How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

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18 Replies - 9055 Views - Last Post: 27 August 2012 - 03:52 AM

#1 aemara  Icon User is offline

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How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:32 AM

Hey :) , I need to know how to succeed in computer science and how to be ready for it ? I'm 17 years and don't know anything about programming languages such as c, c++ and java. I just know HTML and CSS. I work with them comfortably. So what's your advice for me ? can i have a strong foundation in those programming languages in 1 year before enrolling ? and what is the best language i can start with after learning javascript and php ? cause i like web developing, and one last question: what is the better computer science or computer engineering ? I read that computer science is concerned with the software aspect unlike engineering which concerned with the hardware aspect. So what is the best for my career ? What's better in the jobs ?

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Replies To: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

#2 darek9576  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:37 AM

Not again. My advice: learn how to use the tools at your disposal.

e.g.

G------O-------O-------G---------L--------E
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#3 time4f5  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 15 August 2012 - 06:14 AM

cs is more geared toward software. Computer engineering is more in line with hardware - designing computer components, etc. You asked if you could have a strong understanding in just 1 year, well, that is relative. It is possible that you can be pretty strong if you give it your time and dedication. My advice is to pick C++ or Java. That seems to be what most colleges begin with because it will expose you to OOP concepts. If you are just interested in Web development, I'm not sure I would pick a CS degree. If you are interested in learning to do more with languages other than scripting languages, CS would be the way to go.
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#4 Glorfindal  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:03 PM

View Postdarek9576, on 12 August 2012 - 10:37 AM, said:

Not again. My advice: learn how to use the tools at your disposal.

e.g.

G------O-------O-------G---------L--------E

Please don't tell someone just to google it. That's pretty rude.
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#5 darek9576  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:27 PM

Why are you replying if you have nothing to add.
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#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:32 PM

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darek9576, I've asked you before to knock off the "Google it" attitude, as is outlined in the rules. Please don't feel obligated to post if you don't have anything constructive to add.
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#7 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:29 PM

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View Postdarek9576, on 12 August 2012 - 11:37 AM, said:

Not again. My advice: learn how to use the tools at your disposal.

e.g.

G------O-------O-------G---------L--------E


There's a difference between someone who doesn't know and is asking a legitimate question, and someone who is being lazy and pulling a 'give me the code' bit. Pretentious asshattery is not a good way to answer questions like this. While the question has been asked multiple times before, it's still a very relevant question to those asking it, and for someone just graduating high school or college, the wide world is a pretty danged terrifying place.

We're here to help people find their way, not to be condescending and elitist. I would strongly suggest evaluating yourself on your previous posts and thinking about the context from the perspective of the OP.

-----------

Back on subject now.

I believe that the two are quite exclusive of each other. Someone can be a good programmer but have horrid grades, or conversely have amazing grades and no real world talent to save their lives. I believe that there needs to be a balance between the two, but that being said my grades aren't exactly stunning either (3.0.)

You might be able to get a grasp on the syntax and the basics of a language in one year, but you'll only be on the start of quite a long road to actually having usable skills at an enterprise level. Programming is a long journey, and it's been said in multiple places that it takes 10+ years to really master it, and even then you'll look back and think you know nothing.

The more you really know the more you realize how little you actually know. It's a mind warp until you reach that stage of thinking, and then you get that magical epiphany.

C++, while a solid language, is not something I would recommend for an absolute beginner. Unless you have someone to help you along you'll have a time of it and never want to try programming again. If you like PHP, you'll love Ruby and its web engine Rails.

I would say look into Ruby or Python considering your background. Personally I'm a Ruby lover, and I'll swear by it any day. I came from the same background of Web Development languages, not knowing where to get my feet wet in programming. I tried the C route and it will give you nightmares. I was fortunate enough to have teachers around to guide me, but it's not for a solo venture.

Ruby is a very robust language, simple to learn yet incredibly powerful due to its metaprogramming, functional aspects, and active records. Rails is a web engine built on Ruby, and an extremely powerful one at that. I picked up Rails after trying PHP and I've never once looked back.

Some features of Rails to look into: Active Records, Scaffolding, ORM (Object Relational Modeling), method_missing, and metaprogramming.

As far as jobs are concerned, it depends on what you want to do.

Do you want to be a Developer, engineering software and working with code all day?

Do you want to be a SysAdmin/Op, working with networks, patching holes, and becoming a jack of all trades?

