Lessons from Computing

This class was my first introduction to anything related to computing. I had always thought of it as such a cool thing to be able to do, like if you learned it, so many opportunities would open for you. I always admired people who could code.

Now, having just dipped my toe into what it means and what I can do with computing, I can assure my past self that it is just as rewarding to be able to code. Seeing your idea come to life on your computer screen is such a rush of satisfaction. It’s immediate success, but it can also be immediate failure, and for me, since I rely heavily on small but fast-paced successes to keep me motivated, this is perfect.

Every class I have, I know I’m going to just be blown away by what I’m able to do on my computer. Before this semester, I would never have thought I would be able to do this or even be able to learn. Learning has really made me more confident in myself and helped me figure out where I may go in the future. If anything, it’s done exactly what I thought it would do: open up new possibilities.

One of the biggest lessons I learned in the moments of frustrations was to take a step back, take a break, and then just write out exactly what you want to happen in plain text, not in code. Then, once you have the steps down, find the logical solution in code. Most of the time, this works really well if I’m overwhelmed with a task in processing or if I can’t figure out how to logically make something happen.

But another lesson I’ve learned and am still learning is to ask for help, look things up, collaborate with classmates, and generally just admit when you aren’t sure of something. In class, it’s so important to go line by line and make sure we understand but we don’t always have time for this, so our classmates become one of our most valuable resources. Having each other, Aaron, Jack, and the other lab assistants to go to when we need help has made learning this new skill so much smoother and a much more positive experience than it would have been if I tried to do it alone.

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