cs major

This is a discussion on cs major within the C++ Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; i'm a cs major and kinda scared of what i might get into. so i'm wondering at what age did ...

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    cs major

    i'm a cs major and kinda scared of what i might get into. so i'm wondering at what age did most of u get into programming. i'm just starting to learn it and i'm in my first year(about to take the course). what would u recommend a cs major/maybe minor like me do? what skills should i possessed?

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    Well ... I'm studying electrical engineering, so I don't know if I can be of any help to your request on advice about a major/minor to concentrate on, but regardless of what course you're doing, most people are 'kinda scared' of what they may be getting into. Not a whole bunch of people know what they want to do, even after they finish their degree ...

    >> so i'm wondering at what age did most of u get into programming
    We did some pascal in secondary school when I was .... 16 I think. I didn't learn anything, and the only thing I can remember is println, or readln or something. More recently, I started C programming in first year, 18, and C++ in second year, 19, in university, and HTML/PHP/JS/CSS ('programming'), about a week ago, so 20.

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    lol thank. yea everyeon is scared of something new but i just wanna know a few things first. but then i've always tell my friends that they should just try something new(maybe hard), work hard in it, and sooner or later they will do good. guess i'm not following my own advice lol. hopefully my teacher is understanding and a good and not too easy.

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    System Novice siavoshkc's Avatar
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    I started with QBASIC when I was 15, I learned it from my uncle. Two years later I started C++. Now I am 19. I didn't study C++ for one year. So we can say I am studying C++ for 3 years.
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    pronounced 'fib' FillYourBrain's Avatar
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    I have a computer science degree from the university of central florida. If its like my school, you will have a lot of theory to dig through. Much of it will seem not to apply (and in reality won't be used by most), but it gives you a strong basis for the field. There is also minimal hardware/circuit coursework. You have to love it. That's the biggest requirement. I have seen plenty of people get the degree and then move on to careers in other areas because they couldn't handle programming. Lord knows how they got the degree.
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    Well... I don't have a CS degree, and I never did programming before college. (But, I'm an old dude... You had to go to college to get your hands on a computer in ancient times!)

    You really should not have to know ANY programming before jumping into a CS program. I was surprised to find this was true in electronics too. I had been playing around with circuits for many years, and I had taken electronics in high school. But, many of the freshmen enrolled with me didn't have a clue! It's far more important that you have a strong math background (and ability), are reasonably intelligent, have good study habits, etc. Like FillYourBrain said, you are going to be learning lots of theory. You are not going to college to become a C++ expert.

    As far as I know, actual programming knowledge is not an admission requirement for most university CS programs. It might be recommended.... In fact I would recommend it. You are going to enjoy your studies much more, if you have a jump-start, and can relate to the theory... especially if you enjoy programming as a hobby.

    Your first semester/year at a university can be a shock... especially if you attended a public American high school. The workload is much higher, expectations are higher, and you are largely on your own. Also, the introductory classes (in any subject) are often the hardest! With an intro class, you have to learn all of the terminology and concepts. So, sometimes it's surprising when you struggle through an intro class... you're really worried about the intermediate or advanced class... but half-way through the advanced class you realize, "Hey, this is easy"!

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    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >what skills should i possessed?
    A brain and a desire to learn should be all you need.
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    I'm right there with ya buddy. I'm about to take my first CS class in about a month (I only had very little HTML in 8th grade). But I did mess around with QBasic in 6th or 7th grade and I've been doing online tutorials ever since. I am CS major and here at UAH I have to have a math minor, so I figure math is pretty important, but you can learn math. I very much agree with Prelude!!!

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I started programming at the age of 3 months when I first perceived there was *this and there was *that. Before that I had only experience with BASIC stuff.

    I quickly evolved to 3d programming and specialized in light sources. I hear that the shiny and more colorful the more I liked.

    These days I i'm not as good as before. I lost interest in trees, I don't hash toys anymore. I'm trying to learn C++ at the age of 36 to try and keep whatever is left of my childhood.
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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    >> ... but you can learn math ...

    From experience (We do a LOT of HARD maths in my degree), the only way to learn that is to practise! Especially in College/University!

  11. #11
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    Well I didn't mean it was going to be easy, and anyone (even a genius) will have to work hard to learn it. But it IS possible, and I look forward to the challenge!

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    The Richness... Richie T's Avatar
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    >>but you can learn math

    Be careful saying that - it takes a special type of brain to be able to become
    proficient in maths. My sister couldn't solve a quadratic equation to save her
    life, and here I am studying to be an engineer!!! There are some, who by design
    (to be crude but accurate), would never be able to grasp maths at
    any "advanced" level - it's like teaching a brick wall to jump rope - the wall will
    never be able to do it because it has no business to do so!

    Basically though, anyone thinking of doing a course with a math focus generally
    can do it. Yes everyone has to put some amount of work in to become good
    with maths, but if you are a reasonable person and think you can do it, you
    usually can. If you're not the math type, you will run when you see that word
    come up! It's just the way it is.

    >>what skills should i possessed?

    Well if CS is anything like engineering, and I speculate that there are more than
    a few commonalities, report writing may be a common task - work on your
    spelling!!!

    But seriously, to study a "technical" skill or career, good analytical skills are what
    you should have. And like all skills, there is always room for improvement, you
    can always work to improve your analytical mind. The ability to look at problems
    from different perspectives is golden.
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    Registered User Tonto's Avatar
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    Can I ask some more questions without hijacking this thread? I feel like the orginal question is a little played out now. Okay, at Cal Poly, I heard this CS major touting the fact that their computer science program was in the engineering department, and not in the arts and sciences department like most colleges. I don't know how to investigate, but is there any reason why this is good?

    Also, I am thinking about pursuing a career with computers and programming, and I am wondering if I should really just default to a 4 year major in computer science. Is it okay to sort of default to this major if I am going to apply to a college where I need to declare a major upon entering?

    I am trying to look at other options, such as information sciences, and software engineering, to either pursue as an alternative or to tack on as a minor. I am having a hard time finding information about what these courses really offer me, how difficult it is to switch majors, what industry is looking for, etc. Does anyone have any information or sources about these alternative pursuits?

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