The Future Developer's Handbook: Mastering University Computer Science

The Future Developer's Handbook: Mastering University Computer Science

Starting a Computer Science course at university can be quite daunting but it doesn't have to be. In today's blog post, I'll be sharing ways to excel academically, gain practical experience, and network in your Computer Science university journey.

Academic Excellence

During my years in university, I learnt a few strategies that set me up for success, and no, I'm not talking about some coupon hack for free burgers. Here are a few strategies I learnt.

Preparing for lectures

Before you head to your lectures, or the night before, go through the content for the lecture. As you do this, jot down any questions or things that are confusing you. By doing this, you get to slowly digest the content of the lecture and evaluate if you understand it or not.

During the lecture, be sure to ask the questions you took note of if the lecturer doesn't address them as part of the lecture.

Study early and submit early

Leaving things for the last minute is a recipe for disaster. If you have an upcoming assignment due, start it sooner rather than later. This ensures that you have enough time to comfortably go through the assignment and iron out issues along the way. This also comes with added benefit of being able to understand the work you're doing. When we rush things, we often don't learn much as we're focused on the end goal and not the journey.

Exams should also be treated the same way. If you have an exam or test coming up, start studying as early as possible. This leaves you with enough time to consult with your lecturers, discuss with your classmates and to revise.

Practical Experience

University is great and teaches you a lot fundamentals of Computer Science but it tends to lack when it comes to providing practical experience. This is mostly left to you as the student to figure out and I encourage you to. Practical experience can be invaluable and help you in finding a graduate job or give you a boost when you start your new job out of university.

Internships are the main source of practical experience as they give you a feel of how what you study is used in the real-world. Internships normally run during recess so you don't have to worry about them clashing with your school hours.

There are a couple ways to find internships but as a start, you can have a look at

Hackathons are also a great way to gain practical experience as you often work on real-world problems. Be on the lookout for these and be sure not to miss them.

Community and Networking

Studying Computer Science isn't all about solving the Fibonacci or learning new languages; it's also about being part of a vibrant community and building a network that'll support you through your school and work careers. Here's how:

Connecting with classmates

"Sometimes the treasure lies not in distant lands but beneath our feet."

Your classmates should be your immediate peer network. Ensure that you engage in all things academics and code. These connections often lead to great friendships, future connections, and a support system.

If you and your peers would love to do something fun that's code related, check out Clash of Code.

Leveraging online platforms

Create a LinkedIn profile and connect with industry professionals, alumni, and future employers too. You can share your work or contact them directly if you have any questions.

GitHub is also a great platform for building a community whilst doing the thing we all loving - coding. Contribute to open-source projects on GitHub. This works to improve your coding skills and making your GitHub profile enticing to future employers.

Wrapping up, a Computer Science degree is not only about academics; it's about embracing the balance between academics, experience, and a healthy community.

Please feel free to share in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, and subscribe to the newsletter if you enjoy the content!