Major: Computer Information Systems
When Matthew Vitt was young, he loved playing video games.
In fact, during sixth grade, he tried to learn game development in C++ because he wanted to make his own video game. However, his lack of programming experience made the task difficult.
“I can tell you that the endeavor was a complete failure,” he said. “That same year, I received a book on the Python programming language. I got much further along learning Python than I did with C++, but I still was not able to successfully make a game.”
His desire to learn programming faded until Vitt started college. He planned on pursuing a business degree due to the influence of several great business teachers he had in high school. But Vitt discovered a man on YouTube who was teaching people how to program in many of the different computer languages.
“The nice thing was that his videos were very short, only covered one topic at a time, and assumed all viewers were complete beginners,” he said. “I started following along and things began to click for me. Eventually, I was building small programs just to reinforce a lot of the concepts I learned. It was a very rewarding process.”
Vitt decided to switch majors and pursue a degree in Computer and Information Science while continuing to learn business.
“When I actually started computer science classes at College of DuPage, I was very impressed at how knowledgeable the teachers were,” he said. “One in particular, Carolyn England, really pushed me to go above and beyond and I encourage all computer science students to take her classes.”
In 2016, Vitt participated in the Argonne National Laboratory internship program. One of his main assignments was to assist with the development of informational web pages regarding the use of computer-based request systems. This was done using both HTML and CSS, and the experience helped Vitt to continue developing his programming skills.
He also helped create an application that allows Argonne employees to request the installation and updating of audio/video equipment in their buildings.
“Overall, it was a great learning experience and I encourage anyone who is interested in any form of science to apply at Argonne,” he said.
Having completed his Application and Technical Support Specialist Associate in Applied Science degree, Vitt entered COD’s 3+1 program with Lewis University and earned his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. After working at Floydware LLC, he is now at Adtalem Global Education, where he is in software development and enjoying it.
Vitt would like to own a business and is currently working with his brother and several friends to make that happen. He is glad that he selected College of DuPage, which helped him earn a solid education at an affordable cost.
“Knowledge is knowledge, and you can pay $10,000 a year for it or $40,000 a year. Either way, it’s still the same knowledge,” he said. “I did not want to be that person who is 40 years old and still paying off his student debt. I would rather use what I saved to buy a nice car or put a down payment on a house.
“Many of the professors at COD do a really great job at teaching their subject matters. I’ve looked at topics in different lights and realized things that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. And for students interested in programming, try it out before diving head-first into the Computer and Information Science program and then keep trying when concepts get difficult. You would be surprised how helpful repetition is in understanding a difficult topic. And if you can’t figure out a solution, take a break, sleep on it, play some video games or go do some cardio. This really does help when you are in a programming rut.”