Best advice for CS student?

This is a discussion on Best advice for CS student? within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; So in a week or so I will be starting my first classes as a CS major. Now the first ...

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    Registered User valaris's Avatar
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    Best advice for CS student?

    So in a week or so I will be starting my first classes as a CS major. Now the first few classes look like I will be able to sleep through, however I was wondering, as it seems there are many intelligent CS's here, what your advice would be for starting the program?

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    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Believe it or not, I followed Joel Spolsky's Advice for Computer Science College Students, except for the internship part, which I have yet to do.
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    Registered User valaris's Avatar
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    Thats the exact same thing I have been following including the internship part...I just dont know how well im following the part about learning C because I only get to use c# and c++ at work. I only get opportunities to really use C at home At least so far...

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    As I have said many times, languages are less important than ability to program. MOST employers also understand this. Whether C is an important or not so important part of your career depends very much on what type of programming you are aiming to do. C is more common in embedded systems, kernel/driver code, whilst C++ and C# are more common in large application development.

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    Cat without Hat CornedBee's Avatar
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    Joel recommends C mostly as a way of understanding low-level computer concepts, if I remember correctly. He is of the opinion that all programmers should have a basic understanding of these principles - for example, that a string is not an atomic entity and that operations on it often take time proportional to its length.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornedBee View Post
    Joel recommends C mostly as a way of understanding low-level computer concepts, if I remember correctly. He is of the opinion that all programmers should have a basic understanding of these principles - for example, that a string is not an atomic entity and that operations on it often take time proportional to its length.
    Yes, I agree that for MANY types of programming, understanding more about the system will help [although sometimes knowing more just makes it harder, because you start thinking about things that aren't really a problem]. But I wish some of my colleagues knew more about low-level programming and such - many of them do know a lot, but some don't, and it's annoying when you have to explain the simplest concepts.

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    Registered User Kernel Sanders's Avatar
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    As a CS minor I took a class Intro to Computer Systems last semester, which revolved around C and breaking through the abstractions it provides. As somebody who is still learning, I can tell you that I understand other languages such as Java much better because I learned what's going on behind the curtain through C

    I don't care how much you know about continuations and closures and exception handling: if you can't explain why while (*s++ = *t++); copies a string, or if that isn't the most natural thing in the world to you, well, you're programming based on superstition, as far as I'm concerned: a medical doctor who doesn't know basic anatomy, passing out prescriptions based on what the pharma sales babe said would work.
    This hits the nail on the head in my case. Before ICS a lot of CS was hand waving and superstition to me. Not so much anymore, and I don't think I could have gotten to this point except by using C as a model and a guide

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    Do better in school than I did ;b
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