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Discussion on: What Are the Most Important CS Principles to Learn as a New Dev from a Non-Traditional Background?

beardedbry profile image

Is there any books you would recommend?

jahzielv profile image
Jahziel Villasana-Espinoza

Hey Brian! I'm not a huge book learner, and a lot of what I've learned I've gotten from classes I've taken at Tech. This is the syllabus for CS 2110 (Computer Organization and Programming), the class that started my love for all things systems/fundamentals. I'd recommend finding resources that cover the topics in this syllabus. There are two textbooks mentioned, both of which I used intermittently while taking the class, but which contain most of the concepts.

Once you've looked at that, I'd recommend taking a look at the concepts covered in the next systems class at GT, CS 2200. The class site has a link to the textbook, which I'd definitely recommend. This class is basically a deeper dive into topics introduced by 2110, including more stuff on processor architecture, basic OS design concepts, and networking.

That seems like a lot, and you definitely don't need to become an expert in any of these areas or even cover all of them. Since my main experience with a lot of this stuff is in college, these are some of the best resources I have to recommend. If you want to actually take free college CS classes, I believe that Harvard and MIT offer several of their core CS classes online for free. Focus on things like architecture, operating systems, and networking.

Finally, my own personal goal is to be creating more accessible resources for folks to learn these concepts online, without the college classes. I'm doing a lot of thinking about how to best do this, so keep an eye out for more stuff that I might potentially make!

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Scott Simontis

The program we used to learn logic gates was called Logisim and is freely available. There was one TA who pretty much made the class worthwhile when I took it. He knew the content leagues better than the professor who wrote the textbook, created all of the exercises and projects himself, and overall was a super awesome human being. I was struggling hard with depression when I took the first class, and would have majorly failed if that TA didn't help motivate me through it.