My Biggest Challenge at USYD

This blog is about one of my biggest challenges I have faced during my Computer Science degree.

While 2017 was quite a highlight in my life as I had recently joined university. Some experiences I had during this time when I first joined was gaining exposure to a wide range of new different clubs and societies, participating in many hackathons to broaden my horizons, and networking with others.

In comparison this first half of 2018 could not be more hectic and intense.

This semester has been quite challenging to me especially because of one subject in particular, the notorious COMP2017.

I was warned about COMP2017 at USYD from my peers, they weren’t wrong.

The description below is what COMP2017 is all about:
In this unit of study, elementary methods for developing robust, efficient, and re-usable software will be covered. The unit is taught in C, in a Unix environment. Specific coding topics include memory management, the pragmatic aspects of implementing data structures such as lists and hash tables and managing concurrent threads. Debugging tools and techniques are discussed and common programming errors are considered along with defensive programming techniques to avoid such errors. Emphasis is placed on using common Unix tools to manage aspects of the software construction process, such as version control and regression testing. The subject is taught from a practical viewpoint and it includes a considerable amount of programming practice[1].

The real challenge is not just C programming language itself where memory allocation must be conducted efficiently unless you want to be faced with endless memory errors, but each weekly task takes around 10 hours to complete. We have others who did the course previously talk about similar challenges here

Do you even C?

It is one of the most technical and challenging units in all of USYD, with a pass rate of only 50%. It can truly make or break a person, and determine whether they will become Computer Scientists or not.

On a positive note, my current cohort has been one of the best I’ve worked with, especially as we are always posting questions on the official USYD course group on Edstem. Some of us have even made memes throughout the course, and that has made the journey highly enjoyable in this pickle situation. I couldn’t thank the tutors and lecturers of this course enough, as they have made such a positive impact in our learning because they are always on the forums and answering a lot of the questions.

On this note, I’ll conclude this blog post with one of the most relatable memes uploaded by someone in the cohort after the finals.

Perfectly Balanced As All Things Should Be.