BA Quest

Where College Students Meet Their Fate

Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle

Nerds abound, get yer finger based controller boards at the ready!

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This may come as a surprise to people who don’t understand what is it like to take a blank screen and add barely functioning logical rules, years worth of complicated half-coagulated libraries, backlogs of bad habits and terrible ideas, undocumented purely wizardry based command line tools, and little bit luck, but programming is a challenge, on par with golf. Sure you may say to yourself, “but there’s 16 year olds who make a million dollars on the app store.” I admit programming has been made much easier in the last half-decade. But, ask any one of those 16 year old prodigies what a quicksort algorithm is and in all honesty he could probably tell you. There are prodigies in every field, but computers are cool and kids like cool things, apparently. Back to the point, unless you have been thinking in a programmatic way for a few years, or have an aptitude for logical thinking, which of course your’s truly has one of these, programming is hard. It’s by definition not intuitive.

I personally don't wear a balaclava when I code

If you don’t adapt to it immediately it probably means you are a perfectly normal person. Changing your way of thinking from one in which you can communicate in a vague, expressive way, into one in which you must describe exacting specifications is not an easy task. You must be able to keep multiple variables juggled in your mind at the same time, and be able to imagine how each of those variables will affect the others. Here’s a thought for those intrepid few who have fallen down the slide and made it this far into my epilogue about my favorite subject. Imagine you are a girl, *wink wink*, you have 4 friends who need to come over for a party, Amy, Becka, Cindy, and Darla. They can come over in any order you want, but each order comes with dire consequences. If Amy comes over first, Becka will die. Uh oh. If Becka comes over first Cindy won’t come over at all, and Darla will bring her boyfriend Ethan, gross! If Cindy comes over first, the next person who can come over has to be Darla or Cindy. Now imagine these are variables in a billion dollar spaceship controlling the guidance computer of said ship.  If you get them out of order, the ship might crash into a major city. Bad news for you, the programmer of the control chip. I think you get the idea of being able to handle multiple variables. Sure it’s not equitable to either of these scenarios except the last one. *GASP*

I don't even...

Though once you learn to program and to love to learn to program, it is one of the most fulfilling things you can do. It’s both technical and creative, boring and exciting, applicable and trivial. It encompasses so much of everyday life and you learn to examine everything around you in a different way than you did previously. It will get you laid and/or paid. On second thought only paid. But I guess if you get paid enough you can get laid. It will get you extra laid if you are a girl, but we won’t go into that. You’ll always be able to both impress and shun yourself at parties, and most of the friends you end up with will also be programmers. It’s a very inclusive lifestyle, and I say lifestyle because that’s what it is. If you spend more than 5 hours a day doing the same thing, that thing is part of your lifestyle, so deal with it. Your interest in programming might go through ebbs and flows like it did for me, but it has stuck in my brain, and won’t let me escape at this point.


Written by dfockler

02/23/2012 at 4:40 AM

A Rapidly Deteriorating Lifestyle

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By Daniel Fockler

When you get into college you have this idea of how it will be. You might imagine that you will study diligently every night in your dorm, and you will hang out in the library with the comforting quiet of the books surrounding you like a blanket. You might envision yourself partying everyday, coming to class hungover and tired, but still skating by on wit and charm. How ever you thought it would be there are fundamental truths about college that persist through the many years of the collegiate institution. It’s not about studying or partying though, it’s about the life you have in college.

The more I think about it the more I realize that school is a lifestyle and working is a completely separate lifestyle. I’m in my senior year and as I think about graduating, it feels like being let out of prison into the population. I’ve served my sentence for 16 years and my time is finally up. As soon as you’re done with your last day of classes the world is completely different than the minute before. You have no responsibility other than to your self. You have been trained for this for a decade and a half. A decade and a half of people telling you what to do, assigning you homework, and expecting things from you. Whether you flounder or fly is up to you, but you have been pushed out of the nest and the reliance on any form of structure you once had has disappeared beneath your feet.

I would imagine it’s similar to culture shock. The idea is that when you are introduced to a culture other than your own, their practices and standards are completely disorienting to you and cause you to have social anxiety. How you change from one lifestyle to a completely different lifestyle over the course of a month is the difference between succeeding as an adult and being stuck in your culture shock. Eventually people get out of their shock and acclimate, but until that happens not much progress is made. For whatever profession you chose/choose people will tell you the tips and tricks, how to network, how to succeed. But it doesn’t matter all that much compared to you, and how you are able to progress from one part of your life to the next.

Written by dfockler

10/31/2011 at 1:56 PM