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Whether you’re a computer science student or someone who’s just into the field, you can always improve your skills. Computer science is a tough discipline and it might take some time to see your skills improve. But if you’re just starting out and are seeking to improve your CS skills – you’ve come to the right place. Here are 5 tips you can start incorporating into your daily life as a computer science enthusiast – regardless of your skill level.
1. Note Down Everything
Even though you’ll be probably be working on a computer most of the time – notetaking is still an important habit. You learn better this way and remember more as well. So, the next time you’re working on a computer science project, start taking notes. Notes on the goal of the project, your actual code (writing down the code helps you get better too), and what you’re trying to do are all important ways to improve.
2. Work On Side Projects
Speaking of projects, ideally, you should always be coding something on your own as a side project. Whether it be for fun or just as a hobby, side projects are a great distraction from your work, university projects and life in general. If you’re truly passionate about coding, you’ll want to be always learning more about it. So, try to make something fun in your spare time when you’re not doing anything important.
3. The Theory Is Also Important
Coding is only one half of computer science. Math and theory are just as, if not more, important as writing code. Ideally, you should be focusing on all aspects of computer science, not just coding. You need discrete math to figure out complex algorithms and theory to understand how to approach the problem.
4. Study Everything CS Related
The internet has a lot of information for all fields, including computer science. There are countless classes and online courses that are free and can help expand your knowledge. You’re just one Google search away from getting started in CS. Deciding on the right course can be hard, so, be sure to look at the reviews, the instructor’s portfolio and more. What’s great about classes is that you can take your time and code along with the professor of the course. There are usually discussion boards too – so if you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask and get involved with the community.
5. Experience and Portfolio
At the end of the day, the experience is usually the deciding factor. Once you feel you’ve gained enough CS knowledge, start writing apps, and programs that you can put in your portfolio. This helps your resume and makes you look credible. Computer science projects are a great way to show off your skills to potential employers, so be sure to focus on developing your skills in your spare time. If you’re really serious about getting started in the CS field, having side projects is a great way to stand out amidst the masses.
Ryan Yarbrough is a small business consultant, speaker, and the manager at Davis Financial Services, a small business consulting firm.