• (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2

Top 10 Tips for Computer Science Students

#1 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

  • Head DIC Head
  • member icon

Reputation: 1868
  • View blog
  • Posts: 20,280
  • Joined: 17-March 01

Posted 09 August 2007 - 10:14 AM

*
POPULAR

1.) Math is More Important Than You Think
Math is all over Computer Science in many different ways. Software Engineers will use discrete math when working out algorithm complexity and efficiency, in graph theory, and recursion. People who work more directly with hardware will use discrete math in designing logical circuits and use automata theory for making finite state machines. At that level you are also working with the large amount of math inherent with electrical engineering. In research aspects you will be using probability and statistics for performance measurements and comparisons. Even game programmers use a lot of math when creating 3D environments.

2.) You'll Need To Write More Than Just Code

At the base level you will be writing comments in your code. Those are there for others to comprehend what you are trying to do, so explain what you are doing well. In software engineering you may be writing requirements, specifications, test plans, and more. There may be a time later in your CS career where you may need to write a research paper, that may get peer reviewed. Good writing skills will help you. Pay attention in your business writing classes and learn good technical writing skills now.

3) Don't Procrastinate

We know you've heard it a million times, but this is the worst possible thing you can do in a programming class. When you get an assignment, look it over and start on it right away. In the likely chance that you can't work through an error or figure out the logic, you'll have time to contact your instructor or use other available resources to solve the problem.

4) Don't Overcomplicate Things
The smaller a block of code is, without being redundant of other code, the better. When you break down algorithms which have nothing in common, often there is a loop or operation which is not unique, other than the parameters involved. A single method/function should not be longer, or wider than a standard 800x600 monitor view. If you comment well, a little larger is acceptable.

6) Impress Your Instructors, But Not Too Much
Your instructor can be your best friend, but don't be a suck up. Ask questions and show your instructor you're interested but don't annoy the rest of the class with constant questions and meaningless comments. If you can get to know your instructor, you may be able to leverage that relationship in the future for internships and recommendations.

7) Flowcharting Early and Often
Any good programmer will tell you planning is the most important part of any project. You'll have to flowchart when you get a real job, so get good at it now. Planning a project out before you start, even if it's just good pseudocode, can save you hours of frustration. Don't start your project in the compiler, instead sit down with a piece of paper and plan out your program.

8) Make Sure This is What You Want to Do

Many computer science students get into CS because they like games. Now there are a lot of positions in Computer Game Design that do not require you to be a programmer, so if you are not interested in the coding aspect talk to someone who might direct you to a better path. Areas such as Technical writing, Dramatic Writing, graphic arts, business management, and many more might be better places to go. Use your minor/electives to take computer oriented classes and get to know the CS majors.

9) Use All Your Resources
Don't hit a road block and then panic. There are thousands of resources online to help you work through a problem. From tutorials, to forums (like http://www.dreamincode.net), to live help, you should be able to find the help you need. Just remember it can take more than a few minutes for someone to help solve your problem so don't wait till the last minute. Google is definitley your friend and don't feel embarassed if you have to search for your problem. Don't expect people to do the work for you though, you'll still have to put forth some effort.

10) Become a Well Rounded Programmer
Programming is more than just C++ or Java. If you plan on programming for a living, you'll need to learn the business side of programming. This includes things like systems analysis, databases, security, and documentation. Also realize that C++ isn't the only language out there, you should be able to jump fairly quickly from language to language. Don't get stuck in one language. Learn the basics of other languages including web based. In addition to code, focus on your humanities. Nobody wants to interact with a dull uncultured nerd. Take classes that interest you and will provide you with a good non-technical education as well.

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 17
  • +

Replies To: Top 10 Tips for Computer Science Students

#2 lamees  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 18-May 07

Posted 11 August 2007 - 12:56 AM

Great topic ! Thanks a lot.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 cosette_hinds  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 22
  • Joined: 30-December 06

Posted 19 August 2007 - 10:35 PM

Thanks for the reminders, we are in week 4 of the semester here in Australia and already I've had point number 7 driven home by experience. Definitely worth remembering and valid points.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 William_Wilson  Icon User is offline

  • lost in compilation
  • member icon

Reputation: 205
  • View blog
  • Posts: 4,807
  • Joined: 23-December 05

Posted 27 August 2007 - 07:40 PM

good job taking all the credit Chris :P

Nice job putting it all together. :)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 techknow  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 2
  • View blog
  • Posts: 67
  • Joined: 29-August 07

Posted 04 September 2007 - 03:17 PM

Thank you, though too old a goat to chase a CS (or much of anything else for that matter). It is good stuff to keep in mind.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 YasirMX  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 30
  • Joined: 12-September 07

Posted 19 September 2007 - 11:15 AM

Thanks! Being a computer science student I'll start focusing on your advices as from today..
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 zandiago  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 190
  • Joined: 13-July 07

Posted 23 September 2007 - 07:10 PM

good info...it's a struggling battle against procastination...
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 spullen  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Regular
  • member icon

Reputation: 10
  • View blog
  • Posts: 356
  • Joined: 22-March 07

Posted 08 October 2007 - 09:32 PM

Great list of things for people considering to become a cs major. I think emphasis on 6 is needed though, I can't stand people asking irrelevant questions and/or saying they know how to program in 10 million languages during class just to impress the professor.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 prajayshetty  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Addict
  • member icon

Reputation: 31
  • View blog
  • Posts: 920
  • Joined: 27-April 07

Posted 19 June 2008 - 12:46 PM

thanks this points are very helpfull to all
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#10 du_jleon  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 33
  • Joined: 26-March 09

Posted 15 April 2009 - 05:20 PM

View Postskyhawk133, on 9 Aug, 2007 - 09:14 AM, said:

1.) Math is More Important Than You Think
Math is all over Computer Science in many different ways. Software Engineers will use discrete math when working out algorithm complexity and efficiency, in graph theory, and recursion. People who work more directly with hardware will use discrete math in designing logical circuits and use automata theory for making finite state machines. At that level you are also working with the large amount of math inherent with electrical engineering. In research aspects you will be using probability and statistics for performance measurements and comparisons. Even game programmers use a lot of math when creating 3D environments.

