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Courses/Work Experience to boost Computer Science prospects

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    Hi, I'm soon to be studying A-Level (AS/A2) Maths independently in preparation to apply for Computer Science degree next year.

    Since I would be a mature student I won't be able to rely on predicted grades when I make my application. So I was wondering if there are any ways I can make my application more impressive through Work Experience or Cheap/Free Courses - preferably FREE - I can take?

    I've already made orders on resources suggested in this thread: URL="http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2044711"]Preparing for a CS degree[/URL]

    But feel that some work experience or short course is really needed. Computer Science will be a new career so I'm pretty much a n00b right now.

    I'm sure are some in my local area. But does anyone have any advice on which is best?
    Area - Manchester. likely to move back to London early next year.


    Thanks!

    EDIT: ok, switching my target degree from Computer Science to Software Engineering after some more detailed research (aka Google/Wikipedia). I want to build software not just think about it. I assume all the resources to prepare for the pre-graduate stage still remain the same?
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    Hey I'm looking for that as well,I don't know what kind of work experience would be helpful
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    Start or join an existing project. There are millions online so it just a matter of finding one your are passionate about.
    That said, people normally get involved in such things because they want to, not because they are trying to tick a box on their CV.
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    (Original post by Fallen)
    Start or join an existing project. There are millions online so it just a matter of finding one your are passionate about.
    That said, people normally get involved in such things because they want to, not because they are trying to tick a box on their CV.
    Cool, got any links to any of these "existing projects"???
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    (Original post by Decoy88)
    Cool, got any links to any of these "existing projects"???
    Well you wouldn't know what to do with any of the projects I work on, you have to discover something for yourself which you know about or are passionate about.

    I can provide a specific link if you really want, but I assure you it won't help.
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    OK well if it won't help then there's no point. Google is my friend anyway lol. I can tell you I'm really interested in Mobile App Development for all platform including Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows (although I don't own a Mac so it'd just be the others from now)

    The courses I plan to apply for do not specify mobile app development in their specifications, though I presume they would cover this at some point.

    But like I said I'm a n00b, and I assumed that to get into mobile app Dev you would need a good understanding of computers first. Is this the type of thing a n00b can jump on?

    If you know of any links to mobile stuff that would be cool.

    Thanks for the guidance! :cool:
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    (Original post by Decoy88)
    I can tell you I'm really interested in Mobile App Development for all platform.

    The courses I plan to apply for do not specify mobile app development in their specifications, though I presume they would cover this at some point.
    Sounds like you would be better off doing elec eng / software engineering than computer science. Look it up, might be a valuable investment of time.
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    (Original post by roblee)
    Sounds like you would be better off doing elec eng / software engineering than computer science. Look it up, might be a valuable investment of time.

    You know what? I think your right! Good thing I figured this out early too. got them entirely confused. Even though it would be cool to understand algorithms on the highest level. I doubt I would use it much. Without going on a tangent too much. I want the most programming heavy one. I thought SE had more maths, but it looks like I was wrong.

    I also want to learn the most about software security/hacking since that is also a field I would like to get into. Would SE also be a better choice?


    EDIT: ok, switching my target degree from Computer Science to Software Engineering after some more detailed research (aka Google/Wikipedia). I want to build software not just think about it. I assume all the resources to prepare for the pre-graduate stage still remain the same?
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    (Original post by Decoy88)
    EDIT: ok, switching my target degree from Computer Science to Software Engineering after some more detailed research (aka Google/Wikipedia). I want to build software not just think about it. I assume all the resources to prepare for the pre-graduate stage still remain the same?
    Yep, although obviously lay off the graph theory a bit and focus more on both large and small architectures and design patterns. If you still have any money left from the last set of books, this list although old is something that I still set great stock by: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/200...evelopers.html
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    (Original post by roblee)
    Yep, although obviously lay off the graph theory a bit and focus more on both large and small architectures and design patterns. If you still have any money left from the last set of books, this list although old is something that I still set great stock by: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/200...evelopers.html

    Great thanks! I'm starting to question why I never joined TSR sooner. people here are really helpful. Are these books accessible? for beginners? Cause they don't look like it.
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    (Original post by Decoy88)
    Great thanks! I'm starting to question why I never joined TSR sooner. people here are really helpful. Are these books accessible? for beginners? Cause they don't look like it.
    They're for beginners in software engineering but probably not programming in general.

    Moving from "hello world" to advanced single-file programming is something that gets asked about a lot here: Relevant forum search. The most common suggestion*, simply put, is to select some simple project (eg. RPN calculator, connect4 game) and try to write it from scratch, possibly adapting snippets from existing tutorials; architecture and deeper understanding can be learned after the more useful art of "Just Getting It Working" is fully locked down.

    This set of year 1 course notes from MIT (taught in a lot of universities worldwide) is also recommended by several people and provides a gentler introduction, including some primitive software engineering along the way. Have fun.

    *ok, the most common suggestion by me
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    (Original post by roblee)
    they're for beginners in software engineering but probably not programming in general.

    Moving from "hello world" to advanced single-file programming is something that gets asked about a lot here: relevant forum search. The most common suggestion*, simply put, is to select some simple project (eg. Rpn calculator, connect4 game) and try to write it from scratch, possibly adapting snippets from existing tutorials; architecture and deeper understanding can be learned after the more useful art of "just getting it working" is fully locked down.

    this set of year 1 course notes from mit (taught in a lot of universities worldwide) is also recommended by several people and provides a gentler introduction, including some primitive software engineering along the way. Have fun.

    *ok, the most common suggestion by me
    ok thanks!

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Updated: July 10, 2012
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