2013-09-27

Share: What is so great about Computer Science?

"I don't know of any other discipline that makes you feel so much like a wizard. Even engineering doesn't really feel that way, because you actually have to do real work fitting things together and what not.

In contrast, when you program something, you're basically just muttering incantations and casting spells. Do it right, and incredible stuff just springs to life.

And the stuff you're manipulating is almost dreamlike. Take a simple bug fix, for example. The concept doesn't quite exist in other forms of engineering, because if you're building something physical, even a small design flaw is difficult to fix. You have to take it apart, whack stuff into position, and usually you just wind up realizing that it would be easier to rebuild everything from scratch.

Whereas for a computer scientist, that's normal. Change a few things here and there, and bam - your updated program bursts into existence. You can do this because manufacturing software is easy (compile and run, or some equivalent) - almost all the work and difficulty is in thinking of it and designing it. It's basically an abstract mental construct.

Also, if you're a lazy bum like me, you'll fit right in. All computer scientists worth their salt have a massive hatred of tedium. That's why we always want to automate and generalize everything! Repetitive boring work is for machines.

Case in point: I recently had to enter a bunch of data on a website. There was no nice bulk upload facility, so I was reduced to painstakingly copying and pasting stuff from my file into their forms. After doing this for about a minute, I came to my senses and remembered that I wasn't a Muggle.
 
Less than an hour later, I had a program that just mimicked all my copy/paste actions hundreds of times faster than me. Hours of tedious error-prone work turned into a few minutes. As a bonus, it impressed the hell out of people who passed by and saw me reading a book while a bunch of text fields magically filled themselves on the screen. (I may have put in a slight time delay just for fun...)

Like I said, CS makes you a wizard."

Source: Quora's Nadeem Mohsin


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