Watch Hollywood movies with a Bangladeshi CSE student
Made-up statistics on the world's most trustworthy site, Facebook, show that 60 percent of CSE students face a common request from their friends: "Can you please hack a Facebook account for me?"
While in the real world a computer engineer would struggle to decide which code to steal from GitHub, Hollywood plays a crucial role in raising unreal expectations from CSE students.
How would a real-life computer engineer deal with Hollywood movie scenarios?
To begin with, an actual computer engineer wouldn't even respond to Morpheus' invite or follow the white rabbit. Neo's job in the Matrix is pretty stable.
In a country where there are more computer engineers than computers, a 9 to 5 job at a leading software development firm is damn lucrative. Is the red/blue pill thing even a choice? At least in the Matrix, I'm stuck at an underpaid, dead-end job.
Moreover, being a programmer outside the Matrix is pretty tough. I ransacked stack overflow and couldn't find a single code on how to break into the Matrix or simulate cool ammunitions in it. It might come off as a surprise but coding isn't technically GTA Vice City where you type "NUTTERTOOLS" and get unlimited ammo.
Skyfall (Or any James Bond 007 film)
Imagine getting employed by a Bond villain after graduation and getting transferred to a creepy, isolated island. You'd have to spend your hours trying to break into one of the world's most highly secure secret agencies and steal their encrypted data.
Furthermore, universities in Bangladesh don't include "How to encrypt your boss' evil plan to end the world and make it look like a cool holograph" course. However, if you can encrypt the plan after 10 years of hard work, a smug-faced spy would almost always decrypt it without any prior knowledge in programming.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Pardon me, but I seem to have missed the course where they teach how to press random buttons to break into Russia's most sophisticated prison to get Tom Cruise out in style. Although, if you press "Enter" very hard in the end, it doesn't matter whatever gibberish you type beforehand. The guy pressed "Enter", he must be doing something right.
In every movie, the IMF ends up getting disavowed. The employers make it very clear that if someone is compromised, they wouldn't take any responsibility. The private sector lacks job security, but spending your life in a gulag for getting a code wrong isn't a price worth paying. All of this for some mere 25,000 bucks a month and yet they won't take anyone below CGPA 3.8! Classic corporate extortion.
In every movie, they end up saving the world at the very last second. In the real world, though, as pressing random buttons isn't an option, a more flexible deadline would be helpful. A reasonable villain should understand the struggles of hacking and consider pressing the doomsday button once I'm done asking my topper friend how to break into the firewall of the world's most high-tech nuclear plant.
Remind Ifti to be quieter at firstname.lastname@example.org