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Travelling through the binary world

The Unofficial Freshers guide to


winters for CS nerds
November 27, 2013 My Feathers Computer Science, Freshers Guide, Information
Technology

Disclaimer: This post is based completely on my


personal opinion. I do not claim to be an expert in
any domain illustrated below so feel free to follow
or ignore. This post is not the final world and I
welcome second thoughts and discussion
regarding any of the mentioned point in form of
comments. The intent behind this post is an
attempt to provide direction and thought to the
computer science fresher students and widen
their perspective towards this field.

CONGRATULATION

So freshers you have made this so far. Spent an entire semester in college away from home or should
I say survived (well Ill leave it to your personal choice).

So now its time to get back home and I am sure most of you have already have prepared all the plethora
of stories to share with your family and friends. Indeed a blissful moment it is.. isnt it?

HOME, PEOPLE & 30 DAYS

So, heading back home for your first holiday is always a wonderful specially after the bulk of fun and
frustration you gathered in the past 4 months. Quiz, lectures, Effe, chords. True sake you had it all.

Now its the opportunity to think what you will do in the next 30 days, after all they are just yours. Its the
month to feel like a boss, completely in control, my life my ways. Obviously Relax would be the first
activity on your list followed by hanging around with friends, prolly learning guitar or buying some new
novels.

Wonderful activities they all are, but evidently, most of you will be still left with an awful amount of
time, unplanned, unspent, typically just getting bored. So you may wanna give some time to nurture the
geek inside you too, after all, that is the part most of your lives will be followed upon.

PICKING THE RIGHT PIECES

Its fun to be a fresher. Most of you must be in a state of paradox. You know, you want to do something,
but you dont know what to do. Its a very common state that occurs to the best of us. Now here are the 3
things people do in this state:

Think Think Think Get exhausted and sleep.

Look at what others are doing and follow them.

Be a pirate.
Pirates love to explore

Three things that Jack Sparrow has taught us:

Being fearless

Being funny, and

Being unpredictable

Having been introduced to this gigantic sea of Technology, there are various depths to dive and various
breadths to explore. All in the search of your peace zone.

Here are some domains to look into.

Be the know it all Geek

Being entered into the most dynamic world, it becomes important to synergize. Everyday technology is
taking new turns, every hour is being followed by new innovation and every minute by new hacks. Its
important to know what the world is doing, beyond the books and lectures.

Get into the tech zone. Read blogs, articles, tech news, tech magazines and realize that your common
day discussions with your friends have changed to entire different stream. Broaden your mindset and
be a visionary.

Things to take for your regular diet:


Hacker News : A simple dynamic archieve of links regarding the hotest topic of discussions in the
tech world by the worldd largest Entrepreneur funding company, the Y-combinator.

TechCrunch : The most famous tech blog on web

Mashable : A website that covers the top social media news

KickStarter : A crowdsource funding website. You will always find some awesome innovations
featuring here.

Make it a point to bookmark each of them in your browsers and start and end your day by clicking on
them.

The Riddler

For those guys who love mathematics and puzzle solving, algorithmic programming is the way to
pursue. If dealing in numbers and bytes of code is what satisfies your appetite, then yes you are the
ideal programmer. You are one of those guys who has the power of code rather than the power of pen.

Algorithmic coding is a common culture followed in all CS colleges, specially in India just because it is
believed that placements rely heavily on them. In my opinion, there is no point in joining the flock of
sheeps. Do it only if its your passion and your aim is to compete in the biggest platform in this domain;
The ACM-ICPC world finals .

How to begin:

Pick a language of your choice (C, C++, Python preferred) and learn the basics.

Learn in depth about Data Structures.

Learn in depth about Algorithm design and analysis.

Always Implement whatever you learn.

Your camping area:

Sphere Online Judge

Codechef

Topcoder
Codeforces

Solve as many problems you can. Remember, this is predominantly a continuous learning game. Your
music should have just 2 notes, Practice and improvisation.

The Ideative

If you are a person who likes to build something that everyone else can use. It may be a new creation or
a solution but you value your code just as much as other would value it. You like the web and everything
on it. You enjoy giving life to your ideas and care for the exterior as well as the interiors, then you may be
interested in web development.

