A Continuous Journey of Planning for the Future, Self-Discovery, and Compiler Errors

17 Jan 2019

First, some context.

When I began my college career, I had no idea what major I wanted to pursue let alone what job I wanted to end up with. I hesitantly joined the computer science program at Kapiolani Community College in my freshman year as a result of my best friend, who was taking computer science courses in Oregon at the time, saying that I would enjoy it even though I had never programmed a day in my life. My hesitation quickly turned into fascination and inspiration and has since driven me to become a computer science peer mentor, to perform summer undergraduate research in virtual reality, to continue performing research at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and to cultivate a passion that I’d never known before. Personally, the biggest draws of computer science and software engineering are using multiple languages and platforms together and solving technical puzzles to achieve a result. While it sometimes can drive me up the wall with errors, the drive to find a solution is considerably stronger.

So, now what?

In ICS 314, I hope to gain a better understanding of what languages and platforms are best for a specific task and how to use a number of these to create a large project on a team. I’ve collaborated with students and faculty in the past but I haven’t worked on a team programming project before. The prospect of learning new perspectives and insight is exciting and I hope to hone my communication skills throughout the course so that I can be a more valuable member on future teams and endeavors. I’m not entirely sure what role I would be best in so learning my strengths and weaknesses will be a great lesson in determining what kind of programmer I am. Additionally, I hope to learn how to establish and maintain my professional presence and to also retain that spark of enthusiasm for the field that drives me to search for deeper understanding.

And after that?

My ultimate goal is to become a professor in computer science so that I can share the insight, eagerness, and passion that I’ve witnessed over these few years. I’ve always had this drive to teach, even when I was a little kid, and peer mentoring certainly pushed me to pursue this goal. I hope to find more experiences to help others and contribute to computer science, both in research and in education. When I performed research during the summer, everything I did was strange and new to me. I never used a video game engine, coded in a scripting language, developed a virtual reality application, nor worked in a computer lab but the patience and expertise of those working there encouraged me to keep pushing forward. Hopefully, I’ll be able to have more experiences to create and learn things I never thought I would ever work with and potentially be able to help the next generation of students.