Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

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#1 Fishy138  Icon User is offline

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Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 01 November 2017 - 05:05 PM

Hello everyone. I am about 4-5 semesters from graduating with a degree in computer engineering and I want to know what I should actually be learning to help me get a job when I graduate. I am not sure if this is the correct place to post but I want some advice from people actually working in the field. I am still taking introductory courses in C++ and I start Java classes next semester.

Do you guys actually use any of the math you learned at work? I don't struggle with math but my friends tell my calculus 2 is the toughest math course. I have aced all my math courses prior to cal 2 but should I be spending more time learning other languages/getting better or continue studying math most of the time.

What should I be doing right now to help my future self. I just turned 20 and I need some advice.

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Replies To: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 01 November 2017 - 05:59 PM

If you plan on working locally look at your job boards. See what folk need.

I occasionally use the moderately complex math, but you certainly shouldn't be bombing classes in some sort of min/max attempt.
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#3 snoopy11  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 01 November 2017 - 06:42 PM

Math,

Is always important and its not always obvious how to translate math into code...

Mainly I use matrix math in code a lot but also geometry and trigonometry and sometimes more advanced things like fourier transforms and seventh order wave equations...

Whether you will use the calculus you learn in your future day job........ no one can answer that... it depends on where you end up and what line of work the company employing you does...

Should you learn calculus absolutely.. and you should learn other things too some basic electronics, physics and chemistry.. University/College is about expanding your horizons...

You should also be prepared for 'Lifelong Learning' which is the new 21st Century buzzword..

At 20 years of age you should be trying to soak up as much information on everything you can get your hands on..
Not trying to figure out how to get your degree with the minimum amount of effort required.
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#4 Fishy138  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:46 PM

I am not trying to find the easiest way to get my degree done. I was just curious about its use in work life. I will go look up what the requirements are for some jobs in the area and go from there.
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#5 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 02 November 2017 - 03:04 PM

> Hello everyone. I am about 4-5 semesters from graduating with a degree in computer engineering and I want to know what I should actually be learning to help me get a job when I graduate.

Direct honest response - sorry if it hurts your feelings.
Really? You're just know looking at what you should have learned to get a job, now that you are nearly ready to graduate?

> I am still taking introductory courses in C++ and I start Java classes next semester.
Well... What kind of work do you want to be doing? If its coding games on Macintosh those won't help you a bit. If you want to make cross-platform apps for mobile devices... again, no help. What was your consideration for taking (and PAYING FOR) C++? Did you want to make embedded systems for vehicles? Did you want to do low level work for making device drivers, or controlling assembly line robots? I mean, you had to have a reason for picking that course, right?

Honestly... Much of it won't matter. 99% of the course taught at university is 10 years out of date, and about 4 years to learn what any good "Learn C# in 60 days" book would teach you in a couple months.

As a graduate just aim at intern positions, and maybe technical temp jobs where you can learn about the real world _IN_ the real world.
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#6 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 02 November 2017 - 03:25 PM

Assuming semesters mean what I think and you have two a year.. that's still two to three years out.
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#7 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 02 November 2017 - 04:36 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 02 November 2017 - 05:25 PM, said:

Assuming semesters mean what I think and you have two a year.. that's still two to three years out.


So I'm thinking that's 2 years out of 4 years already completed. Seems like planning out courses for what would actually lead to one's career/employment would have happened before the start of year 1, not before the start of year 3. Or am I missing something?
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#8 Fishy138  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 02 November 2017 - 04:39 PM

I have two years left after this semester ends in about 3 weeks. I did not have a choice. I have to take three programming classes and the order they have is C++ > C++ > Java.
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#9 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 02 November 2017 - 04:44 PM

Well you should ask yourself what do you want to do. If you want to be a web developer then we would recommend things like PHP, .NET, HTML5/CSS/Javascript (React, Angular etc), Ruby, MySQL, database design etc. If you want to do desktop programming then we would probably recommend things like Python, C#, operating systems etc. If you were wanting to be a networker then study topologies, mobile devices, routers, OSI model etc.

Now of course you will learn a bit of all that in a computer science degree but once you know what you want to actually do for companies then come back and we can give some more solid advice. You should always ask yourself what you like to do then find companies that fit that instead of saying what do companies want and then trying to fit that. Because if a company wants Java and you hate Java then you are going to be in a company hating what you are doing.