2.) You'll Need To Write More Than Just Code

At the base level you will be writing comments in your code. Those are there for others to comprehend what you are trying to do, so explain what you are doing well. In software engineering you may be writing requirements, specifications, test plans, and more. There may be a time later in your CS career where you may need to write a research paper, that may get peer reviewed. Good writing skills will help you. Pay attention in your business writing classes and learn good technical writing skills now.

3) Don't Procrastinate

We know you've heard it a million times, but this is the worst possible thing you can do in a programming class. When you get an assignment, look it over and start on it right away. In the likely chance that you can't work through an error or figure out the logic, you'll have time to contact your instructor or use other available resources to solve the problem.

4) Don't Overcomplicate Things
The smaller a block of code is, without being redundant of other code, the better. When you break down algorithms which have nothing in common, often there is a loop or operation which is not unique, other than the parameters involved. A single method/function should not be longer, or wider than a standard 800x600 monitor view. If you comment well, a little larger is acceptable.

6) Impress Your Instructors, But Not Too Much
Your instructor can be your best friend, but don't be a suck up. Ask questions and show your instructor you're interested but don't annoy the rest of the class with constant questions and meaningless comments. If you can get to know your instructor, you may be able to leverage that relationship in the future for internships and recommendations.

7) Flowcharting Early and Often
Any good programmer will tell you planning is the most important part of any project. You'll have to flowchart when you get a real job, so get good at it now. Planning a project out before you start, even if it's just good pseudocode, can save you hours of frustration. Don't start your project in the compiler, instead sit down with a piece of paper and plan out your program.

8) Make Sure This is What You Want to Do

Many computer science students get into CS because they like games. Now there are a lot of positions in Computer Game Design that do not require you to be a programmer, so if you are not interested in the coding aspect talk to someone who might direct you to a better path. Areas such as Technical writing, Dramatic Writing, graphic arts, business management, and many more might be better places to go. Use your minor/electives to take computer oriented classes and get to know the CS majors.

9) Use All Your Resources
Don't hit a road block and then panic. There are thousands of resources online to help you work through a problem. From tutorials, to forums (like http://www.dreamincode.net), to live help, you should be able to find the help you need. Just remember it can take more than a few minutes for someone to help solve your problem so don't wait till the last minute. Google is definitley your friend and don't feel embarassed if you have to search for your problem. Don't expect people to do the work for you though, you'll still have to put forth some effort.

10) Become a Well Rounded Programmer
Programming is more than just C++ or Java. If you plan on programming for a living, you'll need to learn the business side of programming. This includes things like systems analysis, databases, security, and documentation. Also realize that C++ isn't the only language out there, you should be able to jump fairly quickly from language to language. Don't get stuck in one language. Learn the basics of other languages including web based. In addition to code, focus on your humanities. Nobody wants to interact with a dull uncultured nerd. Take classes that interest you and will provide you with a good non-technical education as well.



:^: This has answered all my questions! Thank you so much!!!
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 baavgai  Icon User is offline

  • Dreaming Coder
  • member icon

Reputation: 5800
  • View blog
  • Posts: 12,635
  • Joined: 16-October 07

Posted 15 April 2009 - 06:18 PM

Nice list. If I may comment.

Math: We've thrown this one around a lot. It is valuable for the reasons listed and always a requirement at the university level. It absolutely NOT required for the average programming job. A basic understanding of double entry accounting is probably more useful in an "enterprise" environment, which are the suits most likely cutting the pay check.

Documentation: God, I hope not, but yes. If you're a really good coder, though, you can make a peon tech writer do it.

"Don't Overcomplicate Things". Brilliant. Couldn't agree more. Though "standard 800x600 monitor view"... My tiny font might trump yours. Most editors will can hard cap you below 80 characters, because in printed pica that's a non wrapped line. Good rule of thumb. Logical code blocks shouldn't be larger than a screen.

Flowcharting: Sorry, if you have to think in flow charts, you might want find another profession. Maybe electrical engineer. You may have to do these for the suits because, well, they can't program.

"10) Become a Well Rounded Programmer" Yes, absolutely. Thank you.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#12 kuzaman  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 13-July 09

Posted 13 July 2009 - 03:14 AM

hi skyhawk133

yes you are right if we would have a strong Knowledge of Mathematics, So its means that we are good in making Logic, & if we have excellent skills in making Logic , so it results to become a an intelligent Programmer.

I appreciate your effort for Students through the globe.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#13 chavana23  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 10
  • Joined: 17-September 09

Posted 21 October 2009 - 01:34 AM

you have made everything clear to understand CS. your info was what i needed thank you. :^:
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#14 amitchhajer  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Head
  • member icon

Reputation: 7
  • View blog
  • Posts: 78
  • Joined: 30-January 10

Posted 01 March 2010 - 12:24 PM

well said.. will try to include them in my coding.
Maths is really required :
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#15 manishk_2207  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 1
  • Joined: 11-June 10

Posted 11 June 2010 - 11:31 PM

:rolleyes2: i will bne starting studying cse in college nw.....i mean i will be joing college nw.....nd ..dese tips will surely help me out to make out a better plan to start my studies!!!!! :rolleyes2: :rolleyes2: :rolleyes2: :bigsmile:
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

  • (2 Pages)
  • +
  • 1
  • 2