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Mistakes Most Computer Science Students Make

1K Blog Marathon: Day 5

“Why did you take Computer Science? Why not Education? Or Medicine? Or Accountancy?”

During college, whenever I met new student, I usually ask this question.
Then I will get responses like,

“I don’t have choice.”

“I think it’s easy.”

“It’s the course my siblings/parent took.”

“It’s my third course, after failing twice.”

You see, so many response are given to me, but I can only count in my fingers the ones who said,

“I really love computers.”

The dropping and failing rate of our school department (Computer) is 90%. Yes, and everyone in our college (the other Departments) think that (1) either we are dumb and lazy students or (2) our instructors were devils from the depths of hell and enjoying signing our cards with 5, a failing grade.

But the real reason, based on my 6 years in college, goes down to this – they don’t love the course. They were just sitting there being present physically but their minds were traveling to outer space eating the Milky Way galaxy and wishing that the bell would chime.

Kring Kring Kring! Time up!

Here I will list down the common mistakes that computer students make during their travails in college.

1. They didn’t know why they take this course.

Most students don’t know the dungeon that they were entering – it’s too late to find out they’re in the wrong place. They just follow their parent. Or their friends. Or their siblings. Or like me, just wanted to go to college just to find a job. With these reason, they don’t love what they are doing, which in return requires them to exert 200% effort. It’s better to fill in the dropping form early on, than burn your classcard filled with failing grades.

2. They prefer Common Sense than Logic.

I’ve seen enthusiastic students in our course – they have more brains than me. But when needed, they can’t harness their logic. They are stuck using their common sense. For me personally, Logic is different from common sense, and you don’t need common sense when dealing with computers. Remember, computers are dumb machines, you can’t expect it to function by just “assuming” things. You need to program it, use Logic. I remember a joke about a programmer husband: “A wife sends her programmer husband to the grocery store for a loaf of bread…On his way out she says “and if they have eggs, get a dozen”. The programmer husband returns home with 12 loaves of bread….” You see? You can’t use common sense in computers, you have to declare each variables.

3. They think programming is hard.

There is no easy thing in this world. Not Balancing the Equation. Not Physics. Even the Basic Math is not basic! So don’t expect that being in Computer Science is a piece of cake. But if you have passion for it, it will not be just a piece of cake – it will be your bread and butter!

4. They didn’t do their homework.

By doing homework means researching, practicing, coding, practicing, troubleshooting, practicing, rasterizing, practicing, typing, and practicing. You see, the more you do one job, the more you became professional in it! So keep on practicing. As Walt Disney said, “Keep moving forward.”

5. They think they can always “drop” and “shift” course.

This is a dead end. I’ve met many “jumpers” in college. They jump from one course to another, hoping to find the right fit for them. And their last resort? Computer Science. For me, you should be laser focus on what you want, not just relying on your plan B. College is no joke, and one should not be fooling around. The time you spent in college will not be brought back, so instead of jumping around, be decisive and aim for the star.

6. They settle for being a technician, not a problem solver.

In the Philippines, when somebody asks you what is your course, or what do you do, when you said IT or Computer Science they just thought: “Oh, can you fix my Computer?” It’s a racist mind that were only Technician, which were only studying just to “fix their computers”. Well in fact, I can’t blame it to them, because many Computer Students agree with it – and they were expert at it. Computer Science should not be stereotyped as Hardware Technicians, were problem solvers. We should bring solutions to problems, innovate and find a better way to make our society even better using technology. Leave the damaged computers to the “Technicians”.

7. They heavily rely on “the best coder in the class”.

In school, copying is a sin. But in life, its normal, and its acceptable. But heavily relying on others for your project or your business idea should not be a priority if you want to follow excellence. When you copy others, you should improve it, otherwise you are just a copycat. This mistake of copying the answer of your brainy classmate does not only sterile your growth, it also makes you lose confident with your own capacity. Don’t just copy, innovate, or better yet, “invent a new wheel”.

We are just humans, were not perfect. But if we strive for excellence, we can learn from other mistakes. This should be a lesson for us, and should learn from it. As innovation will be achieved if we don’t make those mistakes again.

“And that’s one blog, stay hungry!”

A snippet for your code:

“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

George Santayana


Published by Christian Foster

Code-blooded, coffee-lover, tall, dark and chubby. I love to draw, has motion-sickness and a sleepy-head. BTW, graduate of BS Computer Science, Associate in Computer Science and certified UiPath RPA Developer. Loyal to my partner and a father of a cute bouncing baby daughter!

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