Professional Self-Assessment Posts
Part 1 - My Journey.
Part 2 - Program Reflection
Part 3 - Portfolio Summary
As my time at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) ends, I can’t help but be overcome with bittersweet emotions reflecting on my experiences. My personal journey to get to this point has been a long, arduous trip that has taken me down many roads. It took me awhile to figure out what my destination should be but, now that I’m nearly there, I know that this is what I wanted all along. I am now, and always have been, a programmer.
My journey in tech began when I was ten years old and my parents purchased a Packard Bell Executive 8707 D, with a hyper fast 486DX2-66 processor, more memory than you would ever need at 4MB, a massive 420MB hard drive, and some amazing preinstalled software. It ran Windows 3.11, but I mostly utilized the MS-DOS 6.20 command line. After mostly playing games for a few months, I discovered QBasic and took my first steps in to the world of programming. It wasn’t long before I had distributed several games to friends on 3½” floppy disks. The first, a choose your own adventure titled “Circles”, because I figured out how to draw randomly colored circles to the screen and I thought that was worth making a game about. Next game a simple two player game of “Tag”, where smiley faces chased each other around a level switching between tagger and taggee. Last was my greatest accomplishment, a game I called “Gateway Blast”, where the player maneuvered their spaceship to destroy randomly spawned alien ships before they would disappear. It even included high scores! By the age of twelve, I knew that I wanted to write code professionally.
This thought process continued throughout high school but when I started struggling in math classes I was dissuaded from pursuing computer science as I started thinking about college. I still loved computers and found that information technology didn’t rely so heavily on math, so I went for an associate degree in information technology from a local community college. A few years later I entered the work force where I’ve been for eleven years, all the while never feeling particularly comfortable.
In 2015, I knew I wanted more out of my career, but I still wasn’t sure what to do. Because I had built up some experience, I entered SNHU in the IT program with a concentration on management. Around this time, I also began automating everything I could at work, reigniting my passion for coding, which lead me to switching my concentration from IT Management to Software Development. Yet as I neared completing my general education courses and looked ahead to the technical classes I’d be taking, I realized there wasn’t enough programming to satisfy me. I discovered the newly created Computer Science program when investigating changing my major for the third time. As soon as I saw it I knew that’s what I needed to do, but I was going to have to face four additional math classes. Though I was nervous about it, I had already worked my way through Precalculus and Applied Statistics without much trouble. Beyond math, I would also need to take some extra classes because my transfer credits no longer aligned with my major, which extended my stay at SNHU by a few terms. These challenges almost discouraged me from switching, but deep down I knew that it was what I should have been doing all along. Now I’m in week seven of my final course at SNHU, having switched into the computer science program, and could not be prouder of the things I’ve accomplished.