having ridiculousness amounts of trouble with the subject I'm basically a full semester of 18 credits behind because of failed classes partly because mechanics just baffle me for some odd reason. they make perfect sense in lecture and when I go to solve problems. be when I get down the the answer it always turns out I forgot a key part and I half fail the question, and partly because I've realized I really don't want to learn this for the sake of becoming an engineer. frankly the amount of fucks I* give about becoming a aerospace engineer could fit on a floppy disk with room for 2 3-minute mp3's.

When I cold my major my freshmen year I though I was making a smart decision, I wanted to solve problems and design shit, but at the time I though I wold quickly get board of sitting in front of a computer all day writing code. now I realize that aero engineering would be even worse for me.

to put it bluntly I'm dam sure I'm not going back to school for engineering after this semester, even if I wanted to I'm not going to pass with the b's I would need to keep the endeavor funded. I've blown too many chances with bad grades.

but life goes on and I have options, namely I can go to a community college and get the last few classes I would need for a computer science degree or something like that. what I want to know is. what do I need to get a job writing software? could I do it with my current experience and a 2 year CS degree? am I more screwed than I thought?

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Offline Blizzard

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Re: Switching Majors: Becoming a Software Engineer?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2012, 09:48:01 AM »
On my university the CS degree was basically for people who couldn't really decide what they like so they went with it since it covered most theories and concepts rather than direct practical appliance and engineering. It was perfect for people who likes IT, but didn't like programming that much. It may be perfect for you, too, if you can't really see yourself in writing software, because it gives you more options. But because of the broadness that you get from such a degree, you won't have a specialization which may be a disadvantage in some cases. If you want to write software, you should try to get a software engineering degree or at least a 3 year CS degree (since it covers enough for you to be a programmer if you already have some experience which you do). The CS degree at my university covers a lot of different topics like neural networks, machine learning, algorithms, computational theory, etc. So if you're not that much into IT as such, CS may not be such a good idea and software engineering would be better (which I would also recommend a 3 year degree at least, but I think that a 2 year degree may do, too).

Just make sure that you really don't want the aerospace degree for its own sake, not because you're not good at it. If you're not good at it, but you actually really want/like it, you can learn it, even if it takes some time.
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Offline Ryex

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Re: Switching Majors: Becoming a Software Engineer?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2012, 10:05:20 AM »
Just make sure that you really don't want the aerospace degree for its own sake, not because you're not good at it. If you're not good at it, but you actually really want/like it, you can learn it, even if it takes some time.

honestly, I really don't. as interesting as space is for me I don't want to design spaceships or airplanes that much. I honestly have no Idea what I was thinking when I chose it in the first place... I like and can honestly see myself writing software. I have all the general education requirements except speech and math up to calc 2 (currently failing calc 3 for the second time. I want to get school over with.
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Offline Ryex

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Re: Switching Majors: Becoming a Software Engineer?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2012, 08:25:33 AM »
So, I managed to get a hold of one of my buddies from high school. he's only a few months older than me and making (according to him) 86 k a year working remotly for a company in NYC form San Francisco as a software developer.

I got to talking to him about how I would get into the inderestry and was a great encouragement, even went so far as to ask me a few interview question to make sure I knew my stuff.

one of the think he asked was if I knew recursion and how to use it. he then gave me an example question

Quote
"Write a function that prints out every possible valid combination of parenthesis For example, if I gave you the input "3"
You would print
()()(), (())(), ((())), etc.
This is probably the most challenging recursion problem you will end up getting
Don't worry if you don't get it off the top of your head
Think carefully about it
Get back to me in 5 minutes if you think you've got the answer"

he signed offline 10 minute later when I was confident I conceptually knew how to do it and 10 minutes after that I had an answer in working code form. would you guys mind confirming I got it?

Code: [Select]
$options=[]

def build(depth = 3, s="", o=0, c=0)
if c < depth
if s == ""
s += "("
o += 1
end
if o < depth
build(depth, s + "(", o + 1, c)
build(depth, s + ")", o, c + 1) if o > c
else
while c < depth
s += ")"
c += 1
end
$options.push(s)
end
end
end

begin
build(3)
p $options
end


#ruby as I find it the fastest to prototype in

« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 09:32:03 AM by Mr. Cloud »
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Offline winkio

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Re: Switching Majors: Becoming a Software Engineer?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2012, 09:08:20 AM »
Yeah that looks like it works.  I didn't test it, but you do have the right conditions being tested for each branch into the next level of recursion.

Offline Blizzard

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Re: Switching Majors: Becoming a Software Engineer?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2012, 05:22:35 PM »
Though, I don't think you're doing it right since you are using a global variable for the output.
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Offline KK20

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Re: Switching Majors: Becoming a Software Engineer?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2012, 08:45:50 PM »
he's only a few months older than me and making (according to him) 86 k a year working remotly for a company in NYC form San Francisco as a software developer.
And it's people like this that makes me go "What the hell am I doing wrong? I feel so far behind compared to everyone else." Still debating whether to stick to my Media and Game Design track or switch over to Software Engineer before I start taking those core classes.



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Offline Blizzard

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Re: Switching Majors: Becoming a Software Engineer?
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2012, 09:05:47 PM »
IMO it's more important to do something you love than for money. Sure, a high salary is nice, but realistically you don't need much money to live a fulfilled life. It's totally enough to have enough money to be able to afford something here and there without having to think what you will eat for the rest of the month if you buy it.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 09:53:58 PM by Blizzaja »
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I do not speak to bricks, either as individuals or in wall form.

Quote from: Barney Stinson
When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.