I Hate Coding, but I'm Still Going to Learn How

I Hate Coding, but I'm Still Going to Learn How
Photo by Ferenc Almasi / Unsplash

A Half-Baked Engineer

I am an engineer.

At least, that's what my university is trying to tell me now that I'm reaching the end of my degree. What even is an engineer? A problem-solver? A critical thinker?

Sure, I guess I can call myself those things, but I still feel unqualified. An engineer needs all sorts of skills, but I can't say that I'm great at any of them. I've dabbled in 3D modeling, but I'm far from proficient. I've done a lot of math...mostly using tables and calculators. I can recite a lot of engineering principles, but just don't ask me to go in-depth.

All of my peers seem to have their own unique skillset, but I don't seem to have my own niche. However, there is one thing that no one seems to be very good at. Programming.

Everyone in my year has a strong disdain for programming, and I'm not any different. Our only exposure to programming was an introductory course that we all took in our first year. We were stuck following a cheap online course that had little to do with the project that our professor wanted us to turn in at the end of the semester. We would have weekly assignments to build on our code, but most of our code did not work. Weeks went by, and we had an absolute mess of random Python syntax in the IDE.

After that, everyone avoided programming like the plague. Another required class for our degree was a numerical analysis course. This class wasn't horrible, but they did require us to use programming to solve problems. Unfortunately, they went along with the idea that we were very proficient programmers despite our objections. This class only made us despise programming even more.

Flash forward to the present where I am currently taking a vibrations and controls course. My professor uses MATLAB to model the systems that he shows in class. While it isn't a major portion of the class, seeing this practical application of code made me realize that programming has its uses. By simply changing one parameter in the program, our professor was able to transform the graphs into something brand new. It blew my mind that he was able to create a visual for us so easily in the middle of lecture.

Obviously, programming is essential to so many applications and technology that we take for granted. However, as a mechanical engineer that managed to get by without any code, I never saw a reason to take another shot at it until now. A picture is worth a thousand words, and this professor was able to show me the value of programming by providing a real example of its utility.

What Language Do I Choose?

This was a simple choice for me. I had dabbled in Python before and even watched some tutorials, but I just couldn't get myself invested in it. If Python was too much for me, I wasn't gonna bother with C++ or Java. Rather, if watching someone use MATLAB is what got me interested in programming, I might as well learn MATLAB.

MatLab and Azure: A Match Made in Performance Heaven

I had heard from many different people that MATLAB was useless. They said that other languages could do the same thing much more easily, but I'm not doing this to get a job in software development. I'm going to learn this language because it's something I want to do, and let me just say, there is very little that I have ever wanted to do throughout this degree. I want to develop different skillsets as an engineer, and my first mission is to conquer coding. If I can overcome this, I know that I can learn anything.


If I want to stick to this, I need to hold myself accountable. I'm going to post updates detailing my progress as I learn MATLAB. I want to use this platform to show others that it's never too late to learn something new.

Why now?

I want to become a better engineer. I've been feeling like I'm behind in my education ever since I returned to in-person school after the Covid Times. I put the blame on everything but myself, and now I want to make that right by learning all the skills that I neglected. If all goes as planned, I will master my first programming language and move on to learning other important skills, all documented hear of course!

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