The most powerful tool that 21st century has is the Internet, and you want your creation to be part of it.
Its notable to say, that some of biggest companies in this world started as just a simple website with few
lines of code (Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Youtube). It was not the code which powered them,
but the idea.

How to being:

Learn to create a web page using HTML and CSS.

Learn a server side scripting language. (Preferred PHP)

Make small web applications like polling, question answer system, user account and login etc.

Resource: W3School & Google

Be pro by learning javascripts and ajax.

Your camping area:

Everywhere on the internet.

Behance (for design enthusiast)

The Open Source Freelance

For the past decade, open source softwares have begun to play a major role in industry. Open source
refers to acomputer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or
modification from its original design.

In the current scenario, there are thousands of communities that produce open source softwares. From
your favorite web browser Firefox to your favorite media player VLC, all are open source. Open source
community has managed to provide the best softwares in each domain. One example is LINUX.

The way it works is that Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which
programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community.

Now who forms this community?

The open source community has the best experts and also the amature programmers. Anyone with
sufficient knowledge can start contributing. As a college fresher it is difficult to start contributing, but its
a great idea to follow open source projects and learn the requirements so that you can start
contributing. These contributions will not only enhance your skills highly, but also are well appreciated
in the tech community.

To promote Open source software contribution among students, there are some well known platform.

Google Summer of Code : A initiative by google to give summer interns to students to work on
FOSS solutions in well reputed organizations.

OPW : Similar program only for girls.

More resources

Having a good track record in open source community provides tremendous opportunity for
internships and recruitments. More than that, its a matter of self pride to be part of some product that
millions around the globe are using. Isnt is amazing if you could tell your friend something like, Hey
that feature in the browser you are using is developed by me

To look around what some amazing things people do, Follow: GitHub Explore .

Thinking Future

Thinking about the future is always an ecstatic experience for everyone. After the revolutionary change
the world has seen, one can just imagine what has to come next. So, if you are a research enthusiast and
you like visioning the future technology, you should start right over on the path to one day be the
discoverer of a new beginning.

Some things to do:

Start following research of major international universities. Pick the domain of your interest.
Dont go for everything. Like, MIT Research , Stanford Research.

Read research papers. You will not follow most of them, but that is what shall show the path.
Search about everything you find new. Follow: ACM digital library
Look forward to start working on some research project from the 2nd undergrad year of your
college under the professor of your choice. You will have to contact them individually and prove
your interest.

Aim for higher studies. Compete to make it into the best possible international university and get
enrolled in the course of your choice. Follow all the necessary protocol to ensure you reach the place
you deserve. Contact someone for expert advice. I can just put down the basic steps I know of.

Taking an Online Course

Another effective way to utilize your time is going for online courses. The best part being that, you can
learn at your own pace and just saying, the professors teach pretty cool. You wont miss any fun.

Follow:

Coursera

edX MIT

Khan Academy

NPTEL
(yes, we indians are catching up too)

Most of the online course websites listed will provide you with authentic certificates on completing a
course if you choose to get enrolled. These might be helpful. Still, my opinion, dont go for the
certificate part instead seek for knowledge.

Miscellaneous Resources

Mobile App Development:

Android:

Certifications:

CBT Nuggets

Lynda Training

Computer Programming Videos

Designing Tools to learn:

Adobe Photoshop
Abode Premiere

Abobe AfterEffects

Blenders

Thank You for viewing this. Hope you found this helpful. Please provide your thoughts and suggestions
below.

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3 bloggers like this.

3 thoughts on The Unofficial Freshers guide to


winters for CS nerds

December 1, 2013 at 8:44 am

Nice one sir. Thank You for writing an article for us but as a first year i have some
suggestions
Vishnu Ks Lifehacker, Tinkernut(Youtube) And SearchEngineLand is also great for first years
like us.

For online course Udacity is new, great and awesome.

Finally for CSS newboston tutorials are much friendly than W3C.

As a first year i felt this. Wonderful effort from your side.

December 12, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Awesome One Sir!!


Super Cool !! (Y)
I think U made My holidays 8|
Jack Korbin

June 23, 2014 at 6:48 am

Very Good article I will be joining CSE this Fall so, this article will help me

Vineet