catching up in CS

<p>i'm gonna be a second year college student considering majoring in CS. i've been out of the loop for a while, and haven't kept up much with computers - it's intimidating when you meet people who have lived their entire lives on computers, building webpages, hacking, writing programs, assembling their own computers, networking, knowing the latest computer news, etc. - and then you have me who's done nothing more than take AP computer science.</p>

<p>i know computer science is a mathematical discipline and theoretical (at least at my college) moreso than just learning languages and random technologies that can be outdated knowledge tomorrow - but am i at a huge disadvantage without knowing as much as the computer whiz kids?</p>

<p>well I am one of those whizkids per say, I work on the release engineering team for freebsd, along with my advisor ken smith.</p>

<p>if all you have taken is ap CS you are really far behind, I came into college already having mastered c,c++., java, mips assembly, x86 assembly, ruby, php, sql, Fortran, lisp/scheme plus to much other stuff even to mention.</p>

<p>I also hold the following certifications, A+, network +, sever +, CCNA, MCSE. MCSA along with around 8 MCP's and a citrix cert.</p>

<p>I learned absolutely non of this from school, I am 100% self taught.</p>

<p>Now how the hell could I have learned all of this before I went to college you may ask. Well the way you really learn this stuff is by choosing projects that interest you, learn the stuff and build. There is no rush, haste makes waste. </p>

<p>instant message me on aim: VincentP77 or pm me here, and I can help ya get started, there are alot of things you can do, but ya just need to choose the right things to learn.</p>

<p>No - you are not at a huge disadvantage. In fact, a lot of these "whiz kids" are arrogant enough to believe they already know it all (these people exist everywhere, but particularly in CS). They will go to lecture only to make obnoxious comments or questions to "prove" their "knowledge". Look for these kids at the lower end of the bell curve.</p>

<p>I would say that you're not at a big disadvantage. I agree, a lot of those guys are arrogant and very possibly won't be able to handle working on projects they don't have interest in. If CS is where your real interest is, catchup you will.</p>

<p>when a client comes to be to design some software or a website, It doesn't matter if I like it or not. Money makes up for the interest.</p>

<p>Zorz, you're stepping pretty darn close to a 'Proof by Anecdote' and 'argument from personal incredulity' fallacy there.</p>

<p>Stepping pretty close? He's already crossed it.</p>

<p>so anyone wants to counter zorz's argument? or do we just let it slide?</p>

<p>Zorz is right about the fact that little you learn in college in useful in industry, unless you specialize in databases and network security.</p>

<p>But you are NOT far behind, in fact you are not behind at all. You will have to work hard, but trust me once you get done with the introductory programming courses you will be as good as those self proclaimed guru's. From what I've seen at my univ, most of the guys who come in with maybe just AP CS for example, are much more innovative in the OOP design patterns, than those who come in knowing all the **** and got 'bored' in class. </p>

<p>Just try it out. It will hard in the beginning but once you get a hang of it, it will become much easier and you will start appreciating/enjoying it a lot more.</p>

<p>It is a HUGE mistake to enter any class thinking that you know all the topics that are going to be covered. I used to do that and while I still got good grades, I thought I didn't absorb as much information as I should. Only if you have a "the stuff I know is just a drop in the ocean" attitude (unlike Zorz) will you learn. And there are a lot of INTANGIBLES that you will learn in all CS classes in college, stuff that even guru's like Zorz don't know, and that's when you become more valuable to an employer - because he's knows you're willing to learn unlike some other advanced techies who think they know it all.</p>

<p>or you could be a advanced techie with your mentatlity, and that is byfar the best to be.</p>

<p>thanks guys. from the looks of it, it seems that i'm not in as big of a disadvantage as i thought.</p>

<p>my only doubt now is whether i want to follow through with a CS major - i know it has a reputation for being extremely time-consuming, and on top of that is all the self-taught things i need to go through (learning and practicing different languages/technologies and getting practical experience in things outside of the classroom). i don't even know if CS and working in IT is what i want yet - seems like i should be very sure if i want to dedicate my time to being successful in CS.</p>

<p>It's like that in every technical major.</p>

<p>you could have a 4.0 gpa in a CS program but that is not going to secure a job over a guy with a 2,8. Ive seen it happen before, im just warning you.</p>

<p>ll its not all about knowing stuff before its about getting into a CS type of mindset. If you can do that then youll be fine.</p>

<p>Dont mind Zorz, I did plenty of computer stuff before college and I still completely disagree ;).</p>

<p>If you could master all of those stuffs(bunch of programming languages and certs) like Zorz did, I don't think you need to come to college at all. You could open your own company or get a high position at any IT companies :)</p>

<p>your right, I actually just got a job offer from a Microsoft/Cisco collaboration, willing to offer me 90K a year to come work for them, I turned them down because I want to finish my degree. If I accepted I would need to take a year off a school and I only have 1.5 yet so I should finish.</p>

<p>Now why would I go back to school, well I see it this way. college is important, and with a college degree I will most likely make more, and really cant make less. Along with the fact that I may get a phd and want to teach/</p>

<p>Note I am 22 and have a job offer for 90K. Ive worked in IT for close to 8 years so far and have been doing computers for 16.</p>