re: I've Trained Programming Interns For 6+ Years, Ask Me Anything! VIEW POST

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As a university CS junior with no idea what direction to take for a career, what steps should I be taking to gain experience and make connections before I graduate? Also what are some ways to see what the industry in a particular field is like that will help me narrow down what I want to do for a career?

 

Actually, one of the main purposes of an internship is exactly that - to get an idea of what the industry is like in a particular field! You can also consider job shadowing to get a "lighter" taste. Your university's career services department can connect you with opportunities for both.

As to networking, I've found that DEV and Freenode IRC both provide excellent opportunities. One seldom sets out with the goal of "making connections" - that happens naturally over time as you meet people, ask questions, and interact. You should also see if there are any programming meetups in your area; in-person networking events like this are one of the best ways to meet people in your chosen field!

If you know you want to work in computer science, don't stress about necessarily finding the "right direction" before you graduate. Sometimes it takes time, but you'll eventually discover what you enjoy...and it may be quite different from what you anticipate!

Graduation from college is not the end of your entry phase - in fact, it is just the beginning.

P.S. If you someday discover that something interests you more than C.S., don't be ashamed. I know programmers with music degrees, musicians with CS degrees, and many, many other people that went into a field different from the one they went to school for. There's nothing really wrong with it.

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