Technology has always been something very special to me. As a kid, I used to play video games for hours on end and, even now, I still do (when I can find the time). There’s a pivotal difference now, though. After learning more about computing, the hardware, and the software, I understand how much happens behind the scenes to let all this happen. The mechanisms of a button press and the dimming of the screen right before the credits roll when the video game adventure is complete aren’t entirely abstract concepts to me anymore manipulated by video game magic. Now, they are things that I can manipulate myself.
Taking this class has really changed my very separate understanding of software and hardware. They are no long as concepts in realms of their own, but now I understand how they come together to form systems that are fun to use. When I recreated one of my favourite games using a breadboard, potentiometer and Processing, the rush I felt was unreal and I finally really understood how someone could feel passion about something labelled as “work” and an “assignment”. I felt that moment of clarity when everything you suspected finally comes together — the stuff I was studying now could be something I enjoyed doing for the rest of my life. So, for me, computing isn’t just building an algorithm or doing up some hardware or software. It’s my present, wrapped up in some childhood nostalgia and hope for the future.