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What advice would you give to a first year computer science student?

I am a prospective student at a prestigious university in my country, where I will be majoring in computer science. I would like to know what advice would you give to me for my upcoming semester?

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Ryan’s Answer

Hey Dejaunae,

One of the top tips I can share as a former computer science student is to be smart with your time. Begin working on programming tasks and projects as soon as possible! Many people tend to start week or month-long projects just a few days before they're due. They often believe they understand the material well and can easily apply it to their programming assignments. However, there's always a chance that you'll encounter a bug in your code, which might take hours or even days to fix. Make sure you allow enough time to get your code up and running smoothly for these tasks. Another useful suggestion is to get to know your professors. Drop by their office hours whenever you can, even if you don't have any questions or difficulties with the course material. Building these connections with your professors early on will make it easier for you to ask for help throughout the semester.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the help. Dejaunae
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Brandon’s Answer

I highly encourage you to focus on cultivating critical thinking, communication, and a broad understanding of business concepts. As the tools and technologies in your field progress, staying up-to-date with technical knowledge will be an ongoing process. Possessing strong critical thinking skills can be equally vital in the long term. Moreover, it's crucial to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical individuals. Ultimately, you'll likely be part of a company that offers services or develops tools to support those services. Gaining a solid grasp of general business lifecycles and structures will give you an extra advantage!
Thank you comment icon I appreciate your support, Brandon Dejaunae
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Ka'Pri’s Answer

Hello!

To begin , it's important to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the information given to you. Grasping the content of your curriculum can greatly benefit you. Establish a good rapport with your professor, as they can offer valuable assistance. Next, make the most of the resources at your disposal. Various platforms can help you expand your knowledge beyond the classroom setting. Lastly, tap into your accumulated wisdom to identify your passions. After pinpointing your interests, focus on honing your abilities in those particular fields.
Thank you comment icon Your advice was so helpful! Dejaunae
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Srikant’s Answer

Hey Dejaunae,
In addition to all the advices around time management and being on top of your tasks, I would also suggest that you start looking for what you would like to do after you graduate, basically try to look for your north star - job at X, post graduate, entrepreneurship, etc. That will guide your current decisions and the decisions that you would take during the coming semesters around electives, specialization, building network, etc. And remember, have fun during the journey!
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Dejaunae
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Aparna’s Answer

I recommend signing up for programming language and database courses, making sure to fully grasp the concepts. Additionally, practice these skills to gain hands-on experience and learn how they can be applied to real-world software issues.

Consider looking for internship opportunities to see how real-time projects are carried out and interact with knowledgeable professionals to learn from them. Wishing you a successful learning journey and career.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. Dejaunae
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Luke’s Answer

Hi Dejaunae! To echo everyone else, it is always important to stay on top of tasks, work hard and stay organized. But, in addition to this advice, it is equally important to meet new people, try new things, and make the best out of your time! College is what you make of it, and growing your network can be just as valuable as acing all your classes (which I am sure you will!!) Don't be afraid to get involved in new clubs and try other things around the university.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Luke! Dejaunae
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Alex’s Answer

This excellent decision will lead to a lengthy and influential career. Embrace continuous learning, embrace creative thinking, and strive to acquire numerous trainings and certifications. Undoubtedly, you'll encounter challenges and difficult problems, but overcoming them brings immense satisfaction as you create solutions. Maintain concentration, stay determined, and cultivate a positive learning mindset!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Dejaunae
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Taryn’s Answer

Get certifications
Join clubs, start clubs, and run clubs (President, VP, etc.)
Go to conferences and events in your area
Join local clubs
Do hack-a-thons or related events.
Make a LinkedIN page (and add people who work at companies youre interested in, also to stay relevant on their info and things theyre working on)

If youre from Kingston in Jamaica please look for opportunities your government and ministry of education offer. Recently Jamaica has been very big into providing technology programs, trainings, and events to the youth!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Dejaunae
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Garry’s Answer

My suggestion for you is to always take your time when comprehending ideas presented in class, whether it's coding or math-related. Don't hesitate to ask questions if something is unclear! I mention this because I didn't ask questions in the past, and even now, I continue to face challenges as a software engineer.
Thank you comment icon Thanks, can't wait to put this advice into action! Dejaunae
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