Any programmers?

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Minh

Puritan Board Freshman
Greeting Pilgrims,

I am currently an engineering student who find my current subject uninteresting and out of taste. During my 1st semester as an engineering student, I was required to take a course in computer science (mainly in programing C language) which I badly failed at the end of the semester (I got 38% in total grade). However, as I was required to take the same course with a different instructor who is more diligent in instructing her pupils about the basic of C programing, I begin to have greater interest in computer science thanks to her. And as a matter of fact, not only I did well in school, but I also want to purchase any good book about the subject that I am interested in.

As I am considering changing from my current major to ComSci, I want to consult PB members who are experienced on this subjects. Some of the questions to consider are: what prompt you to seriously consider ComSci as a career? How do you retain a strong interest in ComSci without forgetting the spiritual duties before the Lord? If you are currently a minister who are formerly Computer Scientist, how useful is your ComSci career in advancing your ministerial education?

There are more important questions that I can't think of. Feel free to add those thoughts to this discussion.

In Christ
 

therussellhome

Puritan Board Freshman
  1. I learned CompSci from my father and followed in his footsteps
  2. A career in CompSci, perhaps more than other carriers, is what you make it / allow it to be. For example, my employer allows me to work a 32 hour/week schedule which gives me time to pour significant time into the ministries of the church (note, I am not a minister, just highly active). Others work entirely from home with a lot of flexibility. On the other hand, many people I know in the industry work 60+ hours/week. It comes down to choosing your employer wisely and setting expectations.
  3. As noted before, I am not a minister. My sister-in-law went from a BS in CompSci to a MDiv (not to pastor, but because she likes theology). She says she did see some benefits though not what (I'll expound when she has time after work)

Soli Deo Gloria, Chris
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
>What prompt you to seriously consider ComSci as a career?

I realize that I was skilled in this area and it was also something that was easy to make a living with that I could enjoy doing. I had worked with computers and been doing programming in various forms since I was a young child (starting in BASIC and basic web stuff).



>How do you retain a strong interest in ComSci without forgetting the spiritual duties before the Lord?

This is similar to any career. I think the only challenges are dealing with expectations or requirements in many jobs to work off hours (operational support, deadlines, or even just company culture) which can impede family time or even the Sabbath. I’m grateful to have an employer where this is not an issue, and I believe there is enough demand in this field that if you prioritize certain things in your job hunt you can be successful, but this is not a guarantee.

Another similar issue is that there is often a push to keep up with a lot of new technology, so many successful folks in this field put in a lot of time off hours just to stay current. I think this is just a balance you’ll have to learn to achieve so that it doesn’t become all consuming.



>If you are currently a minister who are formerly Computer Scientist, how useful is your ComSci career in advancing your ministerial education?

While I am not, I have known a few ministers with a similar background. I work with one man who was an Associate Pastor at a small Presbyterian church who was not paid a salary enough to live on, so he was able to supplement his income to provide for his family through consulting. Relative to many fields, it’s easy to find ways to use this skill set to find part time work. I know someone else who is currently planting a church and working bi-vocationally full time as a Software Engineer (the title many non-academic programmers have in the U.S. at least). I think there might also be some folks on the board who can chime in with similar stories.



The reality is that there are often lean times as a pastor, and it’s useful to have a skill to fall back on. C.S. gives you many skills that are easy to use in part time capacities. Many C.S. folks pick up a lot of I.T. skills as well, which can be invaluable in the service of the church. I know I help with our church’s website, e-mail, and other I.T. needs and a particular congregation might not have someone available to do so.
 

Minh

Puritan Board Freshman
@Jake Thanks for your helpful response. May I ask, what kind of program you are heavily involved in? Python? C++? Java?


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Jake

Puritan Board Senior
@Jake Thanks for your helpful response. May I ask, what kind of program you are heavily involved in? Python? C++? Java?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Main languages we use at work are Python, Java, and JavaScript. Python is the one I'm most comfortable with. However, I'd say really the languages don't matter so much as the concepts. You can pick up the languages easily once you start. I'm also more in an Architect position now (how to design systems and programs and less doing a lot of hands on programming). There's a lot of other opportunities working technology that usually start with a C.S. degree.
 
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