With the long inter-semester break over, it’s time to get back into studying mode. Have to say, I can’t wait. There’s only so much time off I can handle until I start to get really bored! Some ways I alleviate this is to code silly things or read the material for next semester. Which is kinda weird, I know. One of the perks is by getting the coursebooks early, you skip the mile-long queues at the bookshop during the first week of semester. Shh, don’t tell anyone!

Of course a new semester brings with it brand new exciting courses. I’m taking a Gen Ed this time (Critical Thinking) so maybe when I’m finished I’ll be able to think critically?? And ooh there’s a software course that I’ve been looking forward to all year.

Sometimes I feel that I only like the software side of engineering simply because I got into it first (as opposed to hating maths/science as a kid, though that definitely changed when I finally got decent teachers). When I was 13 I stumbled across the programming videos on Khan Academy and made some dumb walrus games (in JavaScript of all things). I mean look, at it:

Some time later I built my first computer completely unsupervised, which was a kinda cool accomplishment for me at the time. Now it’s used to play Farmville. Since a couple years ago I started working as a web developer, which I really enjoy doing and a wonderful creative outlet.

The software development course in first year so far has been quite fun. Granted, it’s a little slow for people who’ve done this before, however it doesn’t really bother me that much. So, I’m going to conclude that I genuinely enjoy the subject and want to learn more about it. Which I totally can in my own time, that’s the beauty of it.

Something that’s a tad bit worrying is the GPA requirement for software. It didn’t use to be so high, apparently it was only in recent years that it’s gotten a huge surge of popularity and is one of the most competitive fields to get into. Fortunately to alleviate (did I just use the word alleviate twice in one post? ew) my fears, here are some words from the Part II Software Engineering representative:

How would you describe Software Engineering?
So Software Engineering is a bit of a mix of both involving practical elements like Software design, construction and testing including some larger projects, and also more theoretical elements like algorithms and such

Why did you decide on Software Engineering?
Both because Computers always interested me and I found ENGGEN 131 (the first year software course) really interesting. It was a hard choice between SE and Computer Systems but I ended up choosing SE because I didn’t find ELECTENG 101 very interesting in first year.

What advice would you give to someone considering Software Engineering?
Note that Computer Systems, Mechatronics, Engineering Science and Software Engineering all do quite a bit of programming, so if you’re after doing programming SE isn’t your only choice. I know a few people who switched between these.

Note: That is very good advice!!

Thanks, class rep!

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Samantha Woon

Hi there! My name is Samantha Woon and I grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. aka some obscure country in Southeast Asia. I’ll be living at O’Rorke Hall in 2017; I haven’t even met them yet as of writing this but I know they’re awesome people (from what I gather from Facebook chats). I’ve chosen to study Engineering at Auckland Uni, mainly because… I dunno, why does anyone do anything?

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