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Hi,
Next year i would like to study Computer Science at college and then go on to study it further in university or a releated topic. Knowing this and how hard it can be, i would like to do perparation for it so that when i come round to studying it i already have an ability to do some of the things in the course. However i am not sure how i should prepare for this i was maybe thinking about studying a language or trying to get a more advanced understanding of the computer both hardware and software. However i am not sure what would aid me most so any recommendations will be highly appreciated,
Thank you

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Last Post by Chinney
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  • Computer sciences cover a broad range of courses. To say that there's an aid before the start of it imo is false. Like you had stated, learning the hardware and software side would be beneficial but as for programming languages, you'd have to research what your school will be teaching. … Read More

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    Remember, Google / DaniWeb are your friends. Read More

  • What are you doing now (i.e. - grade in high school, college, etc)? If you are sure you want to pursue a career in Computer Science, I suggest you start exploring Linux. It is not exactly Computer Science, but most jobs in the field like to see somebody with some … Read More

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    Okay, it seems like you're from the UK and you're in the United Kingdom so here is some advice: 1) Try to stay away from A-Levels (especially in Computing!) Most Computing courses at A-Level will not teach you the vital skills that you need in order to progress onto further … Read More

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    > 1) the course is called Computer AS/A level so i take it that wont teach me the skills i need? so instead of this course what course would you recommend for going on to studying compuer science at university? This is correct. At least, from my point anyway. Most … Read More

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Computer sciences cover a broad range of courses. To say that there's an aid before the start of it imo is false. Like you had stated, learning the hardware and software side would be beneficial but as for programming languages, you'd have to research what your school will be teaching. Also, it's not just programming, hardware and software. Learning documentation is critical for all systems. Database systems are big in computer sciences too. There's so much really.

If I were you, I would see what your first couple courses are and start learning them.

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What are you doing now (i.e. - grade in high school, college, etc)?

If you are sure you want to pursue a career in Computer Science, I suggest you start exploring Linux. It is not exactly Computer Science, but most jobs in the field like to see somebody with some knowledge of Linux. All the programming courses I took (Mac Pascal, FORTRAN, Pascal, C, C++, etc.) always covered the same bases: do loops, for loops, while loops, pointers, arrays, subroutines, etc. The syntax was slightly different, but the logic was similar. I thought most of the courses after the first one were just a waste of time, since they were just repeating what I already learnt in the first course.

If you get a job using existing applications, or purely writing code, consider yourself lucky.

However, in many situations, you will end up working in some industrial application: remote control, telephony, web applications, communications, game development, real-time robotics, etc.-- all of which will require knowledge of Linux or Unix (Windows is not good for real-time applications).

Here's an idea: pretend you are a graduate right now, and you are looking for work. Spend some time in the job boards (monster, careerbuilder, etc.) and see what requirements are listed for job-postings that you like. I think you'll see a lot of them include Linux experience as a requirement or a "nice to have."

And the nice thing about playing with Linux is that you can do it on your own, constantly--even when school is not is session--just by using it on your own computer.

Edited by DavidB

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wow, thanks davidb alot of great advice, i am going in to Year 11 (so 11th grade i guess) and i am studying Digital Applications which is more in depth computer stuff i guess and i heard Business Studies is Computer Science related which i also study. I have spent limited time learning Java so i understand the terms do looks, for loops, while lopps but i am confused about what pointers, arrays and subroutines are.

and my understanding of Linux is that its an OS so is there a way to play around with it and change the code for your own OS?

and stuugie i saw that the course involves VB programming and there are two units, 'the computer itself' and 'the application of computers to real problems'

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Okay, it seems like you're from the UK and you're in the United Kingdom so here is some advice:

1) Try to stay away from A-Levels (especially in Computing!) Most Computing courses at A-Level will not teach you the vital skills that you need in order to progress onto further education and your future work. You should ideally choose the type of Computer Science related topic. However, specifically in the UK Universties most of the courses depend on programming and therefore this becomes a major importance of this. Choose College after your school days are over.

2) Do not learn VB or C unless you have a series view of doing it, as, you are not likly to do any of these languages when you decide to go to University to study Computer Science. Instead, you should attempt to read up on C#, Java and C++ as these are the most favoured languages to guide you.

3) Learn other technologies. Again, Computer Science courses are pretty open on the types of Operating systems you can use. It's always a good idea to learn Linux and the GCC compiler because this will always come in handy when you decide to go into University or infact, work.

