FutureLab was recently at HELP University to share some insights into the Tech Field with three mentors who have made their mark in the field of technology. The scope of discussion was wide but one significant point which was brought up is that students are leaving university with insufficient skills. The question which quickly became the theme of the session was, ‘what skills should computing students acquire to have a smooth transition into the workforce?’ Here are the 5 skills you should equip yourself with if you are a computing student:
Computer science heavily focuses on solving problems or at least dealing with them. You are presented with many standard solutions for certain problems. Logic comes into the equation when you designing and/ or arguing for a solution. This is especially if you’re dealing with elegant solutions. The computer is based on logical gates. In order to create a communication bridge between the imagination and a computer, you need to be able to express yourself correctly. The computer is unforgiving in this sense. When you come down to the nitty-gritty of computer science, you are always solving a big logic puzzle.
2. Write neat, simple and modular codes
A computer science student should be able to write codes that others can understand. Those who choose to go down a path which involves coding especially are essentially signing up to become authors. The target audience are not computers but other programmers. Writing clean codes require hard work, focus and a lot of practice. It remains monumentally important at every point because creating new codes includes reading old codes.
3. Quick Learning Ability
Good computer science students are also good self-learners. It is important for students to learn how to teach themselves different programming languages from the very early days of university. This is because the programming languages used by employers vary. Individuals should be able to adapt for this reason and also because programming language change over time. The best way to learn this is through exposure to multiple languages and paradigms, and practicing the languages by writing them. One the greatest skill for an individual to have is the ability to learn, and good developers have mastered the skill of self-learning.
4.Collaboration and communication
Good communication skills have a direct correlation to good development skills. Developing a product or software requires one to think like a team member. Good computer scientists offer teammates help when they are stuck, teach new skills to others and write documentation that would help teammates not only in their organization but the developer community in general.
5. Critical thinking skills
This is one of the biggest challenges facing most students entering the world of work and that includes computer science students. During their education, their programming experience was probably based around assignments focused on teaching a single lesson or skill. Picking up an existing body of code, forensically identifying and fixing bugs, validating the changes and running through integration and deployment stages could more accurately simulate the kinds of challenges students will face later.
Are you a computing student looking for more great advice? Learn more with a FutureLab mentor by clicking here!