As the title specifies, I recently finished my first year of the BEng degree in Software Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark, and boy has that been a wonderful, yet craving ride. I have experienced a lot more than I had anticipated at first. I felt like sharing some of my first hand experiences and thoughts regarding the degree and the work I’ve been involved in during this year, so here goes!
The Technical University of Denmark, DTU has been nothing but a pleasure so far.
Now, before I started on this degree, I had already been at the university before, since I had been taking prerequisite physics and mathematics courses located at some of the university’s smaller buildings. I was very satisfied with taking these prerequisite courses there, the teachers were great at teaching and the curriculum was interesting and well prepared. So to say, I entered the university with high hopes.
The impression I got from the school when I first started was that they really take care of their students. By this I especially mean building and space wise. The university has a huge main campus with a bunch of buildings. The buildings are exceptional, with their interior and furniture being on point, especially the library in the main building.
There’s a lot of places to sit and talk, to study, to relax and to read if one would need that. There’s places where one can sit down at some sort of “mini office”, which is some isolated space with a desk, where you’d be able to study without feeling too close to anyone else, if that’s preferable. Some of the buildings are not as modern as others, which make sense since there are many ongoing renovations right now, but the ones that have been renovated already are seriously great and there’s most likely more to come I believe.
So yeah, I really like the infrastructure of the university, pretty much nothing negative to say about that, aslong as the ongoing improvements are continued. I have not been involved with anything administrative, so I can’t put my word on that, but what I hear is that the support and help desks are great as well.
The Bachelor in Engineering, Software Engineering program that I am currently enrolled in has been a great experience so far, albeit with a few hiccups. One of the most important things to know about this specific program, is the fact that it is very hands-on based. This means that the theory that is taught in the lectures, are almost, if not always used in a software related project during the very same semester.
Personally, that was a very attractive trait to me, and one of the main reasons why I ended up applying for this specific program. To give some concrete examples, the first semester project was a fully functional monopoly-like game, which was implemented in Java using a in-house made API for the GUI.
This project involved all the concepts and practices that was taught in the Introductory Programming course in the first semester as well. I believe that this is a very big plus for when one has to learn programming and how to apply the various concepts that are taught in a course. This has a downside however, because the time used on these projects is time that could be spent on learning more advanced theory of software engineering and computer science in general, but I believe that the trade off in this specific program is very well balanced.
Other than a Introductory Programming course in Java, there was also a course in Discrete Mathematics, Calculus And Algebra 1, Development Methods for IT-Systems as well as Version Control and Test Methods courses in the first semester.
The first year consists of two semesters, and the second semester was very similar to the first one, in terms of group projects and work. This semester was more focused on web technologies and web programming in general, which was a very nice experience as well. Two other courses in this semester involved low level networking and programming, as well as a course in data communication. These courses were extremely interesting to me, especially since most of their curriculum was taught using Linux. However, one unfortunate thing was both of these courses had a terrible structure, which essentially led to a lot of confusion and difficulties during the assigned projects.
The most difficult course of the second semester must have been Algorithms and Data Structures. It was a very hands-on course, which is to be expected of this degree, but it was still very challenging and I feel like I’ve learned a lot from it. I’m considering taking a graduate course in Algorithms and Data Structures as elective, since this course was very well structured and planned out.
As a conclusion of my first year, I would say that I have learned a ton that I can put to practice already, which is an amazing feeling. The program so far has been a great experience, albeit with a few structural problems in some of the courses, but despite that I am looking forward to starting my second year after the summer is over.
This sums up the general experience of my first year at university. It hasn’t been without flaws, I believe that is to be expected. I hope that at least one person will find this post useful in one way or the other, perhaps someone who is considering the same program. If so, I would not hesitate at all.
Thank you for reading.