WHAT ENGINEERING HAS TAUGHT ME
By Sourabh Magdum
Bold start and emphatic end maybe that’s how story trends. Mine got a decent start and took some interesting turns that I even now look back and rejoice. Being one common person but a believer with unceasing aspirations, unstoppable will, and seamless inspirations that pumped my way through the entire abyss. So my Engineering journey begins when I started preparing for the IIT exams aiming high and with a hope to become the first Engineer in my family.
After two years of studying for IIT exams and completing my 12th standard, I got into IIT Hyderabad at the age of 18 in 2018 and decided to pursue the CSE branch. Since the first day of college, I have gained many life lessons and experiences. Let me share with you some of the most memorable lessons I have learned so far in my 2 years of college.
The Art of thinking
Before getting into Engineering, a thought that strikes me the most was, why my teachers are teaching me ‘what to think’? Rather they should be teaching me, ‘how to think’ so that I can have more independent and creative based thoughts. Steve Jobs said that programming/engineering teaches you how to think and it’s true. Engineering is composed of asking questions, creating solutions, trying and failing but trying again to reach a kind of orderly beauty in your implementations. This process along the way reformed my way of thinking about objects, functions, expressions, etc.
Being a student of CSE we are taught Computational thinking in which we are told to break down an immense looking problem into smaller pieces so that we can tackle it step-by-step and come to a conclusion. This is one of the most important thinking skills I have learned and thanks to my college and professors. I think Computational thinking is very important in every student’s life.
Everything has its place: Seeing order in chaos
This approach of CSE in real life is also one of the best things I have ever experienced. In CSE, there’s a sense of order. Everything has its place from variables, data structures to functions, etc. When you begin a project, you can imagine all your raw materials piled up in the corner. Then you pick up these small pieces, through designing, building, and testing and you create a structure. The logic is always present in the chaos in some way. The beauty is seeing that order in chaos.
I always try to apply this theory in real life. Whenever there’s a kind of chaos in my mind when all my thought is together. I just try to remind myself that I have to order these thoughts until the order is elegant coz I know once the order is elegant I will marvel at the beauty. (I gave example about coding coz I can relate to it and I learned that in major of my engineering course, a student from other branches can relate the coding with something else but the moral remains the same. At the end we are all Engineers, our job is to arrange everything in a manner)
Every problem comes with a solution, it’s just the process of solving problems that matter
CSE, my engineering firm is full of programming and programming is inherently problem-solving. My professor always tells me, every problem comes with a solution it’s just the process of solving problems that matter. On the first day of my coding lesson, my professor, mentioned the process to approach a coding problem. The process is as follows,
1.Read and understand the problem, you can’t solve a problem you don’t understand
2.Work throughout the problem manually with sets of sample data
3.Simplify and optimize your steps
5.Get feedback from your friends, professors, teammates, other developers, etc.
6.Practice, practice, practice…
After using this process for solving my coding problems, I started applying it to my problems encountered in life and it worked! That’s the magic of coding. It developed my problem-solving skills and the way to approach a problem not only in coding but also in my personal life.
Leadership and Communication Skills
People think Engineering is just technical and relies on clear and accurate communications which are not true at all. Sometimes as engineering students we need to communicate with people who don’t have a technical background. At that moment we must translate our knowledge into simple forms that everyone can understand. I realized this and starting developing my communication skills. The process of development was slow but I have developed a lot now.
Leadership is another quality that I learned as I progressed in my engineering career. While managing different projects at college, I learned how to analyze the tasks, organize teams, and coordinate many difficult processes.
Importance of Entrepreneurship:
Coming from a normal family and a suburban region I never knew the meaning of Entrepreneurship. But with the help of my college and attending various seminars about Entrepreneurship, Now I understand the real meaning and the need for Entrepreneurs in my suburban region. Whenever I visit my house during my college vacations I imagine myself using my knowledge to improve the standard of living of the people living in my town. I also wish to create wealth, innovation, and improved products which will ease the life of people living in my region, state, and country. My simple idea is to reform the way my people live and work and. Thanks to my college again.
Failure is okay
Some of you might not agree with this point. I believe every failure teaches us something as long as we try to figure out why we failed and do our best to prevent the reoccurrence. We all know as an inventor, Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Every unsuccessful attempt he made taught him something.
Don’t be Serious, be sincere
This quote was written at the entrance of my college hostel in a huge font. This small quote on my hostel wall defined my way of work ever since whether it’s my studies, my projects, my relationship, or any of my goals. If I take life so seriously then how will I live happily? How will I achieve my goals? How will I enjoy my present? How will I nurture my spark? And that’s what Engineering is about, feeling the things. Don’t beat yourself, up feel the things, and be sincere.
Celebrating Birthdays; a fearful yet entertaining experience
Birthdays celebrations at the engineering hostel are one of the most fearful at the same time entertaining experience I had in my life. It’s fearful for the birthday boy and is entertaining for his hostel mates. First, the Birthday boy is showered with eggs, ink, cough syrups, spoiled milk by his hostel mates. Then his back is slapped with 20-30 pairs of hands until it becomes red. The excitement level of everyone, except the birthday boy is very high on this occasion. Once this is finished the birthday boy is allowed to shower with water and then cut the cake. I wonder what would happen if my parents will see my birthday being celebrated in this manner? To this date I didn’t understand one thing for sure, is there’s a feeling of affection or hate behind this way of solving birthdays?
The truth is, there aren’t just these lessons I learned from my engineering so far- there are many more. Engineering has not only transformed my educational capabilities but also trained my mind and body. I feel so privileged to express myself on this wonderful topic. There’s a lot more to be learned until I graduate and I wish that @EngineersConnect will give me another opportunity to express myself like this time, so I can complete writing my new experiences and lessons. Until then Goodbye.
By Sourabh Magdum