I had a great time at uni. I spent 4 years working my ass off trying to do as well as I could in my sometimes-impossibly-hard Comp Sci and Maths courses. Sure, I also met a lot of fun people, did a lot of fun stuff, held down a part-time Comp Sci tutor job and all that other stuff, but I studied really hard too. Most of my papers had weekly assignments hard enough to make most people want to quit and a lot of my papers weren’t worth many credits. I don’t know, sometimes it felt like my courses were harder and more work than some of my other fellow students.
Great, but was it relevant?
After being a Software Engineer in several different roles in the IT industry for 8 years now, I have come to the conclusion that I’ve never used (and probably never will) most of what I learnt at University. Academia is like that – you learn crazy hard stuff for the sake of learning. I’m not complaining though – I really enjoyed all the theory I learnt, I’m just not sure how useful / relevant it is in today’s typical software development roles.
Anyway, I’ve still got a few of my assignments from one of the hardest papers I did – COMP473 – Formal Aspects of Concurrent Systems. I’m not even sure they’re still running this paper at Victoria University of Wellington anymore, but here they are. I seriously haven’t done anything like this in any of my roles in the last 8 years:
- COMP473 – Assignment 1
- COMP473 – Assignment 2
- COMP473 – Assignment 3
- COMP473 – Assignment 4
- COMP473 – Assignment 5
- COMP473 – Assignment 6
- COMP473 – Assignment 7
Sadly, nowadays, I’m not sure I understand a word of what my answers actually meant! I can’t help but think that I’m getting dumber… but then I realize that most of the work I do these days isn’t rocket science and I’m just out of practice at solving complex problems. Perhaps I should take a new University course?