The Beginning: Blog Post #1


Why did you choose to go into computer science?
I became interested in Computer Science my junior and senior year during my first undergraduate degree in Geology at Florida State University. My primary focus was to add skills to my resume to make myself standout to potential employers. Suffice to say, I fell in love with Computer Science after the first couple introductory classes.
That summer after I graduated I was in a state of uncertainty. Should I stick with Geology or take that leap of faith and try to break into the Computer Science world? I began to do some research online and stumbled upon Oregon State’s Post Baccalaureate program. I felt like the program was a perfect fit, it was affordable, established, and self-paced. Was this about to be a colossal mistake or a sound and life changing investment?
In short, it has been the most amazing journey. I’ve been able to learn so many new things and have sparked my interest in so many different areas of Computer Science. Although I may be looking back with rose-tinted glasses, there were times where it was stressful and sacrifices had to be made, but in the end it seems to all have been worth it.
This past summer I fully realized this when I had the opportunity to intern at both Microsoft and Google! Reflecting back on the experience, I couldn’t have imagined myself at either of these two companies a year ago as I was going through the recruitment cycle. And if you had asked me prior to starting the program what my aspirations may have been these two top tech companies were a distant dream. I’m happy to say I’ll be starting full-time at Microsoft this fall as a software engineer. None of this would have been possible without this program of which I am extremely grateful.
Why did you choose the projects you did on the survey? What makes them interesting to you?
I chose and focused on projects that had a few criteria. Firstly, the project would have to be in a domain or area that I have not been previously exposed to. Secondly, a project that will be fun and won’t feel like a chore to do a few weeks down the line. And lastly, a project that leverages in demand concepts, tools, and knowledge. With these constraints in mind I’m considering AI/ML or VR/AR projects.
AI/ML has definitely generated a lot of buzz over the past few years and I’d love to explore this area more in depth. Being able to train a model, predict future behavior, and determine the accuracy of the results seems like such an interesting application of computer science. Even more importantly, with the emergence of ChatGPT, AI/ML will only be that much more sought after.
VR/AR has so many interesting use cases and I feel that the surface has barely been scratched. As an avid video game enthusiast, being able to combine video games and computer science could be the best of both worlds. Even just recreationally using VR devices such as the Oculus was mind-blowing.
At the end of the day I want to work on a project that will expand my current knowledge and who knows, maybe I’ll find the computer science discipline I’m incredibly passioned about.
What do you hope to learn from your project?
As mentioned above, I don’t really know what to expect working on one of these projects. I’m looking forward to the journey and learning as much as I possibly can.
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