Hey all,

I'm currently finishing up in college and about to start a career as a software engineer. Apart from the experience I will gain in my job (should be primarily c++), I was wondering if there is any other experience someone might recommend I could gain in my own time to help my career advancement?

For example I've carried out academic research (physics algorithm stuff) and I was thinking of coding it up and contributing it to an open source project, does this sound like something that would impress a future employer? Maybe there are some 'rite-of-passage' type tasks that upon completion show a level of competency? Or maybe I should just read some books? If you were an employer (maybe you are), what would make a candidate really stand out to you?

Thanks in advance

p.s. I'm not planning to leave my current employer before I've even started, but I guess now is the time to work on gaining experience such as that which might be prescribed.

my advice would just be NEVER stop reading and NEVER stop certifying yourself and if you can contribute to the world by doing any open source stuff - why not
hope you enjoy your studies, reading and your work