Do you want to be a Web Developer, creating dynamic sites and applications?

There are several ways you can go, the question is: What do you want to do?

I'll give you a hint though: You probably don't know yet and won't know for a while.

The solution? Try it all, get involved in things and try out everything. Once it clicks, it clicks and you've found your love in life. Find what you love doing and pursue it.

Any more questions?
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#8 aemara  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:52 PM

Thank you so much. You helped me alot but i have a last question.

Can i be a web developer and system developer at the same time, working with css, php and ruby and also working with python, java and c++ and other languages ? I'm thinking that i first study php and ruby, be comfortable with them and start creating web apps then i jump to other programming languages like python and java. I like web developing but in the same time i like to take a look at system programming. So what do you think ?
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#9 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 15 August 2012 - 06:04 PM

Ruby(Rails, Sinatra) and Python(Django) both have the distinct advantage that they can be used as either Web or Development without extreme hassle. .NET and Java for Web Development are possible, but I've found them to be extremely annoying and uncomfortable to use.

Do note that these are my opinions, your mileage will vary.

Amusingly the line between Dev and Web Dev is becoming pretty heavily blurred. I wouldn't be incredibly surprised to see more hybrids coming out like Chrome OS soon enough.

Learn both though, you want to have quite a few bases covered just in case you can't find one job. Generalize early and specialize when you gain enough experience to know what you want to do.
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#10 fromTheSprawl  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 15 August 2012 - 06:16 PM

Yes, I believe you can do that. Find a project which you want to do that encompasses multiple tiers and use a language with each component.

For example: A Simple Web Application
HTML + CSS + Javascript = Your front end
Java = Your back end
Python = for some specialized stuff you want to do with your web application

C++ is usually used for game development though, it might not be wise to use it for web applications.

My advice, start small. Go with just one language, master it(or at least learn enough to be comfortable with it), make a small project on it, then try another one. You'll be shooting more birds with one stone though if you go with the web path.
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#11 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:15 PM

View PostfromTheSprawl, on 15 August 2012 - 08:16 PM, said:

Java = Your back end
Python = for some specialized stuff you want to do with your web application


Fair warning, Java is rather hellish for Web backend from what I've heard.

Python(Django) and Ruby(Rails) are perfectly capable of being full force scripting languages, and are definitely worth a look. I believe Java is far more of a Desktop language than web.
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#12 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:23 PM

Java is actually dying out for the desktop platform. The Java EE platform is geared towards enterprise grade applications. You see technologies like Servlets, JSF, and JSP being employed. Android is the other predominant platform for Java.
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#13 fromTheSprawl  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:33 PM

For a moment there I've read Java EE is dying which would have sent me into a panic as I might lose my job. :)

I've tried Python before and really liked it, I will try Ruby now. I believe I've read Ruby can also be used to automate web actions, which is pretty interesting for automation purposes.
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#14 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:34 AM

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When I started college, the entire extent of my programming knowledge was BASIC. I didn't know where to start or how to do anything on a machine newer than an Apple IIe. But I became a Computer Science major anyway. I didn't know where programming would take me, only that I enjoyed it enough to think that maybe I could tolerate doing it every day for the rest of my life.

I finished my degree with a concentration in application programming (ie, desktop stuff... classes in C++, VB, COBOL, etc).

Fast forward ten years: I taught myself HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, MySQL, and so on and so forth, and make a rather decent living as a professional web developer.

In my opinion, it's not so much about the languages you learn as it is learning about logic and syntax that pave the way to make learning your next language an easier process. Passion for the art and dedication to the craft help quite a bit, too. As do time and patience.

And a big point that I struggled with for a long time: you don't have to like EVERY language you try. You don't have to master EVERY language you try. If you've given it a good shot and really can't stand using a certain language, call it a day and try another. Not everyone enjoys coding and not every coder enjoys the same languages.
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#15 blankwall  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to succeed in computer science and be good programmer ?

Posted 22 August 2012 - 08:39 AM

I want to be as good of a programmer as possible. I feel college is just a waste of time. Beyond math I dont find anything useful with college. Yeah english is good for communication skills and will help but as an overall even my comp sci classes are very slow paced and dont offer much you cant learn on your own. I spend a lot of my spare time working on my coding skills and I feel that is the best option for becoming more proficient in programming and leading to the best career opportunities.
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