Flaws and all, I'm glad he's in the White House.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Wish I Had Studied Computer Science

I think I know a lot more about many things than most people, particularly most people my age. That may not be saying much, but I still think it's true. Of course, there's still quite a bit that I don't know. I'm trying to learn more about a lot.

One area that's peaked my interest lately is computer science. (Perhaps that is the wrong term, but it seems appropriate, since it would hopefully encompass everything.) I find this stuff incredibly interesting, even if I have no use for some of it and barely understand even more of it.

Take something like Apple's MobileMe service, a cloud computing option that will sync information on different machines at the same time. I'd have no reason to use such a service right now: I don't take many pictures, I don't use e-mail that much, and I have no business that needs my constant attention. But still, should I ever need it or something like it, it's pretty cool to know it's there.

Or take open source software. I have only the most basic knowledge of this, but it's fascinating. How does it really stack up to the software that costs a lot of money and presumably adds quite a bit to the cost of a computer? How can the people who work on this make money?

As far as making money goes, I think it's amazing that people with the required skills can sell relatively simple applications through the iPhone's application store and make tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. It's naturally becoming harder to do, as the store becomes more crowded, but it's a good opportunity for people whose skills might not be fully utilized in a down economy. Besides that, a lot of cool things can emerge from this process, or so I imagine.

I recently downloaded Apple's software development kit and tried to use it, even through an online tutorial, but haven't had time to follow up. I'd like to learn more, and once my test prep class is over, perhaps I can devote more time to learning it from square one, which seems like a problem I can't get around.

In short, I wish I had the skills to do something like this. I wish I had studied computer science in college.

1 comment:

Blissex said...

That's a very silly wish -- because you would be competing for the rest of your working life with people far away who have the same intelligence, books, computers, and can live a very comfortable middle class lifestyle earning $5,000 to $10,000 a year.

Checkout RentACode.com for the going rates for sw development.

It makes even less sense to do any sw development in 1st world countries than it has done to manufacture textiles or run call centers.

On the other hand computer science is often interesting and enjoyable -- just never again a good job in the 1st world.