Thread: Future Computer Science Student Question

  1. #1
    Registered User Black_Epiphany's Avatar
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    Sep 2011

    Smile Future Computer Science Student Question

    Greetings. Currently I am in High School and plan on going to college to study computer science. I already know a decent amount of HTML and tinkered with Python for a bit, and now I have started learning C and C++.

    Is there anything else I should learn or do to prepare?

  2. #2
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Oct 2003
    Tinker around with algorithms and data structures

    Having an understanding of searching (e.g., binary search) and sorting (e.g., merge sort and quick sort), as well as linked lists and binary search trees could give you a head start.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarne Stroustrup (2000-10-14)
    I get maybe two dozen requests for help with some sort of programming or design problem every day. Most have more sense than to send me hundreds of lines of code. If they do, I ask them to find the smallest example that exhibits the problem and send me that. Mostly, they then find the error themselves. "Finding the smallest program that demonstrates the error" is a powerful debugging tool.
    Look up a C++ Reference and learn How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Dec 2006
    Make fun programs. Something that interests you.

    A lot of problems only come up when you try to use a language to solve a real problem, not when you are just following tutorials.

  4. #4
    A Banana Yoshi's Avatar
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    Oct 2001
    Learn to use version control. Once you get to do larger group projects it is a life saver.

    As laser said, algorithms and data structures are probably the two things that applies to all things. The other stuff depends on what you want to do (AI, db, low level etc).

    Basic technical writing skills will come in handy too.

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    May 2011
    Around 8.3 light-minutes from the Sun
    Ok, since no one else has said it, I will. LEARN HOW TO PROGRAM. I do not care what language, what implementation year for said language, or on what platform. The most successfull programmers have a solid grasp on the concept of programming, that is how to solve a problem by breaking it down into a series of steps. This is what you should be practising and what Laser is really talking about.

    The specifics do not matter, once you learn how to program you can move from language to language and paradigm to paradigm (albeit that is slightly harder than languages of the same paradigm) with little effort. So, pick a language and start solving problems in it, data structures, sorting and sorting, Abstract data structures, making games, solving puzzles, ect. This is where you should spend your effort and time on.

    Some of the best programmers on this board programmed in languages such as Fortran and BASIC for years, yet due to the knowledge they gained on how to program easily made the shift to C and many other languages. So, in summary, pick one language, stick with it, and then explore the "world of programming" with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by anduril462 View Post
    Now, please, for the love of all things good and holy, think about what you're doing! Don't just run around willy-nilly, coding like a drunk two-year-old....
    Quote Originally Posted by quzah View Post
    ..... Just don't be surprised when I say you aren't using standard C anymore, and as such,are off in your own little universe that I will completely disregard.
    Warning: Some or all of my posted code may be non-standard and as such should not be used and in no case looked at.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2011
    I want to do CS too. I'm learning C now, and I think what might help is develop creativity. I'm guessing it will be more helpful for after uni but I think it would still be a good thing.

    I'm currently reading the book Lateral Thinking by Edward deBono and it's great. He worked with a lot of CS people .

  7. #7
    Registered User MacNilly's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    CA, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Epiphany View Post
    Greetings. Currently I am in High School and plan on going to college to study computer science. I already know a decent amount of HTML and tinkered with Python for a bit, and now I have started learning C and C++.

    Is there anything else I should learn or do to prepare?
    As a current CS student in college, I can say that HTML will not be very important for a "general" CS degree as HTML is not a true programming language. Python, however, would be great to learn as a general purpose language that can do procedural, object-oriented, and functional programming, all of which you will most certainly encounter. However, the most popular languages for universities are Java and C++; Java in particular is a popular teaching language.

    That said, learning the language is not the most important thing. Learn some basic (discrete) mathematics (set theory, logic, inductive proofs), will give you a good advantage. From there, learn some basic algorithms and data structures (trees, linked lists, sorting). If you do all that, by the time you get to college you'll be in the top 10%.

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    Sep 2011
    The primary language would be C++ and Java. You would want to specialize in C++ if you aren't doing mobile device else go specialize in Java. However QT seems to be pretty gaining weight in the industry, so perhaps they will start teaching it soon in post secondary (currently i only seen workshops about QT at school, but not classes).

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