Fall 2005 Class Debate Over

I decided to go with Student Originated Software, though I admit to still being worried as to whether that’s the right choice. We’ll see what happens. I’m really interested in being on more of the executive side of computing or business, but I figure that having a computer science degree will help with bridging the gap between business and technology.

My dad made a point — programmers today are a dime a dozen, and much of the glory of being a programmer is fading. That’s not really why I’m taking the program, though it is heavily software development — the process inherent in software development can be applied in other places, and bridging disciplines and differences is inherent in Evergreen’s Five Foci of Learning. I think I can use what I learn out of this process within a business environment quite successfully if given a chance.

I paid both summer tuition and my Spring 2006 graduation fee today. I’ll be dropping off my graduation application for a combined BS/BA the next time I’m on campus (sometime next week). The BS will obviously be in Computer Science; I figure that the BA will likely be in Writing. Neither of these will actually be on the degree, but I can make the argument with my summative eval that I have enough experience in writing to pull it off.

The Fall 2005 Class Debate

So now I have to decide which program it is that I want to take for
Fall, and it’s giving me a bit of a headache. I can see pros and
cons for taking either one. I reverted back to something that I
did when I was selecting colleges and started typing up a pro/con list
for taking either program. Right now, it doesn’t feel like either side
is winning. On the one hand, I really enjoy business and I like the
idea of focusing more on business ethics after my experience a couple
years ago. On the other, I also rather enjoy computer science, but I’m
not at all sure of whether I could succeed in another computer science
program after my rather frustrating experience with Data to Information
last year. The clincher here is that the only part of Data to
that really gave me heartburn was the Discrete Math
component — I did well in and really enjoyed all of the other
components of that program. Student Originated Software has no math.

One of the other big tripping points for me is that I know that what I
graduate with, in the short term, will control what jobs I can get. I
have also considered applying for a dual degree if I take Student
Originated Software
, since I definitely would have enough credit to be
awarded both a BS and a BA (and, in fact, dual degrees are why most
people stay a fifth year). If I did that and decided I didn’t want to
do computer science, I’d have the BA as a fallback, but it wouldn’t be
in business. I guess what I’d love is a BS in computer science and a BA
in business, but I’m fairly sure my credits won’t support that by the end.

Here’s my pro/con list for both programs as it stands:

Reasons to Take SOS

  • All-year program focusing in Computer Science
    would allow for application for dual BS/BA graduation with computer science and another possible arts topic (writing?)
  • Challenged to succeed and defeat previous beliefs regarding strengths in computer science
  • Opportunities for practicing oral presentations
  • Upper division science credit for BS in Computer Science; closely related to second bullet
  • Strengthens work with databases
  • Real-world opportunities for practicing oral presentations and leadership skills with a chosen software client (likely the Writing Center, unless assigned to another project)
  • No math component

Reasons to Take Business in Society

  • Reviews and strengthens an area I am already strong in
  • Focuses upon business ethics, a topic of interest to me
  • Higher confidence in business and business management than in software development
  • More opportunities for writing to strengthen possible degree focus in general writing
  • Confident of success in the program
  • Opportunities for practicing oral presentations
  • No initial problems with staying for full program

Reasons Not to Take SOS

  • Not confident of succeeding in the program
  • No strong math background to back up computer science degree (though this may not necessarily be a negative)
  • Not sure of remaining for all three quarters, which could be problematic depending upon the project

Reasons Not to Take Business in Society

  • Two-quarter program, no further coverage in business currently planned for Spring according to catalog
  • May not be satisfied in the end with my own effort to overcome challenges by not taking SOS


School Stuff
I’ve been working on closing off this quarter, and I finally have a date: Thursday at 1. That’s when my evaluation appointment is and when my creative writing contract is officially complete.

I’m going to be working closely with the Writing Center this summer to do some web site revisions. One part of that is implementing a new database for the Center’s handout library, which is currently managed by hand and is a pain in the ass to keep accurate with updates. I’ll be doing the database work in PostgreSQL using ADOdb as a frontend to the DB work so that if we switch databases, the change will go seamlessly.

I’ve learned quite a bit from David Metzler, head of Network Services for the College, about how this should be properly implemented. I already knew quite a bit, but he’s helping me think about the system with slightly newer approaches and ideas that I haven’t considered before. I’m also doing the official documentation for the whole thing. The project is a test bed to see if Network Services can maintain an application successfully after the original maintainer leaves, so that should be cool to see.

Web Design Stuff
I’ve been working with a client in Florida to revamp an existing link management system. This has also been a learning experience, and I’m pretty sure the client will be satisfied with the final result. I’m going to make a big push this week to get that done. Hopefully, I’ll succeed.

Random Mentions
Congratulations to Jerry Chiang on his graduation from the University of Washington. Props to ya, Jer. Congrats to all members of the class of 2005!

Wrong-o, bubby!

Me: “Why, hello, I don’t believe we’ve met.”
Other Tutor: “Your beliefs are wrong!

– Me talking to a friend of mine after a tutoring session.

He has now been dared to walk into a church and scream that from the pulpit.