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What are the skill do you need to become a computer technologist?


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Tauseef’s Answer

Problem solving skills are extremely important when it comes to becoming a computer technologist. The purpose of a computer technologist is to provide useful solutions that solve actual problems. Most problems are usually only partly solved by technology. Many a times the process or people are problems that need solutions. Here is a simplistic role list:
* Software developers, software designers or software architects solve technical problems.
* Project managers and release managers solve process problems.
* Staffers or HR managers solve people problems.

Purely from a technical perspective for all streams within computer science the following are essential:
* Logical, mathematical and analytical skills.
* Basics of hardware-software interaction. (enough to roughly understand how a computer works in totality)
* Basic understanding of bits, bytes and communications. (network and protocols)

You might ask why the emphasis on logical, mathematical and analytical skills?
Lets take the following problem : Given a box of Legos can you build a toy airplane?
You will need to logically analyze the pieces to understand how they fit together and build a plan. You will need to count them to determine how many can be used and what size airplane can be built out of these. Hardware and software like lego pieces are usually built to be reliably deterministic in how they behave and where they fit.

Choose appropriate tools and technologies only after you have learned the basics. Further skills required would be based on what your interests are. Some of the trending focus areas in computer science are:
* Mobile and Internet of Things Development
* Cyber Security
* Data Science (Data, AI and Machine Learning)
* Cloud and Infrastructure
* Web Application Development
* Information Management
* Game Development

Tauseef recommends the following next steps:

Develop problem solving skills and computer science basics.
Teach yourself how to learn.
Pick a focus area and research about the required skills. (Say suppose you choose game development and decide to learn C# and Unity.)
Practice to solve problems in the focus area using learned skills. (Develop a game using C# and Unity)

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Kevin’s Answer

I would suggest these foundational computing skills -

- Computer hardware: What are the components that make up a computer/server, physical vs virtualized environments
- Operating systems: Understand the differences between platforms, pros and cons of each
- Networking: how do computers connect to a network or the internet, connection types, protocols, firewalls
- Applications and databases: What are applications and database, how do applications and databases work together
- Cloud: Understand the what Cloud environments and services are, types of cloud services and providers, Cloud vs traditional data centers

A bonus will be:
- Information Security: Concepts overview of IT security in terms of data (confidentiality, integrity, availability), network, security architecture, identity and access management, security assurance (penetration testing), security operations (logging, monitoring, incident response, security education (user security training)

The above may appear to be great amount of things to learn but it is not, these foundations will build upon if you wish to go into the field of computer engineering, application development, etc.

Hello Kevin. I found your answer to be insightful as you hit on some good foundations like computer hardware, operating systems, applications & databases, and cloud. Thank you. Sheila Jordan

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Jean’s Answer

- Math: Most important for learning algorithms in computer science. A good grasp at algebra and combinatorics is a must. Probability and statistics are a great plus.
- Programming skills: Python, Java, C++, etc
- Software architecture and design patterns
- Analytical and logical thinking

The above will help you get started in college for computer science. This is a great field. Go for it!

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Prince’s Answer

Focus on the following:

Application Development
Database Management
Infrastructure like Cloud, Network
Big Data technologies like hapdoop, map-reduce & hive

Hi Prince, could you expand on this a bit? The student might want to know HOW to focus on these ideas, or why they are important to focus on. Thanks! Alexandra Carpenter

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