Best practices for every Computer Science Student
Coding is the most salient skill an individual needs to learn as it has become the foundation of the modern world. But learning it seems quite hazy. It is an ever-expanding industry. Every day a new technology is evolving. Something which was trendy a few years back, might not be of any importance now. Hence, for a coder what remains constant is the task of learning new skills and staying up-to-date with every technology. Therefore, at times it gets a bit confusing. Hence, jotting down the following points will ease the process of learning.
- Learning to learn –
The most important skill is to be able to learn. In this fast-paced industry, every day some new technology is evolving. In order to stay alive in this industry, you will need to match pace with every innovation. Hence, once in a while you will need to keep on learning new skills. So, your ability to learn will come in handy throughout. There are various online sources out there, from which you can develop your own skill.
- Brainstorm before googling –
Whenever you are solving any problem, firstly try to solve it on your own. You can easily get the answer by searching it in Google, but that way you won’t learn and won’t evolve the skill of problem-solving. You would just develop this vicious habit. Let us take the example of writing a code for finding the factorial of a number. If you try to solve it on your own and then compare it with the solutions available on books or on the web, then you will understand how your code was more or less efficient than the one available on the net. You will understand the concept of time complexity and space complexity and will learn to write optimal codes.
- Participate in Hackathons –
Hackathon is an event, wherein coders can learn together by working on a project within a very short duration of time, solving interesting real-world and business challenges. These events foster the mind to ideate and come up with creative new ideas for steaming issues of the industry. The main objective of these events is not just to give the candidates the perfect biome to learn, but also to lead and represent your idea. Here, apart from your hard skills, you also get to work on yours.
- Build Projects –
“Practice makes a man perfect”. The most efficient way of developing your skills is by practicing them. And the best way to do that is by working on projects. You can make various different projects, from beginner level to advanced. This will help you to engage your basic understanding of the concepts in solving some problems. You can get project ideas from various sites, and also a guide on how to develop them. Through this hands-on experience, you will develop a strong understanding of the concerned areas. For some reference: Top 10 Projects For Beginners,5 Machine Learning Project Ideas for Beginners, etc. You can also work on guided projects under mentorship. These projects will not just add knowledge and experience, but also will help your CV stand out in interviews.
- Work in groups –
Getting a wider perspective is very important for solving problems. Solving a coding problem also demands a wider perspective. You need to know what are the all possible ways to solve the problem. And why is a particular algorithm the most suitable to solve the problem, while the other algorithms lag behind? It is always a healthy exercise to study and discuss the problems together, which helps you gain more knowledge in a shorter span of time.
- Practice competitive coding –
You should definitely get your hands dirty here. Competitive programming is very important. In Competitive programming, you are provided some specifications and are required to write programs accordingly. Practicing it will make you focused and faster helping you to solve complicated problems with better efficacy. In these coding events, just coding is pointless. Your code should have optimum time and space complexity. This helps you analyze the problems and come up with an efficient solution. After all, everyone can solve the problem. But only a few come up with efficient solutions. Practicing competitive programming has a higher demand, as it makes you a desirable candidate for major companies. For how to get started you can take reference from How, to begin with, Competitive Programming?
- Explore the Industry –
Explore the Industry. Start researching on various fields. Start developing skills. Start getting your hands dirty by getting some industry experience. Stay updated with every new news in the Industry. Try to fully utilize online learning platforms to develop skills. Understand your industry, and then try to understand which sub-branch interests you the most. For e.g. some people are more inclined towards web development, while some towards machine learning, while others towards AR, etc. Realize your interest, and then start learning those skills in depth specifically. Most of the time what happens to students is that they end up wasting a lot of their time learning a lot of different technologies, but only to realize that they don’t have much in-depth knowledge of that technology.
- Develop a strong grab over the basic fundamental concepts of the subjects –
Having a tight grab over the fundamental concepts of the core subjects is a prerequisite. Give enormous importance to Data structures, Operating System, Theory of Computation, Database and Management System, Graph theory, Discrete Mathematics, etc. These will come in handy when you work on any research or a project. For any Software Engineering, a strong understanding of these subjects is a must. Even when you are learning any technology, let’s say Android development, or web development, do not cram the concepts or do not copy and paste the code available from online sources or books. This will not do any good but only sabotage your learning. Try to learn the concepts in depth. Try to solve the questions on your own, after understanding the concepts.
- Stay motivated –
In order to be successful in any field, it takes a lot of hard work. And definitely for being able to see some tangible results in your work, it will take time. You may get frustrated whilst the process, unable to see the desired result. But keep yourself calm, and stay persistent with your work. Only that will help you to break through this plateau-the plateau of latent potential.
Hence, remember to “Eat–Sleep–Code–Repeat”