:)
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#10 snoopy11  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 02 November 2017 - 06:52 PM

Well really the programming you should be buying modern books and learning the languages yourself as University only teaches you the basics of these subjects...... too little to be any real practical use in real world jobs...

The stuff you should learn to a reasonable standard to be an outstanding employee.

Java console,
C/C++ console,
Java FX,
Java EE,
C/C++ win32 api basics and XWindows basics for *nix systems,
Android for mobile,
C# console,
C# GUI,
C# Mobile dev,
C# Unity game dev,
Some basic Fortran exposure,
Some basic Python exposure,
HTML 5,
CSS,
Ruby,
SQL,
some Pascal and or ADA exposure.

As I say uni wont teach you languages to high standards it will teach you maths and the theory of programming like data structures it will or should teach you how to learn other stuff because as I say in the real world especially private business world (its different if you go work for a branch of government) there is pressure to deliver.

And even if you do all that companies will still start you at the bottom in order to assess your abilities and that means less wages than more experienced devs.

But you should have figured out by now that while Uni teaches things like Math to an incredibly high standard it sort of just takes baby steps in the languages department trusting that wherever you end up, you have the basic skill set in place to learn any language once you get there.

And I wasn't having a go earlier just giving my two cents for what it is worth...

This post has been edited by snoopy11: 02 November 2017 - 06:53 PM

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#11 Fishy138  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 02 November 2017 - 07:08 PM

I started learning HTML 5 when I was 16 and feel that i know the basics because I was not completely lost during c++ but I think I am going to self-teach ruby and see how c# differs from c++. I will definitely check out that list but I don't want to cram because I actually want to learn it all. My degree is a mix of computer science and electrical engineering. I am just trying to prepare myself because I graduate soon and I want to have options when it comes to finding a job.
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#12 snoopy11  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 02 November 2017 - 08:36 PM

Ah cool,

I am just a hobbyist programmer but Im a degree level Electrical/Electronics Engineer who is also doing a part time second degree in Software Development.

I have some exposure to everything on that list to varying degrees.

I am pretty advanced in C/C++ its what I am mostly known around here for and how I got my mentor status as voted for very kindly by my peers, especially the win32 api on Windows, which includes stuff like directX, Xaudio2, etc.

However if you can get some exposure to everything on that list then you will be an outstanding junior developer and be moved pretty rapidly up the pay grade.

If you are doing Electrical/Electronics as well you will get Physics to a reasonably high level too, while you are doing Physics you might want to read an entry level Chemistry book as I think an understanding of basic Chemistry always comes in handy in Engineering and Computing.

Don't worry about gaining Mastery of anything on that list as it takes a lot of years to achieve Mastery levels, just work on exposure to it.

My experience of doing my current degree is this the Maths is reasonably high but not as high as Engineering for example or anywhere near the Maths that Physicists do and of course Mathematicians are exposed to incredible stuff.

The theory behind software development like data structures etc gives you your only advantage over non degree developers.

The language parts of the degree are pretty easy and basic, too basic to be of any real use in the business world, the degree I'm doing specialises in Java and Java like languages like Android but the exposure is minimal and babyish and a lot of the time I feel I know more than my lecturer.
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#13 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:05 AM

IMO, school is for fundamentals, not for languages. Learn ONE language well in school, then learn a second well enough to write coursework code. After that, you'll learn languages as you need them.

As for which courses you should take, I would say you should follow your gut. There should be classes that grab you - consider taking those. If there aren't any such, are you sure you're on the right path?
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#14 andrewsw  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:56 AM

I very much agree with jon. I seem to recall the feeling of looking at a list of courses and being drawn to certain ones because they interested (or intrigued) me. If you are going to spend 6 months or a year studying something it is best that it has some interest for you.

Of course, that is unless it is completely off-track, leading in a direction that you don't want to travel! But then... such a course probably wouldn't be of interest(?).
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#15 snoopy11  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Engineering student with some questions about work life.

Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:25 AM

Quote

IMO, school is for fundamentals, not for languages. Learn ONE language well in school


Yes you could do that if you like a particular language but you are not going to be a Master of anything unless you are incredibly gifted student such as a Bill Gates type.. It takes a number of years to gain that Mastery IMO...
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