Why I left Philipps-Universität Marburg (and enrolled at Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences)

I never wrote about why I left Marburg and enrolled at THM. I guess now is a good time as any to explain this decision.

Back when I finished school and gained my general qualification for university entrance I didn’t think I’d need to put much thought into where and what I would study. I already knew I would continue to pursue becoming a software developer. And as I just can’t afford to go living someplace else, I had to stay where I grew up. So why not stay in the city where I went to school?

Oh boy, was that a mistake…

Don’t get me wrong. The Philipps-University of Marburg is not a bad university. It is one of the oldest Universities dating back to 1500. It is well known for its medical and humanties faculties.

But I wanted to do real world compsci leading up to a job as Software Developer. And here is where it gets interesting.

The Philipps-University of Marburg is, as most Universities are, really oriented towards research. The subjects generally have small direct application. You get taught analytical skills over practical application.

I was really surprised that, in computer science, we barely spent any time with our computers. Some of the time we were just too busy scientifically declaring the language that is created by applying given Chomsky-Grammatics. And at other times we were busy memorizing analytical procedures to prove certain formulas or statements as true or disprove them as false.

A lot of these very theoretical and purely analytical approaches rapidly made me lose interest in computer science. I had colleagues that were in their third semester and could barely program. I found it harder and harder to write decent programs as I was not getting the practice I needed. At this point I decided something was wrong.

I had so much fun writing quirky programs to do automation for me, solve problems I encounter during my workflow or design clever software architectures. I didn’t want to completely lose my interest in this. I wanted to build on experience and practice instead of theories.

So, after I kept moaning about this for long enough, one fellow student suggested I take a look at a University of Applied Sciences.

So I visited their information & advice service point and talked about how switching over to this new university would work. It was important for me not to have to start over. And I wanted to be sure the learning experience would be more hands on and lead up to a career.
I was assured I could carry over some of my grades and continue my education instead of starting over.

After that it didn’t take long for me to swap over to the Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences. And I’m glad I did.

My grades rapidly improved and I am back to spending most of my time writing code and loving it. The things I learn now stick with me as I have practical applications for them.

This has easily been one of the best decisions of my life.

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