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What crucial skills does one need in a job related to computer science? (i.e. teamwork skills, math skills, etc.)

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Kay’s Answer

Hello Danielle,

As the others stated, Computer Science is a broad field and can lead several directions throughout your life. Take special note of Darrell's advice to plan to be (and love being) a life long learner.

It does this because of the skills/aptitudes it requires; I'll add a few beyond those listed already: strong logical abilities, tenacity when problem solving, and flexibility both personally and technically. Example - some of the work you'll do is alone or independent so one has be comfortable there; while at the same time most projects require team collaboration and interaction, so team skills are required, too.
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Patrick’s Answer

Computer Science is a pretty broad field, so depending on your field of interest some skills may be more important than others.
The Skills that I consider the most important is: Problem solving
While there are others such as good communications skills, interpersonal skills, etc... which will help you in your professional career, being able to solve a problem, fix a bug, create a new process is what will make your future in Computer Science a success.

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Darrell’s Answer

Danielle,
You're asking a very open ended question here! (smile, wink) I agree with Michael that you need to know how to develop software. So logic, problem solving and the ability to break down a large task into smaller and easier modules is important.

The real important skills are those soft skills that take time to mature and develop. Here are some rhetorical questions that I look for when interviewing candidates for a position.
Can you communicate well and succinctly?
Can you present your ideas clearly?
Do you work well with others? If not, you will be an island all to yourself where others might avoid you.
Do you take all the glory or do you try to elevate the entire teams capabilities?
Can you give accurate estimates on how long a task will take to complete?
Can you write good code, have a solid unit test to validate it and is it well documented?
Do you know how to learn? The software engineering changes all the time - when I started, there were no hand held devices or personal computers, no internet, no instant messaging (just e-mail), no social media, no video devices, no wide spread artificial intelligence/machine learning. So whatever you learn today might not be directly relevant tomorrow. But having the ability to learn, is a skill/trait that is important.

Going back to your question - what is important? A solid foundation on computer science principles, problem solving, communication, and a willingness to learn. Secondly, know where you want to play/work. I mean, if you like self driving cars, you should learn AI/ML, if you like video animation/streaming, learn lots of math, if you like applications learn user interface design, if you like cloud software, learn about that. There are some many different aspects to computer science that one can work in. What interests you? Decide that and then become immersed in it.

Just note that in the future you will be older (like me) and the next younger generation (like you) will come in knowing more about the latest technology than you and their salary requirements will be less than yours. Are you a dinosaur or a visionary? Are you still valuable to the organization or have you not kept up with trends? So having the ability to pivot and keep yourself relevant is a very important skill for your career lifetime.

Darrell recommends the following next steps:

Determine what part of computer science interests you and study that
Learn to be comfortable in public speaking (toastmasters, school play)
Create a vision and plan for your career aspirations - today you are an entry level programmer, tomorrow will you be the same, or an architect, director, Chief Technical Officer?
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