I finished a degree in computer science, but…I couldn’t develop anything

The Journey Begins

In December 2017, I proudly completed my computer science degree, but little did I know that the real journey was about to begin. The initial euphoria faded into the background as the months passed, and then a neighbor’s call changed everything, jolting me into a new reality.

Facing the challenge

Picture this: a small hospital owner, drowning in paperwork, reaches out to me, seeking a hospital management system. It was a wakeup call that sent shockwaves through my core. Where on Earth do I even start? What programming language should I wield as my creative weapon? Can I really pull this off, or should I sheepishly admit my lack of coding prowess?

Defeat was not an option for me. So, with unwavering determination, I replied, “kazi rahisi hiyo” (that’s an easy task). I promised to deliver the system in 30 days. You might be wondering, why didn’t I confess my ignorance? Well, I wasn’t about to let four years of computer science education go to waste.

The Countdown

Learning from Scratch

And so began the countdown – day one was history, leaving me with a mere 29 days to conjure, test, and deploy a software miracle, armed with nothing but determination. YouTube became my trusty companion, hours spent on a treasure hunt for tutorials that ranged from sublime to downright laughable.

Choosing the Right Tools

Queries like “How to save a name to a database,” “How to read and display data from a database,” “How to create a login page,” and “How to open a new form on the click of a button” filled my search history. Go ahead, laugh; I did too.

Selecting the right Integrated Development Environment (IDE) was the next puzzle to solve. Tutorials often featured different languages and schemas, so I finally settled on Visual Studio and opted for the C# language.

The Triumph

Delivering Imperfection

After devouring countless tutorials, some even transcribed in an entirely different script, the fog began to clear. I had a rough, yet functional CRUD software that could talk to the server. Progress, right?

Turning Professional

In 35 days, I triumphantly called the client, despite the software sporting over 50 bugs, starting with the login form itself. But I wore my pride like a badge. Now, it was time to dazzle the client. Hours of wandering through Google search led me to Bunifu UI kit for C#, transforming my software from a skeletal structure to a professional masterpiece. Needless to say, the client was thoroughly impressed.

The Transformation

From Insecurity to Confidence

The bugs decided to play nice on the day of handover, and I successfully trained the staff on the hospital management system. With my first-ever payment in hand, I was reinvigorated. The original version lacked security and was riddled with plagiarized code. Unsettled by this, I delved back into online tutorials and YouTube.

The University Shortfall

Within three months, I rebuilt the system from scratch, bidding farewell to the antiquated MS Access database in favor of the modern MySQL. I wasn’t ready for the world after my degree, but I was determined to catch up.

The root of the problem? Our university curriculum, which seemed content with teaching us just “hello world” in numerous programming languages. The real world demanded practical solutions to complex programming challenges, not mere introductory exercises. It was a harsh realization that university education barely scratched the surface of what it took to become a proficient programmer.


A Shared Struggle

In conclusion, I believe I’m not alone in this struggle. Many of my friends who graduated in 2017 share the same sentiment. We had to shed the baggage of university knowledge and embark on a journey to acquire truly marketable skills in the field of programming.

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