DEV Community

Oliver Mensah
Oliver Mensah

Posted on • Updated on

That hard times while learning to code in college and how I was advised by a senior

Before university, I rarely used computers so I was struggling with the Computer Science education. I nearly switched from Computer Science to other program. I heard about one senior who was doing well in school so I went to him for advice. And this is how he advised me.

  1. Go to campus
  2. Spend 30% of your time on school work and 70% of other resources that will build your skills up.

Spend the majority of your time out of the classroom. Visit the tech hubs around. Attend tech forums and meetups. Take an online course for Free on platforms such as the Microsoft Virtual Academy... Cybrary..., if you have money pay for courses on plurasight, udacity. Start working on an individual project and post this on your Github Repo. (Oh first learn and find out what Github is)....Look for a mentor in the field... Learn from them... Find some friends and collaborate on small projects and finally don't forget to go to class once in a while.(Just to find out how things are going and if they're done teaching your fellow classmates about the WaterFall Model of 1960s)
When all this is done graduate with a Second Upper/lower or First Class... Never even have to think twice about your degree because if you do the above there will be no need to look for a job... Your skills will make jobs look for you earnestly.

Though I won't graduate with first class and neither am I on Dean's List but I am very happy with what I have learned outside the classroom. Now, I have the skills to program any applications for various platforms such as mobile, web, desktop, virtual reality, etc.

Advice from readers is welcomed to help me excel as I journey into Software Craftmanship and Development.

Top comments (5)

notfakedev profile image
Martin Malinowski • Edited

I 100% agree, I am also a student right now and most of the things that I have to learn are outdated. For example I just had test on Java Faces... now I am working on small college assignment where I have to build SOAP API. Everyone who finished the college said that I will learn everything once I find a job. College is just the paper and off course they teach you programming basics. I am learning the most from doing side projects, think about something that you have interested in, write down ideas for the project, choose one and start it. Don’t think about what you can program or not, just start the project and slowly slowly build it. It might take 1 day or 3 months to complete, the point is that by the end of the project you will have more knowledge. I am also doing project based on youtube tutorials, I follow the video, then I am trying to make my own version, and then I am trying to build something on top of that.

nathibynature profile image
Nathi B Ndlovu

I can totally relate. Sometimes what they teach us in college is outdated and you have to go out and find the latest information yourself.

palethorn profile image
David Cavar

Basically he told you to work hard.

tterb profile image
Brett Stevenson

I think that the advice he is referencing is less about the amount of work and more focused on the distribution of the work. As a computer science student, I gradually found myself discovering this same work distribution over the first two years of my program, so I think that this advice could definitely be more beneficial than just telling people that are early in their CS program to work hard.

olivermensahdev profile image
Oliver Mensah

Okay.Thanks for the feedback