4 Helpful Tips for First Year Computer Science Majors
In computer science, there are various strategies that will not only help you learn more but apply the concepts in more effective ways. It is a highly technical subject. Any uncertainty can, therefore, throw you off course; it is very easy to fall behind, but extremely difficult to catch up in a subject like computer science. If you’re not careful from the very beginning, you risk jeopardizing your major and having to find another subject to earn your degree. Here are four tips to consider before you start your first year as a computer science major.
1. Focus on Your Math
Almost as soon as you enter the class, mathematical concepts will be literally thrown at you, whether the goal is to become a computer builder or video game programmer. Budding software engineers must understand how to work out math problems and complex algorithms. Study up on graph theory, statistics, and recursion. Even if hardware is your focus, mathematical concepts will be used to design logical circuits. They’re also applied to automata theory, in the case of designing finite state machines.
2. Learn How to communicate
Communication is a very important trait for a computer engineer. In addition to writing code, you will have to write test plans, specifications, and other materials that explain what you do. The better you are able to communicate from the start, the easier it is to apply that skill as you learn highly technical subjects. Consider taking business writing classes to build your communicative skills. You may need these later for research papers, for example.
3. Build Your Engineering Mindset
Engineering concepts such as linear algebra, electromagnetism, and probability will come into question at some point. Statistics, calculus, and more bridge the gap between computer science and engineering. Any engineer you work with later will need to know how what you are doing relates to concepts they know and use every day.
4. Learn as Many Programming Languages as Possible
The advice for CS majors provided here will help to get the most out of the experience. Whether you study online or go to Sarah Lawrence College, you’ll need the same mindset to conquer your computer science classes. Everything you learn will go towards your career, so these four tips should be taken seriously with every lesson and assignment.