Going to Uni in the fall
This is more of a plea, so it may not be in the right forum.
Ok, I've almost completed a BTEC National Diploma in I.T. and am going onto do a 3-year Applied Computing degree in the UK... to be frank, i'm scared s***less.
I have a very basic knowledge of programming and scripts and am in dire need of wanting to become a 24-7 cyber-junkie to get somewhere with my life. (well, if that's what it takes). Anyway the reason i'm reaching out on a limb here is that i need to be pushed and told to do things, more to the point, i need guidance.
Most of the hackers (whether white/black hats) i've heard of have a individual urge and obsession fuelled to get what they want, all i have is a small interest in earning a stable job as the computer industry has entered the mainstream. Don't get me wrong though, i don't have thoughts looming about wanting to become a cracker, control the web, probe servers in search for my next post-pubescent penetration, hehe... i just want to be good enough to know enough to say i do, with sufficient backing in my mind that i can achieve the required, be it system analyst, web developer, etc.
I know i should probably be asking my local guidance council or something, but with uni getting close i need to spark things with people who are more attuned to what i'm talking about.
Any comments at all about your own experiences, same issues and ways to combat the butterflies would be rad. Furthermore, it would be silly to state all my strong and weak points and let you all analyse my position, but i'm looking to branch out into programming, which of these are most important in the long run.
Python, Java, C/C++, Perl, LISP, ASP, SQL, Java, HTML- CSS, PHP, CGI
which Uni you applied to?
I justed started on my course this year, I took a year out to work in the local comprehensive school to learn about computers and get a little bit of finicial backing and to be fair I learnt too much. I went to Uni knowing a lot more than most of the people around me and have had to dumb down my talents some-what to fit in.
Well thats not strictly true, in fact it is probably a lie, but you know what I mean.
The thing that got me with our class (some 150 of us) is the varied range and backgrounds of the people, you have people like me who are interested in computing, have a strong background in the hardware and software side but little official programming experience in java (the chosen language) but the majority of people in there are clueless, going to the computer degree because they think there are jobs outside of it. You tend to drag them along because they can't be bothered to learn for themselves. It became quickly obvious who was capable, who wanted to learn, who tried to big themselves up and who is simply quietly getting on with it. The people who big themselves up are ignored and the people who are capable are required as part of the friendship to help everyone else. Oh there is one more type, girls. On our course there is around 10 girls, I have seen several of them using there "charms" to get their coursework done, it is pretty disgusting to see the demonstrators getting randy because one (good looking) girl shows a little cleavage and flutters her eyelids to get help....Nothing wrong with asking for help but it is foul they way the people act around them, it appears as if they are after the nookie!!!
One of my main gripes, and the thing about computing people, is the fact that people don't talk to each other, it's incredible. There is me and the little group I am in (about 6 people), another group of 15ish (we sometimes mix ) and then little groups of 1 or 3 people...they don't talk to us either. Incredible.
Trust me, you won't feel out of place (how old are you?), one of my mates is 32, the oldest in the class and still fits in. If you think you will have a hard time, think about me. I was a year older than all the freshers, didn't have anyone to go with, was staying at home so didn't meet any flatmates or hall-mates, shy and had no confidence in the situation. I was terrified but if I can give you one piece of advice that I learnt - everyone else is too.
In the first few weeks everyone is trying to make freinds, everyone is trying to acknowledge everyone else, saying hi's and how are you. It isn't difficult to find people to talk to in the first week. The second week is similar because you are on your course and everything is still new. By the forth, friendships are set and no-one talks to outside groups. Literally no-one. If you have no mates by the end of the first couple of weeks you are basically screwed. So the advice is simple, don't make a fool of yourself for the first few weeks but open your mouth and speak to people. Speak to as many people as you can, keep your bases wide and make mates outside of your course - you have to be able to talk about things other than computers!
I can't really add anything to what the good Doctor has said - he's spot on and expressed it much better than I could. The most important thing is to enjoy yourself - the work hard, play hard mantra may be a little cliched, but it's worth following. Good luck, and don't worry too much about it - EVERYONE will be feeling pretty much the same, so try to relax and go with the flow. You'll be fine
Uni of East Anglia.
Originally posted by DocEvi1
which Uni you applied to?
Man, i would've thought social groups and the likes would've dwindled but again it just goes to show how crass our generation is as a society all on it's own. I'm 19 by the by, retaken my first year at college, so at least i'll feel just alittle more assured of my knowledge against some of the freshers.
I don't really think the social gripes are what's going to get me though, i've gone through "popular, unpopular, cool, uncool... and just plain weird" through college and am grateful i've come out alive with a comfortable relationship to thank for all my troubles. It's more about the workset, sure the good looking girls are going to try and f**k themselves through the next few years, who can blame them (totally agree though, it's **** right digusting what they do!), but from the looks of things you aren't bewildered or bothered by the course you are doing? Which course are you doing?
Anyway thanks for the heads up on your own battles at uni, you have genuinely made me feel more at ease with the whole situation.
Edit: Thanks also fishybawb, your words are appreciated.
Last edited by jet.; 04-25-2003 at 07:48 AM.
I doing Computer Science which consisits of 6 Modules:
CSC161 - introduction to java and object orientated programing. Pretty simple and straight forward if you have any knowledge of any programming, although "how to use the start button" took the ****.
CSC162 - extension to 161, interesting and slightly more difficult but not that bad.
CSC163 - A'Level maths - simple considering my background in maths (further maths at a'level) although just passed though because of poor lecturer and bad course.
CSC164 - Hardware design and what not, badly structured and very rushed at minute. Assembly language programs for the Motorolla 68000 and now how to use cache.
CSC165 - Ethics, **** about in the pub discussing "computers".
CSC166 - hmm, strange on, introduction to DB's, HTML and general stuff.
As for the course, well I passed 161 with 65%, 163 - 55%, 164 has full marks in cswork so far, 165 passing but essays never been my strong point and 166 is easy.
Start back there on monday, three weeks of lectures, 4 weeks of exams (3 during the time) and then off till September
Man, Ethics sounds like a blast!
Looks like you've got your work cut out for yourself though Doc, good luck with Uni.
Thanks for the feedback dude.
nah ethics is terrible. the discussion points are bad, the coursework sucks and overall you feel as if nothing has been achieved.
"overall you feel as if nothing has been achieved"
I know what you mean. Ive had classes like that. And to really top it off you think"other than credit whats my $ getting me out of all this, this course didnt teach me ANYTHING". But you know how it is. The tag along classes you need to get degree etc. Like Phsyc 101!
there was some stuff you learn, such as how to correctly write c.v.'s and stuff, but overall, well there was no exam in the subject...nevermind, I've passed it
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