Computer Science Is One For The Rich

Surprised, aren’t you? Before I start, I want to make something clear, I am not one of the typical rich; I do not spend my summers in the sun or have a multi-million something of inheritance. I am just one of the “averages”, whatever that is. However, this “revelation”, if I may put it that way, occurred to me a while ago.

Two months ago, I decided to attend the Egyptian Engineering Day (EED), an annual event hosted by IEEE Gold Egypt, an affiliate with the famous IEEE organization. Usually, I never attend any events or conferences held by Egyptian organizations; most of the times sessions are nothing but too much gibberish that ends up with you losing all interest and ultimately fall asleep or sneak out of the hall to get your fourth cup of coffee of the day. This time though, I willingly broke my rule because I learned that besides the typical sessions, EED is an expo for graduation projects related to engineering from all universities across Egypt, including software engineering. Also, about five or six student groups from our faculty were among the participants, so I thought that some support as well as some inspiration would not hurt.

As our faculty is small and does not produce many projects- about 20 a year- I was familiar with the demonstrated projects. After wandering about the projects expo, focusing on software-engineering related projects, I was surprised to see that almost all the projects demonstrated by universities located in Cairo, specially universities such as AUC (American University in Cairo) and GUC (German University in Cairo), massively outclassed our university projects both technically and in size, even their ideas were exceptionally superior. I was confident that this was not because they received better education. The Faculty of Computers and Information at Menoufia University is known to be the best and most difficult computer science educational organization in Egypt, so why our projects did not live up to those of Cairo universities?

The only reason, ladies and gentlemen, is, as always it is with almost everything in our life, money. Before you start objecting, consider these two models; both are computer science seniors, both have basically learned the same things, however, person A is living the life of luxury in the community of the elites in Egypt, with rich parents who make all his/her wishes come true and absolutely nothing to worry about- other than probably worrying that daddy may not approve of renewing the car he bought for him/her last year as it became “old” this year- while person B lives basically in the slums, with his father working more than 12 hours a day so his family can just get by. In those two, who would be able come up with an “exceptionally superior” project idea that raises eyebrows and be able to follow it through? The answer my friends, is person A; the rich, who has all his/her mental capacities focused on one thing and one thing only:  studies, not to mention the ability to become an ingenious, creative producer.  All that because life is so easy that there is simply nothing to worry about.

I am not degrading the poor nor do I have a grudge against the rich, and I am definitely not trying to send a message to my colleagues to boycott EED. I myself would do my best to participate in it next year. I am merely sharing a piece of my mind. I could be wrong, but until someone proves me wrong, I am convinced that, at least in Egypt, our field of computer science has been, and will always be, dominated by the rich.

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3 Responses to Computer Science Is One For The Rich

  1. Usama Fath says:

    Hello Ahmed,

    Congratulation for the new blog, I’ve the honor to be the first after you to write on your baby blog.

    And because i want to sleep now, I’ll just spell my opnion directly, i can’t deny that money is important , very important. but it is not the uniqe and ultimate reasone for success, and doesn’t always have the priority #1. It’s the IDEA Ahmed, and your way of thinking that make things different. And you know something what you’ve explined is more Environment than money.

    Well I’m glad that you shared us some of your mind, keep it up ;)

  2. Hey Ahmed,

    Wow ! I’m not very impressed as I know your writing style.
    Anyway you, as always, you rock :)

    About the post, I’ll give my vote to Usama. Let’s think in the whole thing.
    We are talking about Software, man. Money is not the only concern here. It depends, on my opinion, on the culture, environment, and chances. At Cairo, It’s open market and it’s more much easier to find the business providers, market leaders, sponsors.

    I know the exceptionally superior projects need some money, may be lots of, to success. But the idea is the hero here. If the project didn’t completed for any reason, The idea will save the day. Believe me it is the common scenario especially at graduation projects as it always not completed ;).

    Congrats bro again for the blog, I hope to keep going and never give up.

    Yours,
    Mr Big Fan :X

  3. aelsadek says:

    Gentlemen,

    You are not far from my point here. More money equals a better social status, a finer community, and ultimately, a better working environment, leading to an advanced way of thinking, and so, the brilliant ideas follow.

    Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate them.

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