Things I learned from my computer science degree.
I am an introvert and the best thing about being an introvert is you get a lot of free time and in that time I learnt how to code. That was one of the best decisions of my life.
I started learning coding when I was in the 9th Grade. I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to create a Web Browser and literally created it in a day. I couldn’t believe that it was that easy and it felt like magic. I still can’t forget that feeling.
I started learning Web development and the programming languages related to it. Here are the things I learned while going through that journey:
The most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to learning is Curiosity. You have to be curious enough to learn things and you will find a way to learn it eventually. Coding for me is not about a guy wearing a hoodie(although I do wear it most of the times) typing weird things on a blue screen but a way to solve real world problems. You can create something in a few days which has the power to impact millions of people. It is the best way to solve real world problems at a grand scale.
If you are curious enough about a particular topic, the Internet is the best University out there. I started watching tutorials from a YouTube channel called “TheNewBoston” which is still the best learning resource for me when it comes to programming. Learning how to learn is also a skill and is probably the most important of them all. This skill includes knowing how to surf the web, how to use Google, how to use torrent, what kind of online resources are best for the skill you want to gain etc. So when I want to learn something, I spend a lot of time just scanning through what the whole thing is about and not actually learning it right from the start. In that scanning you will find a lot of inspirations, courses, blogs, people related to the topic you are trying to learn and that helps a lot.
In my 12th Grade, I took CS50 online which is the Introduction to Computer Science by Harvard. It completely changed my perspective about physical computer science education and I started to expect similar things(even though I knew Harvard was one of the best universities in the world and mine wasn’t even close) in my degree college. Here are the few things I expected from my college which any Computer Science Graduate should expect:
- Quality Teachers
- Sense of Community
- Working on real world practical projects
- The main objective of college is to give knowledge and increase your skill set.
- Updated Curriculum
But Computer Science education in India Sucks. Not even one of those things are done right in the whole system and that needs to change.
Probably that is the reason only 3.67% of the Computer Science graduates in India are skilled enough to work in the industry according to a survey done by Aspiring Minds.
We are not given education to create thinkers or creators but assembly line workers.
a hacker could sit down and write an entire piece of software on his own(fifteen years ago). Now no longer possible. Software's come out of factories, and hackers are, to a greater extent, assembly line workers. Worse yet, they have become managers who never get to write any code themselves.
We are not taught how to think but rather what to think which sucks.
I will go through a few things that I learned after visiting a few colleges and understanding how they work:
- Most of the Teachers are teachers because they couldn’t be developers
The criteria of picking teachers is their degree or their PhD in computer science and not because they know how to teach. Those are two completely different skill sets and both absolutely essential to the profession.
2. The whole point of college is not Knowledge but Credentialing.
3. A fixed curriculum is set for 3 years at-least and even if it changes, the changes are either very basic or worse just copied from another shitty university.
4. Outdated software’s and standards of programming.
In terms of knowledge, I can successfully say that I can write Fibonacci series program in 8 different programming languages after my graduation and not an actual software through my college education and that sucks.
So its time for us as learners to change a few things and not rely on colleges for our learning and start learning how to learn.
P.S I know I am a nerd and my next article is going to be about that!