Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How to get the most out of your CS degree

Last year, I came across a Slashdot post that discussed how to get the most out of a computer science curriculum. Actually, it was very informative, some people stressed on learning the fundamentals such as algorithms, data structures, numerical analysis, compilers...etc. Others found that it's software development that counts.

One comment was really exceptional, the comment author gave some advice to students on how to behave while getting a computer science degree. After reading it, I hoped someone told me this long ago before my computer engineering journey. I'll summarize the comment below, though, you can refer to the actual comment for more details.

  1. Remember you are not at school. You are doing the degree for you and what you will gain will be proportional to the amount of effort you put in.

  2. Ask questions to your TAs and lecturers. It's your degree and it's for you, asking questions might make you look silly, but which is more important you learning or what people who think they are still at school think of you?

  3. Program. Lots. Anything and everything.

  4. Work. Actually do the recommended reading (it's there for a reason) and the exercises.

  5. Acquire a copy of "The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Languages", it will make you a better programmer.

  6. It's up to you.
The advice above is not just for those who are about to apply for a CS degree, but also to those who already have one and find themselves no different than any codemunger. It's never late to get back to the basics and grok them well enough.

Hope this helps ;)


  1. Great advises Eng. Maher :), and the most important thing from my point of view is It's never late to get back to the basics and grok them well enough.

    1. Thank you Esraa, I'm glad it was useful for you.


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