Hello World is so Boring
Published a month ago
but we all do it at least once.
Being in contact with new computer science freshmen at my university has brought a couple of things to my attention that I've come to think I want to share with anyone who may be starting their college CS career. Whether you're unsure its the right path for you, or you just want to read some tips from a random dude on the internet, here are the 3 big things I think all Computer Science freshmen should keep in mind while exploring their first semesters of college classes.
  1. Computer Science Requires Practice. You may be thinking, I'll just take the classes, study, do my homework and before you know it, I'll be writing clean perfect code in no time. Don't be fooled, practice makes perfect, but experience can sculpt your skills. Even the easy projects you get at first, like writing your first "Hello World!" program will teach you your first steps toward making awesome things! Take it all seriously, but take time to step out and create things on your own. Making your own projects, failing, and trying again will teach you a lot about project workflow, perseverance, and my personal favorite, how to use the internet to your advantage.
  2. Use Your Resources! Often times as programmers, we find ourselves stuck at an issue which is out of our scope (see what I did there) of knowledge to resolve. This does not make us bad programmers, this just means we need to consult the help of others. Never be afraid to ask for help, its what makes us human and will help us learn more applicable skills in the long run. Consulting the internet and your peers will not only improve your skills, but also teach you more efficient ways of creating the cool things you're already creating. Utilize the global network of programmers and designers, and you'll find that the world of programming is not nearly as daunting as you think.
  3. Collaboration is Key. Getting help from others is great, but working with others is an art. Yes, create things on your own, get used to the programming frame of mind, but don't hide your talent. More brains thinking smart thoughts is better than one. And when you get a room of smart brains all pursuing a similar goal, awesome things can result. Join a club, get your friends together, or assemble a super efficient game dev-ing team and let each person use their specific personal strengths to achieve the collective goal. Don't give up because others are better than you, instead learn from these individuals, pick up on their habits, and in the end everybody wins.
So get out there boys and girls. So make big mistakes, produce ugly spaghetti code, and cause your computer to throw many errors at you. Because, in the words of Jake the Dog, "Sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something". Don't give up, practice, be resourceful, and ask for help. We've all gone through it, and we're all here at our computers playing Untitled Goose Game, waiting to help you succeed.
Love, CJ
CJ Rosas
University Student - Student