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Noah Overcash
Rock Hill, SC
September 2018

Computer Science: The Profession of Eternal Students - Varsity Tutors Scholarship Essay

Computer science. Some think that the field is learnable online in just a few weeks. Some think that it takes years in university. However, the truth is that you can never truly learn computer science. As soon as one thinks that they have learned all there is to know, there is a new development. A new programming theory. A new language. A new analysis technique. A new revolution. In computer science, there is always something new.
As such, it is impossible to truly know computer science. To enter into the field of computer science is not just to learn what is already known, but to commit yourself to a life of study and advancement.
There's a reason it's called software "development". Just like law and medicine, the practice is continuously evolving and is never truly perfect, or complete. Computer scientists never truly finish a program - they may be able to fulfill a current purpose - but there is always more that can be done. Optimizations which can be made. Bugs can be resolved. The work is never truly done.
The software that a developer makes is a living being, a living being that shifts with them, learns with them, adapts with them, and, most importantly, grows with them. As the computer scientist learns and grows, the software grows as well. And as software is developed, so is the developer. This cumulative and mutual growth is one of the most important driving forces in computer science.
And without this growth, a developer is stranded. Unless a developer is constantly learning and advancing, they will fall behind. Their work will become slow, buggy, unusable, and unable to keep up with the world's continuously accelerating pace. Skills of one era are doomed to become old, decrepit, and frowned upon, sometimes in as short a period as a few weeks. The technology of one era will soon become the flip-phones of the future.
To declare oneself as a computer scientist is not just to choose a career, but to choose a lifestyle - one of continuous learning, advancement, and development of oneself.
And that is precisely what I intend to do with my life: to commit myself to a lifestyle of learning and growth. I never want to stop learning and advancing myself - not in five years, not in ten years, not in twenty-five, not for the rest of my life.