Monday, December 31, 2007

Year End

2007 was a big year. At the end of 2003, I had no way of knowing what life would be like today. I was a confused three-year biology student who had no desire to finish a degree in biology. Something had to change, and a new area of study would go a long way toward making that happen. I had always loved computers. I had a job doing computer support and a little bit of QA for a large HMO in my home town. A manager had the good sense to take me to lunch and encourage me to think seriously about a career in computing. And so goes the story. 2007 made it into the long range goal list when my academic counselor and I set out my plan my degree in computer science. Imagine with me for a moment what your reaction to the following course description would have been had you no formal experience with programming at all. "Introduction to the problem of engineering computational efficiency into programs. Classical algorithms (including sorting, searching, and graph traversal) and data structures (including stacks, queues, linked lists, trees, hash tables, and graphs). Analysis of program space and time requirements. Extensive programming exercises that require the application of elementary techniques from software engineering." I was overwhelmed, but willing to put in the long hours to learn the material. Looking back on my seven year tenure as an undergraduate, I wish I had found computer science earlier. I learned a lot about computers, gained knowledge that makes me a marketable employee, and built friendships that I hope will last a lifetime. Graduation was just a day in May of this year, but it was years in the making, and will have years worth of impact on my future. I'm profoundly grateful to the people who were along for the ride. They know who they are.

I also managed to get out of the country for the first time this year. It couldn't have been done without the suggestion and help of some awesome family members. In August with my uncle, aunt, cousin and grandfather, we went on a 14 day holiday through Europe. Cities on the itinerary included: Prague, Pilzen, Paris, Avignon, Vasion La Romaine, Florence and Rome. The country side to be seen was amazing. The food was better than I could have imagined. The art was truly awesome. The trip was unforgettable.

As if graduation and a european vacation weren't enough; there was mountain biking, pc-gaming and a trip to Moab, Utah to do both. There were near daily lunches with co-workers whom I am lucky to also call friends. I'm grateful to have a job where there are needs to be filled by solving interesting problems. I work with creative, smart people who care a lot about delivering a quality product to our customers.

2007 was a good year. There's a lot to reflect on. There's a lot more to be grateful for. I suppose the my wish for 2008 would be that situations continue to get better. We all have to live, learn and change. May our changes be for the best.

1 comment:

feathers said...

As much as the all-nighters at the math center seemed so horrible at the time, I have fond memories of those days. We were all just stupid kids doing our best to survive an engineering degree. I will be grateful in the spring when my life will no longer be counted in semesters. Here's to a great new year.