What does computing mean to me?

At this point, computing, or coding in particular, to me means a new way of thinking. I’m pretty sure that many people can relate to the story of coming from a rather outdated educational system to a new one, which actually cares about what you think and how you think. Though for me this transition from memorizing as a way of learning to critical thinking was introduced after entering the IB, after coming to NYUAD, it only deepened.

In particular, taking Intro to IM (and coding for the first time) challenged the way I look and solve problems a lot. Trying to come up with efficient ways (instead of time-consumingly ‘hardcoding’ the whole thing) that can be then very easily changed and applied to something else too, as well as bottom-down approach and breaking things down to smallest possible components gave me a lot of trouble at first, but at the same time gave me a good foundation of new valuable cross-disciplinary  skills.

Especially in relation to my love for (graphic) design, questioning the way I build things that people later interact with reshaped the way I think when designing. I started trying to predict what the reaction of the person will be and taking this prediction to my advantage when design decisions are to be made. This is where most of the readings came in handy – as the theoretical basis of design is often underdeveloped and underestimated, I never really put that much effort into exploring design through written pieces that raise critical questions and put things we take for granted into perspective.

Overall, calling the experience with computing becoming a better person would a bit of a stretch, but calling it becoming a person who is more critical and practical in regards to problem-solving and designing captures it a little better.

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