Thread: I decided to go for it...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    I decided to go for it...

    I decided to go to school for computer science, I have a lot of questions on what to do to prepare myself for the real world. I want to become a good reliable programmer. What should I look for in schools, what classes I should take, what should I look for in work study opportunities and what type of stuff I should study outside of class any Info would be much appreciated. The only reason I am able to go to school is because of the Montgomery GI bill and I dont really have any references to ask about colleges and computer science, so i would really apreciate it...

    Thank you

  2. #2
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Make of it what you will, but I took some of Joel Spolsky's Advice for Computer Science College Students.
    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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    Jun 2011
    Thanks, that answered a lot of my question. What about your own experiences?

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Just my opinion. Nothing more than that, so I won't give an essay to back it up. Without further ado (and pretty much in this order):

    Start out with a language like C++ which has all the object orientated features that mark modern development, but won't protect you from having to contend with some lower-level realities of computing (pointers, memory management)

    Once you are comfortable with your first tool (C++ in this case), now learn how to get the most out of it: start learning data structures and algorithms. This is basically the art of learning to use your head/maximizing efficiency.

    Learn a managed language like C# or Java. You already have experience with the grittier details of computing if you know C++ or something lower-level, so now you can appreciate what these languages take care of for you. Though they might be easier in some respects, this can be a real accelerator in some sense....because you don't have to worry about as many little details, you can be more ambitious with projects and more quickly jump into dealing with bigger challenges and larger issues.

    Software Engineering: Learn how to plan a serious project. Requirements gathering, use cases, detailed use case specifications, analysis class diagrams, sequence diagrams...that's right, ambitious projects aren't just coded via spur of the moment inspiration.

    Design Patterns: Learn how to effectively mange complexity in code

    ....these are my pillars but there will be much more along the way (databases, web, etc)
    I made a pair of "Braille Gloves" which have 6 vibration motors in six finger tips and vibrate in the relevant patterns. I have used this to read stuff while out walking. Given there is a fairly well defined programmer-oriented Braille encoding I should imagine it would work in this situation. Diagrams could be a pain still.

    Note: I am not blind but have learnt Braille fairly easily so for me it works quite well

    Disclaimer: I haven't tried this while driving yet...

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