There is a common misunderstanding out there that people who study Computer Science in school learn how to fix computers and troubleshoot and what not. This is not the case; specifically for myself. Rather, Computer Science is “the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications”. In layman’s terms, we learn how to program.
My favorite programming related picture..
I guess it’s a little bit my fault, I spent countless hours offering to fix friends’ and peers’ computers in college. I can see where the logic could come from: “He’s fixing my computer and his major is ‘Computer Science’, he must learn all this in school”. The reality is I just happen to have an affinity for electronics and software. Being on a computer for most of my homework AND my free time naturally taught me how to deal with technical difficulties. And for things I don’t know, I just end up Googling it for the person. From dealing with malware, to reformatting hard drives, to troubleshooting Microsoft Excel, to installing Windows 7.. I did it all out of the kindness of my heart.
For all of the above instances, I always offered to help because it always seemed simple in my eyes. Although, it didn’t always happen that way. It’s quite satirical when I think about it now, but it was a little confusing when I realized what I got myself into and how it happened.
For multiple conversations with my friends’ moms, the small talk would lead to what I studied. Upon telling them, it always lead to “Oh, Computer Science? Can you take a look at my computer, it’s having problems doing [fill in the blank]”. It’s hard to say “no” to Asian moms. Thankfully, most of these were quick and easy. Some involved borrowing the computer for a week to get it done.
The same thing happened when I was talking with my barber as I got my haircut, when I visited my piano teacher one Christmas and when I was having a friendly conversation with a security guard. It was all so random, but it all happened. I was able to fix it.
During my time at Flavorus, the other programmers and I were asked every now and then to troubleshoot computer issues. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, we just happened to be the only “computer” people in the office and we lacked an IT guy. Plus, it was nice to get away from the computer for a little bit and walk over. I’ve begun to appreciate the IT department at my new job.
Anyway, I studied the science of computers, and not how to fix them. Which is why I can get a little offended when people think that’s what I do for a living.