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What set of skills should a CS graduate have to land a decent job?

 
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I know this a very vague and broad question. And it would appear that I am waiting for some "magical solution", but I'm genuinely asking for help that I will try and follow through.

I made my way through college not really caring about actually learning or expanding my knowledge on my own. I have good grades (due to our crappy educational system), but really none of the know-how.

I had a really severe "case" of procrastination that I only got over less than a year ago, and guess what? I already graduated, so you can see I'm in somewhat of a pickle here ^_^

Now I kind of need to catch up, I only know one programming language (Java) and I don't even know it well, my skill set is VERY limited when it comes to computer science or other similar fields.

I just don't know what to do from here, the possibilities are endless, what I'm asking for is some sort of basic "checklist" of things to follow through. Assume I know absolutely nothing, give me some direction please.

Also, there's something that's been bothering me for a while.

If I don't encounter something for a while, I forget it.

Now I know that's normal, but how come you guys know all the nitty-gritty stuff that I haven't encountered since my intro level courses? I forget the difference between the different sorting algorithms, or the memory management algorithms, but you guys seem to pull it instantaneously. Is that because you keep encountering it? Or do I just have bad memory?

Please help out with any suggestions or thoughts, I'm kinda at a cross-roads in my life right now, trying to make up for the time I wasted doing nothing.
 
lowercase baba
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hmmm... not really meaningless. I think this may fit better in "Jobs Discussion", so please check for any follow-ups over there.
 
pie sneak
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I'm almost completely self-taught. It's not impossible to do. I'm really impressed by your honesty and your new desire to learn on your own time.

When I first started out I pursued the SCJP certification and played around on topcoder.com frequently. I'd recommend the same to anyone.
 
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I was a mechanical engineer and self-taught Java. But I was lucky that I made my transition in 2000 (i.e. during IT boom). One of the key ingredients is passion to learn and make a difference. Learn the core concepts and key areas hand-in-hand with the hands on experience. All the theories learnt without any practical experience won't help. There are myriad of tutorials, articles etc on the internet. Some of the ingredients in my view are

  • Passion to learn and make a difference.
  • A good understanding of the key areas and core concepts
  • Ability to look at the big picture and drill down to details when required to.
  • Ability to look at things not only from a technical perspective but also from a business/stakeholder perspective.
  • Good interpersonal skills http://science.uniserve.edu.au/projects/skills/jantrial/interpersonal/interpersonal.htm and right attitude.
  • Ability to promote your skills and achievements more effectively.




  • Good luck.
    [ February 04, 2008: Message edited by: arulk pillai ]
     
    Tarek Khojah
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    Well, I didn't create this thread in the forum because it's not specifically about landing a job (even if my topic title indicates otherwise ).

    I mean, forget a job is even involved, if you were to set a checklist for yourself, what would it look like? Languages don't really matter, it's the areas you can handle (sound programming, network programming, databases, etc) and how proficiently.

    In other words, I'm looking for a technical checklist!

    Unfortunately, I find myself very weak in the area of OS's, compiler design and algorithms and all that half theory / half practice, I just seem to forget this stuff because I never really use it!

    I'm a geek at heart, so of course I love what I'm doing Again, the reason I'm having this problem right now is because I was a terrible procrastinator, if there was anything such as "clinical procrastination", then I guess I had it.
     
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    This is not a forum only for landing a job, this is a forum for all job and career related topics.

    --Mark
    [ February 04, 2008: Message edited by: Mark Herschberg ]
     
    arulk pillai
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    In my view, people only procastinate on things they do not enjoy doing or do not have drive or passion to do it. If you make your learning process practical and enjoyable rather than feeling the pressure to cram something quickly then you may not enjoy it and consequently procastinate.
     
    Tarek Khojah
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    In my view, people only procastinate on things they do not enjoy doing or do not have drive or passion to do it



    That's quiet a statement to make. And I can assure you, it couldn't be farther from the truth. I'm not talking about personal experience, I'm talking about procrastination as a psychological field of study.
     
    I think she's lovely. It's this tiny ad that called her crazy:
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