rscubelek Newbie Poster

I'm currently working towards earning my bachelor's degree in computer science from Purdue University, and I was wondering what my options are as far as finding a job in the computer science field while I'm still going to school? I'm not at the point where I can get an internship yet, so I figure my best bet is to grab a couple of certifications and use those to get myself a job until I graduate. I do NOT want to be a waiter anymore.

So, I suppose my question is, what certifications do you guys recommend for landing a decent job in the computer science field until I get my degree? So far I've only taken my prerequisite courses, as well as an advanced web design class, an intro to programming class, and computer science fundamentals. I've been teaching myself Python outside of school, trying to get ahead on more advanced programming concepts before I go back to school in the fall (after I complete army basic training), but that's about it.

That being said, I'm more than confident in my ability to take the required online course and pass the accompanying certification test, I'm just looking for the most useful/sought after certifications in the industry.

Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.

Python has some awesome built-in functions that should make this assignment pretty easy. Python's urllib can look up the raw html code of a webpage, and based on your code, can return whatever value from the website you want. You'll find that Python's built-in string() functions will help a lot here. You can use

[code=python]
import urllib.request
page = urllib.request.urlopen("your website url goes here")
text = page.read().decode("utf8")
print(text)
[/code]

to return the raw html from whatever website you enter as the argument for urlopen().

Check out python's documentation for more information on the built-in libraries.

I'm sure there are many other ways to do this, possibly more efficient ways, but Python is really the only programming language I have any knowledge of at this point, and this will work.

What exactly are you trying to look up anyway?

P.S. this code is python 3.1 syntax..I'm not 100% sure that it will work in 2.X

If you have to ask whether or not you should continue with your "dream" of being a computer scientist because ONE class is difficult, then maybe you should ask yourself if computer science is really your dream. Crappy teachers and crappy textbooks are, unfortunately, part of college. Unless you are extremely fortunate, this isn't the last bad textbook you will have to deal with during the course of your education, and certainly not the last bad teacher.

If you really want to be a computer scientist, then excel in spite of your disadvantages. Study material outside of your textbook, ask questions on DaniWeb, even buy a textbook with better reviews if that's what it takes. The information is out there, you just have to find it.

If you want it bad enough, you can do it. Good luck :)

I'm not sure about the degree at your particular school, but I'm working towards my bachelor's degree in computer science at Purdue University (with multiple focuses on security and software engineering tracks), and my degree program requires math courses all the way up through calculus III, which is no walk in the park. That being said, you only have to pass the calculus courses with a C- in order to obtain a bachelors degree, but since I'm going for my master's eventually, I need to pass all courses with a B- or better.

So it really depends on your specific degree program at your university. Some schools (like Purdue and MIT) will have more stringent requirements as far as math courses go. Others (like Indiana University) don't place as high a value on math, and they only require precalculus for a bachelors degree in CS.

But even if you don't use all of the math you learn at school in your programming career (and I'm sure that 95% of on-the-job assignments for a computer science graduate will not require any knowledge of calculus), taking advanced math courses will help you a lot. Not necessarily the specific course material, but the process of challenging your brain to work at its full potential is an invaluable skill, especially in a job field such as computer science. As you learn new, difficult subjects, like calculus, you will be creating new neural pathways in your brain, pathways that your competition may not have.

You ...

Aha! Thats it, I was using
[code=python]
if choice==('1','millimeter')
[/code]
instead of

[code=python]
if choice in ('1','millimeter')[/code]

Thank you so much guys. Also, I've implemented the lower() method, which helps a lot with functionality.

Thank you guys!

I know the difference between the two functions, but I'm still having the problem with using raw_input() instead of input(). The idea is that instead of being forced to enter the numerical code for the unit, the user would also be able to input strings like "millimeters" or "feet".

And richieking, how would I use the strip() or split() functions to fix the problem? I'm a complete newbie, so an example of an implementation of the code would be very helpful.

Thanks for the replies guys.

rscubelek Newbie Poster

Hey guys,
I've been lurking around these forums for a few weeks now, and this website is by far the most helpful of any site I've visited as far as honing my newfound Python skills, and I figured it's time I jump in and ask some of the more specific questions that have been plaguing me. So here goes.

I'm working on my first non-school-assigned program, just a simple unit converter, and I'm having some trouble with the raw_input() method. If I code it like the following code block, everything works fine:

[code=python]
def distanceConverter(dfrom, funit, dto, tunit):
print dfrom
print dto
print funit
print tunit

def distance():
msg="1) Millimeters \n"
msg+="2) Centimeters \n"
print msg

prints list of from options
choice=input("Select unit to convert from:")

if choice==1:
    dfrom=1
    funit="millimeters"
elif choice==2:
    dfrom=2
    funit="centimeters"
else:
    print "Invalid entry. Please select 1 or 2"

print msg
choice=input("Select unit to convert to:")

if choice==1:
    dto=1
    tunit="millimeters"
elif choice==2:
    dto=2
    tunit="centimeters"
else:
    print "Invalid entry. Please select 1 or 2"

distanceConverter(dfrom,funit,dto,tunit)

def mass():
print "mass function tester"
def velocity():
print "velocity function tester"

def main():
msg="Welcome to Rob's Unit Converter Build 1.0."
print msg

prints the opening message and list of unit options
msg="1) Distance \n"
msg+="2) Mass/Weight \n"
msg+="3) Velocity"
print msg
choice=4
while choice>3:
    choice=input("Please select the unit type:")
    if choice==1:
        distance()
    elif choice==2:
        mass()
    elif choice==3:
        velocity()
    else:
        print "Invalid selection, please enter 1, 2, or 3."

if name=='main':
main()

[/code]

The problem is in the distance() function. If I ...

rscubelek Newbie Poster

Hey guys, my name is Robert Scubelek, I've been lurking around these forums for a couple of weeks now, and have found more answers here than anywhere else on the internet, so I figured that its about time to become a member and try to contribute something.

I'm in the computer science program at Indiana University, but I'm transferring to Purdue University for the Fall 2011 semester, because they supposedly have one of the best computer science programs in the country (for my pocketbook anyway).

So far all I know is HTML/CSS, and a little bit of Javascript. Lately, at the suggestion of many experienced programmers, I've been teaching myself Python. I'm working on my first non-school-assigned program now, a basic unit converter, (the first program I've written thats more than 50 lines, woo!), and it's teaching me a lot about Python and about programming in general.

So hello to everyone! You've all already been amazingly helpful in my journey to become a bona fide computer scientist, and I look forward to learning all I can from you (and, of course, giving back to the community once I know enough to be helpful).

Thanks everyone!