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What tips would you have for incoming Computer Science freshman?

spencerpauly profile image Spencer Pauly ・1 min read

I’m writing an article on the subject and I think I have a couple good tip but I want to get your pro tips aswell.

What’s things you wish you knew going in to a CS degree or college in general?

What’s something you had a misconception about?

What would you do differently if you could?

Discussion

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loujaybee profile image
Lou — Cloud Engineer

A couple things off the top of my head...

  1. Start to put everything into a practical context. Take ideas you learn and try to fit them into practical contexts, it'll help with the job search later.
  2. Don't underestimate the things you might need later. I shrugged off UNIX commands in my degree thinking I'd never use it. I use it every day.
  3. Think early about tailoring your skillset to a specific job role, just having a CS degree is not enough, you must be employable. Read job descriptions early and figure out what role you'd wanna do.
  4. Don't be afraid of programming. It's the same as learning to drive, I'm very confident pretty much anyone can do it given time.

I'll let you know if I think of more...

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spencerpauly profile image
Spencer Pauly Author

These are great I especially love the comment on Unix. When I first started we learned emacs and vim commands and I was just like “wow I’m never gonna plug into a mainframe and need to use an editor like this”, but I use vim all the time even if it’s just to edit docker files and whatnot. Definately worth it to learn the terminal.

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loujaybee profile image
Lou — Cloud Engineer

Yeah, I'll add it to the list of "times that I questioned things that I really should not have".

That can sit right on the shelf right next to...

"ALGEBRA?! When am I ever going to need that!?"

🤦‍♂️ My job is now quite literally, algebra.

Bravo, Lou.

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elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks

I knew what I was getting into 21 years ago. I do not know if it has changed much. But...

Most of the things you'll learn are not practical, but they are not wrong. Most of the things you'll learn are old, but they are not outdated.

CS is a young field, it's not even 100 years old. But a lot of "modern" things have a really long history. Take for example Object Oriented Programming. That didn't start in the mid 1980s. It started in 1950s. It took 40 years before the concept was worked out enough to become properly usable (in the 1990s).

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Spencer Pauly Author

I finished writing this post. Read it here: medium.com/@spencerpauly/10-pro-ti...