Why did I decide to study Software Engineering?

It’s the late ’90s, and my school finally includes IT subjects in its curriculum. I’m an introverted but untiringly curious boy, excited about the idea of digging into these new “toys”. The class is divided into two sections: The first section of the class is about learning how to use Microsoft Office tools such as Word and PowerPoint (later, they introduced Excel). I have to say I loved those classes, but the second section woke up something special from my deepest inside.

What is this!? A turtle! And I can type code to make the turtle move and leave traces so that I can end up making crazy drawings! I can’t remember the name of the application I used to do this. But after a bit of research, I discovered that this program is used to introduce programming to kids. I was tremendously excited, and all I wanted was to make more complex drawings for each new class.

As you can see, my interest in Software Engineering or, at least, in programming, started from my childhood.

For some reason, this didn’t go further, and the school focused mainly on teaching the office tools. It was still fun, but it never was the same until my high school years when the new teacher introduced Visual Basic. I went back in time and remembered the cheerful feelings I had at some point in my life with my great turtle friend.

My school emphasises Science. So, in order to pass to the next year, students have to do a science project. I remember I developed a simple arithmetic calculator for primary school kids, which was also able to test their knowledge of arithmetic operations. For me, it was the greatest application in the world!

I had been a teenager who wasn’t totally sure what to study after school. The exposure I had to Visual Basic in high school made me decide to pursue a career in Software Engineering.

However, this fairy tale story has a dark side. I didn’t count on the financial support from my parents to study Software Engineering in a private university (it wasn’t available in the only public one in my area of living), plus everyone would keep telling me not to study such thing because of lack of employability, salary, among others (it can’t be farther from the truth!). I ended up with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. I won’t say I hated it, but I found myself having a hard time with my studies and my work as a professional, not mainly because of struggles but due to a half-hearted motivation.

Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

I spent 7 years of my life working in Quality Management Systems. I met amazing people, including awesome employers who did like my job. But I felt every single day that I wasn’t truly myself. From time to time, this what-if question crossed my mind: “What if I'd have studied Software Engineering”.

In 2019, my life changed abruptly as I moved to Australia, and I wasn’t going to carry on working in the same field. I projected myself doing what I really wanted to do in my life. I came initially to study English (please, ignore any grammar issues or weird collocations, btw!).

This year (at this moment, 2021) is when I’m finally in ideal conditions to do so. It’s time to pursue my dreams again.

Photo by Shahadat Rahman on Unsplash

Today, I can say I’m doing what I want, and I’m deeply enjoying every single moment since so. I can spend heaps of hours working with code without even noticing it. Whatever outcome I get after I finish my studies, I won’t regret it.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

At this point, I think you might know why I decided to study Software Engineering, but this is a summary:

  1. It’s my passion since my childhood.

I'm a Software Engineering student in the process of a career change.