Like majority of the middle class population, I chose to enroll to an University after high school. I pursued a bachelor degree on Computer Science
because I really like programming and other course doesn't seems to piqued my interest. I remembered I was very enthusiastic, hoping to meet like-minded hobbyist and code some nifty app together.
Why did you choose computer science?
I was curious about the motivation of others that time and asked this question to my friends and acquaintance which I met in the course.
"Because it has good future prospect, I heard programmer earns a lot"
"Because my parents wanted me to study this course"
"Because most of my friends took this course"
"Because I am good at playing game, I think if I am good at games I will be good at computers"
"Because I am not good at other field such as engineering and business"
Do you notice the common trait among these answers?
None of them said "Because I am interested in programming/computers"
I continued to ask them if they code for hobby outside of study.
Do you code outside of assignment, like a hobby?
"Eww, assignment alone is already killing me, nope"
"Nah, I am not that nerd"
"Why would you code on your free time? Don’t you have something better to do?"
I cringed very hard when I heard these responses. Why did you choose this course if you don’t even like programming in the slightest?
The reason I chose computer science is because I am interested in knowing how computer works and creating things out of thin air from just using computers. I have tried very hard to find like-minded folks and wanted to code together with them. Before graduating, I only managed to find less than a handful of people who like coding and do it as their hobby.
Good result ≠ interested
I tried to reach out to coursemate who maintain high CGPA. At that time I thought if they got high CGPA they must be really interested in programming. I was wrong, most of them studied hard only for the sake of high CGPA, they coded only for assignment and loathed coding outside of homework. Wow boy I am so wrong, some of the most talented programmer/developer I have met have failed some academic subject but they freaking managed to crack some RFID system and wrote A.I tweetbots. Some of them weren’t even studying IT related course , one of my friend who is skilled in Arduino hardware programming was studying News Journalism.
Joining course related club ≠ interested
There is a Computer Society in my university and I joined it hoping to join some hackathon and perhaps some programming workshop. After all there must be some people passionate about coding/app development in the computer society right? Turns out that the computer society's main interest is to sell computer/mobile accessories such as power bank and USB pendrive to students. They focused solely on the business side of selling computer related merchandise 😩. I suggested to the society committee to organize some programming related activities and even joined as a committee, turns out no one in the committee group is interested and I became the only tutor for the programming workshop I suggested them to organize. It wasn't a pleasant experience planning this workshop with them but seeing the satisfied faces of participant made me feel organizing this workshop is worth the effort.
The dream of mine to meet like-minded developers in university was crushed. I am not sure whether I am that bad in discovering talent or there is super few people who genuinely liked coding/programming in the university. I recalled a scene in The Social Network movie which many students gathered in a hall for a programming contest, I thought this will be a norm in my university too, unfortunately I was dead wrong. Perhaps I have enrolled in an university where the culture/interest is not there yet.
It just felt weird that most of the people you met in your course does not have passion towards what they are studying. Even those who have stellar academic result. Theory and memorization is valued more than practicality. I died a little inside.
Why did you choose your degree course?