3 Regrets From My Computer Science Degree
I have a formal Computer Science degree, but I didn’t graduate as prepared as I could have been had I done a few things differently. Here are my three biggest regrets I have from getting a degree in Computer Science.
1. Focusing Too Much on Grades and Not Enough on Real Understanding
During my college years, I was primarily focused on getting good grades, often at the expense of truly understanding the concepts I was learning. I didn’t invest enough time and effort into comprehending why I was doing certain tasks and solving specific problems.
Understanding the “why” behind concepts is crucial for two main reasons:
- It helps solidify your knowledge, enabling you to apply it more effectively in real-world situations.
- It fosters curiosity, pushing you to explore new areas and become a better problem solver.
When pursuing a computer science degree, or any educational course for that matter, make a conscious effort to look beyond the classroom. Take the time to dive deeper and truly understand the why behind what you’re learning. Don’t just focus on grades. Invest your energy into developing a solid foundation built on understanding the underlying concepts.
2. Not Utilizing Outside Resources Enough
Another regret I have from my computer science degree is not taking full advantage of the wealth of resources available outside the classroom. In a traditional academic setting, you only have access to one teacher’s perspective and teachings. On the other hand, the internet allows you to learn from an infinite number of sources, providing various angles and approaches to understanding new ideas.
To make the most of your education, find outside resources to learn from like:
- YouTube videos
- Blog articles
- Communities like Learn Build Teach
Remember that it often takes multiple explanations and interpretations before you truly understand a concept. Utilize the vast amount of free content available online, and expand your learning horizons beyond the classroom.
3. Not Attending a Hackathon
Lastly, one of my biggest regrets is not attending a hackathon. A hackathon is a fast-paced, collaborative event where teams of developers, designers, and other tech enthusiasts work together to create functioning software in a short time frame. These events provide invaluable opportunities to work with and learn from others while getting inspired by the potential impact of your code.
By participating in hackathons, you can:
- Practice working with a team (Git/Github, planning, etc.)
- Gain practical experience in building and deploying real-world projects.
- Network with industry professionals, potential employers, and fellow developers.
- Challenge yourself and test the limits of your abilities.
- Witness firsthand the impact your code can have on individuals, communities, and the world at large.
If you’re currently pursuing a computer science degree or are considering doing so, I highly encourage you to attend hackathons whenever possible. These events provide you with exceptional experiences that simply can’t be replicated in a classroom.
Those are 3 regrets that come to mind. I’ve actually got many more unsurprisingly 🤷♂️ Let me know if you want a part 2!