From Jeff Atwood,
“For a fast-moving field like computer science, the work you’re doing is far more relevant than any classes you’re taking. If you must choose between formal schooling and work experience, always choose work. If you’re in school, aggressively pursue real-world experience that compliments your schoolwork.”
I agree with Jeff! Nothing is more important than trying things by yourself when learning something new. Especially programming which is a mix of Science, Engineering and Art.
Yesterday, coincidentally, I was telling my students that this what Science is all about: doing experiments!
Jeff quotes Stephen Leacock:
“If I were founding a university I would found first a smoking room; then when I had a little more money in hand I would found a dormitory; then after that, or more probably with it, a decent reading room and a library. After that, if I still had more money that I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t use, I would hire a professor and get some textbooks.”
What he meant was that what is important in a University is to have a place where people can meet and talk and learn and share experience. This is sooooooo true. When I think about my years in France, I distinctly remember the various nights my friends and I spent in our rooms having fun and talking about technology, programming and philosophy. I have forgotten about most lectures I attended… This is what is missing here at the University of Mauritius. And this is why many people tell me that it is just a glorified college. And I think I have to agree. Unfortunately.
Jeff gives the following advice to young people willing to become great Computer Scientists:
- Do work placements (stage)
- Participate in local user groups (LUGM is nice!)
- Contribute to an open-source project.
- Publish articles.
- Start a blog.
So, dear students, move your ass and try to secure a work placement (stage) as soon as possible in a good software development company! Yesterday, we were discussing with Accenture and the people there are very nice! I guess the people from Infosys are also very nice. You get the point?