Monday, January 14, 2013

Advice to undergraduates...

An overseas college sophomore majoring in Computer Science has been asking me for advice on what to study. "How to become a good computer programmer". I have no magic wand to wave to confer great programming skills, but I did find some web pages that look like sound advice.

One of my favorites is:

http://www.paulgraham.com/college.html

and I don't think that I only like it for its mention of Cornell U and my old professor Conway. The author of that piece seems to offer good advice.

A somewhat orthogonal point of view, but also interesting reading, is this very recent article from the New York Times:

study-in-science-shows-end-of-history-illusion

More on-topic for computer programming, is an article that I recently linked to in my blog here, but it's good enough to be worth another mention:

financial_software_disasters

So, I e-mailed these links along to that student, and got a nice thank-you note. That inspired me to think that maybe other folks will find this advice helpful so I'm sharing the links on my blog here. If you like this stuff, please leave some comments and/or sign up as a "follower" of this blog. Goodness knows, it should be clear by now that I'm not a spammer who's going to contact you about Ukrainian brides or mail-order pharmaceuticals. This blog has been running (on an irregular schedule) for several years now and I'm thrilled to see that the cumulative pageviews has finally passed 2000. Hardly a level where I would think about monetizing the clicks. Clicking on the +1 button when I manage to provide an article that you like, is a way to make me smile and it helps me decide what topics I should find more to say about.

Thanks for reading. Now hurry and pass the URL for this article to your 10 closest friends. :-)