5 Tips for Computer Science Students

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You are in college now so I am skipping the basics the go to class do your homework study for tests stay out of the hospital. These are not all important pieces of advice but I am sure you have heard them. Instead, let’s talk computer science. Here are some tips I have specially collected by talking to students who wish they’d heard them when they were students. Listen up.

  1. Seek help when you need it. Your classes are going to get harder, they are going to test your knowledge but that’s why you are there for. Some people find attending office hours or seeking extra help to be embarrassing. But these resources are there for a reason. Taking advantage of the help you are offered will not only help you prepare for future classes and learn the material better but a lot less harmful than bad grades or any other consequences of struggling.
  2. Don’t let yourself intimidated by large projects. The best thing to do, sit down a day at the assignment and break it up into smaller tasks. A lot of times it’s looking at the smaller tasks that help you realize the solution and even if it does not, you’ll only have to face one small problem at a time instead of a huge and overwhelming one.
  3. Error can be unpredictable for don’t procrastinate even if you see the solution right away. You still can’t really predict the types of errors you are going to face. It’s time to compile or if there’d logical errors when you run it. Sometimes it may be the slightest error that can be the hardest to catch. So make sure you leave yourself enough time to tackle it.
  4. Silly errors are no small things is computer science. One silly error can ruin the entire program and likewise, you are great. It is not uncommon for computer science classes to skip partial credit. If your code does not work you make it nothing for it. A more compassionate professor might throw you off 50% but the truth is that one little missing semicolon that you were too tired to find before returning your homework can be all it takes to turn an A into an F. So, don’t miss the semicolon.
  5. Stop and compile regularly. If you compile your projects on regular basis, you can solve errors as they appear and locating them would be easy because they could only appear since the last time you compiled. I know it can be annoying to get your program to a stopping point or you can do this but it’s definitely worth it. The alternative is getting all the errors at the end and there could be a lot of them. All hidden throughout your code, the code you wrote who knows how long ago and make sure you test sample code before you use it. There is nothing worse than just assuming that it works only to find out it’s the source of your problem and the one place you didn’t look.

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