By John Sonmez January 4, 2018

Is Computer Science The Right Major For Me?

Developers face a lot of choices when they are looking to improve their careers.

There are a lot of options available, between majors, specializations, degrees, etc. One of them, of course, is computer science. Is computer science the best major for you? Watch this video and find out!

Transcript of The Video

John Sonmez: 

Hey, what's up? John Sonmez here from simpleprogrammer.com. I got a question about how do I know if CS, Computer Science, is the right major for me. This question comes from Jay who helped me pronounce his name by saying “J”. I think I got that one, Jay, and he says, “I'm a high school senior who is enrolled for CS with computer systems at a uni. I took AP Computer Science during my freshman year and thought it was fun and cool. However, I have been struggling a lot in programming recently and I am worried that I am not good enough for CS. I'm also struggling with calculus, BC, and AP Physics C. Is CS right for me? How do I know?”

He's got a little bit of additional info here. He said, “I just finished up my season of robotics club which I have participated in for the past 3 years. I have been struggling with writing autonomous code for my robot and my teammates tell me I shouldn’t go into CS.” What the? That's some good teammates. I'm telling you that. That was yeah. “Moreover, a teacher in 8th grade told me not to go into STEM because I have a social personality, and I am better suited for things like social work, education, et cetera, which, by the way, I would puke if I had to do as a career. I feel like I'm overloaded with information and stress and need guidance. Thanks a lot.”

All right. I'll try to give you some help here, Jay. I almost forgot your name and then I realized that it was just the letter J. I don’t know how to put this aside to say fuck them like fuck all of them, like don’t listen to any of them. Do what you want to do, bro. Do what you want to do like no one—they're not going to live your life, okay? They're not going to deal with the consequences of your life. Right? Don’t become a social worker because some stupid 8th grade teacher—I mean what is an 8th grade teacher? I don’t mean to like be offensive or to knock teachers. Teachers are great, but, honestly, like what is that person really doing with their life? This is a person that's going to give you the life advice? I mean you're bound for greater things than this, my friend. Okay? At least you should be. You should have this in your mindset. Don’t listen to them. You'll end up as an 8th grade teacher. Do you want to end up as an 8th grade teacher? I'm not saying—maybe that's your dream, that's fine. Some people, that's their dream, but I don’t think that's what you want. Right? You see what I'm saying?

Don't listen to them. Don’t listen to your teammates on your robotics team. Again, I'm not going to say that you shouldn’t apply yourself. You got to figure out what the problem is, but you got to do what you want to do in life because no one else is going to live your life for you. So what? What if the odds are stacked against you? Great. You know what odds I like? I like when the odds are stacked against me. You know why? Because that gives me the ability to fucking shine, to come through, to really, really pull out all the stops and to really go and expand myself. Right? I like it when people say, “Hey, you're being discriminated against.” I'm like, “Yeah. Good. I like it. Bring it on. Go ahead. Give me all you got and let me—I'll show you. I'll show you. You can't hold me down.” That's the attitude you got to have, okay?

So what? CS is hard for you, big deal. So what? You're not doing as well as the other people in the class. Then work harder, my friend. Work harder. I've got a video that will help you maybe. I did a motivational sort of trailer for this channel, which I think you would find some use but watch that video. Honestly, don’t let other people tell you what you're going to do with your life and whether you're good enough or not. Trust me. CS is bullshit, anyway. Okay? I'll tell you this as a software developer. Do you want to become a software developer? The CS classes yeah, it's good to have that information, but that is not—you're not going to use calculus, okay? I mean maybe you'll use some in a rare occasion. I'm not saying that—again, don’t misunderstand me.

If you're going to do something, do it to the best of your ability? Don’t fuck around. Do it to your best ability, but I'm telling you that the calculus and the physics, not going to matter. Who cares? It doesn’t matter like just do the best that you can. Apply yourself as best as possible. If you end up not doing great in it, big deal. You got to decide what you want to do with your life, what your dreams are, what you want to accomplish, and don’t let anyone stop you. Don't let anything stop you or hold you back from doing that.

I know it sounds a little cliché, but, honestly, like you're the one who's going to have to live your life at the end of the day. You're the one who's going to have to be happy with it, then all this bullshit—I'll actually recommend a good book for you by my buddy, MJ DeMarco. It's called Unscripted. It's his latest book. He also wrote a book called The Millionaire Fastlane, but I think Unscripted will probably be better for you. It's a really, really good book. I haven't done a review on it yet. I'm going to be—I'm just finishing it up, but it's a really good book and it talks about like the script the society has for you and how you believe all this stuff that people tell you about school and college and education, all this stuff. It's not true. In the real world, what matters is the value that you bring and you can bring that value if you are willing to go and work for it and you're willing to deliver it.

You've got to figure out what you want to do and don’t let anyone stop you or tell you that you're not—it's bullshit when people say that—it's great that you have a social personality. That's great, that's great. That doesn’t mean that you have to be a social worker. That means that you can be a superior software developer. I wrote a book on this called Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual. You could check out that book. The reason why I did that and the reason why I'm making this channel, and the reason why I'm doing these videos is because I want more software developers to develop the kind of social and soft skills. You've got an advantage there so yeah.

I wouldn’t worry about this at all. Like I said, it's not to get you off the hook, but don’t let yourself off the hook. Apply yourself. Do the best job that you can. At the end of the day, don’t let any of that discourage you. I mean you can overcome any challenge, any adversity, and you'll go stronger in the process. Even if it's two times or three time as hard for you. That means that you just work two times or three times harder than everyone else, but you can still achieve it. There's plenty of people that had disadvantages in life and disabilities and have been on an unfair playing field, and have overcome those to become superior and to surpass people that had advantages in life. What you start with is not what you end with, okay? Remember that. What you start with is not what you end with. What you build is what you end with. 90% of it is the work that you put into it and what you develop, not the natural talent, not natural abilities, it's what you put into it. What you start with is not what you end with.

All right, that's all I've got for you today. Thanks for the question. That's a good question and I wish you well. Let me know. Send me an email. Let me know how you're doing. I'm really curious about that if you're watching this video. If you have a question for me, you can email me at john@simpleprogrammer.com. Make sure you click the Subscribe button. Click the bell below so that you don't miss any videos. I'll talk to you next time. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."