4) Depending on the Universit(s) you plan to go to (Do you have any idea?!) To study this Computer Science course, you should look at their course content and see what is expected from you. I.e. Computer Programming: What languages? What type of Porgramming will you be asked to do.

Anything else, feel free to post :)

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1) the course is called Computer AS/A level so i take it that wont teach me the skills i need? so instead of this course what course would you recommend for going on to studying compuer science at university?

2) Yeah Java and C++ are the languages i would like to get into its just i have no real way to learn the languages. So if you have any pointers it will be highly appreciated :)

3) what is teh GCC compiler and how would you recommend to learn the Linux OS?

4)well bristol university is the closest one to me so it will probably be that one unless i find another university with the ideal course.

thank you for the advice :)

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1) the course is called Computer AS/A level so i take it that wont teach me the skills i need? so instead of this course what course would you recommend for going on to studying compuer science at university?

This is correct. At least, from my point anyway. Most of the experiences that I've had is that people come into the University enviroment from studying AS/A-Levels and do not know about programming, or, the mathematics behind computing and therefore struggle. It is also important to note that the first year of your University course is a year where everyone has the ability to get onto the same level as everyone else (remembering, everyone has come from a different background!)

That being said: I don't think you should rule out AS/A-Levels and speak to your teachers about the content of the course, and, in your own time, use it to study the things that you will need in order to allow for progression.

2) Yeah Java and C++ are the languages i would like to get into its just i have no real way to learn the languages. So if you have any pointers it will be highly appreciated :)

It's really hard to say which one I recommend choosing first as I do not know your programming background. Specifically, I choose NOT to read from books as these are often written from the prospective of the person writing them so you end up in some way or another developing their skill-sets and their way of programming (It is a good tool to know your own way!) So, I recommend sites such as DaniWeb and maybe read up on tutorials. Remember, you have a long way to go before going to University (Where the real fun begins) so use this time wisely and develop the skills you need and you will breeze through your programming classes. Gain experience by trying to solve real-life problems (It's ok if you use Google 202323 times a day or to solve it!) Use code written by others (it's why people release it!) but instead of just dumping it in an application, understand the code, and, try to come up with some ways of your own to change, improve and therefore you should have the ability to gain a better understanding.

4) well bristol university is the closest one to me so it will probably be that one unless i find another university with the ideal course.

I don't know Bristol, sadly. BUT choose a University that offers choices to you. By this I mean, option modules that let you be creative. In your first and second year, you're going to find what interests you. I remember the first time I wrote cout << "Hello world"; not knowing what I wanted to do, until I took a signal processing class and an advanced programming class. This probably would not have been made possible if such courses would not have been made available to me.

P.S. If you plan on picking up chicks, use something other than "Computer Science" ;-)

Good luck! Anything else, post back :)

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yeah, you got to love your first hello world program ;) haha.
(except i wrote System.out.println("Hello World!");

yeah i remember a couple of years back we had to make a bridge traffic light signal work by controlling both sides of the bridge, i was the first to complete it succesfully :) and i always remember that when i think of algorithms.

2) Yeah Java and C++ are the languages i would like to get into its just i have no real way to learn the languages. So if you have any pointers it will be highly appreciated :)

by that i meant do you know of any good ways to learn C++ or Java and any good websites.

My programming background is almost non-existant and the only experience i have is following some videos on youtube and i have more or less forgot about all of it.

and yeah, i mess around with some of my female friends by saying im into programming and they just laugh :P.

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by that i meant do you know of any good ways to learn C++ or Java and any good websites.

Try Here Or just search for C++ tutorials to help get you started. Once you are familiar with the basics, you can start building up and up and up (OOP) =)

we had to make a bridge traffic light signal work by controlling both sides of the bridge

There we go! Get yourself a Raspberry Pi, some LEDS and a breadboard.. You can develop your C++ skills in recreating this, it would be a fun project to do as well!

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Try Here Or just search for C++ tutorials to help get you started. Once you are familiar with the basics, you can start building up and up and up (OOP) =)

Thanks for the link :)

There we go! Get yourself a Raspberry Pi, some LEDS and a breadboard.. You can develop your C++ skills in recreating this, it would be a fun project to do as well!

Sounds good

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If you feel your question has been answered, could you mark it as solved and give rep to those who you think has helped you?

Thanks :)

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