My path towards engineering excellence

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Brandt Damman
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Around the age of twelve–in Ames, Iowa–I sat with my father to see what work he brought home. At the time he was working on fixing a software tool. Strange words and colors were displayed all over the screen and despite a fear of the unknown, his code seemed fascinating with its logic and pragmatic design choices. This began my journey of investigating software engineering.

First Impressions

Fumbling about with coding tutorials and assistance from my father, I toiled through understanding computer logic while making games to occupy the time. I was also a 4-H program member during this time. Through static exhibits–projects to present and have judged–I was able to present my computer programs and other technology-based items to see if this is truly something worth exploring. The feedback given to me propelled me forward to expand and learn more about engineering.

Changing My Ways

Around the age of seventeen, I was asked to help at my grandparents’ farm in Sanborn, Iowa. Not having a busy schedule that year, I traveled up north. While at the farm, I finally came to the realization of the work it took to farm. My grandfather pointed out to me that the work put into the crops was paying off with being able to pay bills and aiding our neighbors. Returning home, I decided to change my entire routine and do something more productive. Unfortunately, little happened until fall that year, which was when I began my first college classes while still in high school. While it was terrifying–considering I was transitioning from being homeschooled to attending college–it was an incredibly beneficial experience that allowed me to begin understanding more advanced studies and work hands-on with new people at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC).

A shove forward