Tl;dr CS major and I need advice on how to strengthen my foundation in CS and advice on what I should be focusing on or...

tl;dr CS major and I need advice on how to strengthen my foundation in CS and advice on what I should be focusing on or learning that school won't teach. Also, just any advice in general.

Long version:
I chose to major in CS because a friend hyped me on the idea promising endless job opportunities and good pay. I'm currently a senior and I feel like I haven't learned much and that I'm just not in "the know" as far as how to implement what I do know.
So far my curriculum has only used C++ to teach and a little bit of Python. When I scroll through threads on here (new to this board btw) I feel like I don't know anything about programming or the jargon people use.
I don't want to drop out since I'm already close to earning my bachelors, but I also feel so lost. I've done well in my classes (3.7 GPA) but I worry that all I've learned is how to pass exams and complete generic school projects.

What I am asking for is 1) any recommended books or resources to strengthen my foundation in CS, 2) any tips on what languages to learn with pros/cons, 3) shared stories or experiences

I have no one else to turn to. All (former) friends have no ambitions and just get high so I had to separate from them to escape that mindset. Father died from cancer a couple years ago and my mother is completely disabled from Lyme disease so I must take care of her. On top of that, I was baby-trapped by a crazy bitch (dumped her) but I want to be able to provide financial security for my son's future and be able to give him opportunities that I missed out on, hence why I was sweet-talked into CS (also lack of better options at the time). I also can't bear the thought of my mother dying without her knowing I'll be well off; it breaks my heart. If you read this far, thank you--even if you don't reply, it feels good to just say it

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How old are you and what are you interested in (backend, frontend, mobile, ml, databases)? Don't worry that you feel lost we all feel that way. I would recommend you that you learn more at home, not only what uni requires. I have a masters in CS and I have worked as a software engineer. You can ask me everything. You have a great mentality and I wish you luck

Bumping so you can see this when you come!

Thank you for replying!
I'm 23, and at this point I'd say backend development is what I'd lean towards the most, though I haven't done much experimenting. Would you say having a bachelors in CS is enough? I've been getting the impression from people that the degree is a waste and that a degree in EE or ME is better (I've really only heard that on Jow Forums sometimes).

Bachelors in CS is great, it will open many doors for you but you need to learn more at home. Degree is not a waste and you will only hear that from people that don't have a degree and work in this sector as code monkeys. You will also start in this field as a code monkey but you will eventually progress, code monkeys wont. Clients want a engineer. If you want to do backend I will advise you to learn node js (because its popular now and easy).

I’ll start learning it asap.
Why did you get your masters in CS? Did you want to learn more or was there other reasons?

I wanted to learn more and when you have your masters many more doors open (bigger salary and some firms wont take you without masters)! You can study and work. I worked as a mobile developer while studying.

Hopefully I'll have the same opportunity. As it stands I qualify for a program that would only take 1 year to earn my masters in CS but I'm still somewhat hesitant.

what do I do if I'm a cs major and I think I hate programming and technology in general


how did you finish your degree without knowing how to code? why did you choose the major?

If you're in Warsaw just learn java. Tons of job offers and good pay. The downside is you're working in java.

how did you get through you any course without being able to code? did they not check for cheating? i'm genuinely baffled by this, please elaborate

I thought I liked computers . After the second semester I just couldn't keep up and lost interest . I was too uncreative , noncommittal, and incapable of introspection before it was too late and I refused to stay in college longer .

First thing you need to understand is programming is full of buzzwords and jargon that sounds frightening but is actually really simple and you just have to realize you probably know more than you think.

Also this book:
is great but it is pretty advanced don't be scared if you don't get it yet. It is full of a lot of essential computer science concepts. Something you could strive to understand but if you are just starting out I'd probably hold off.

CS master here
>what to strengthen
No set answer, entirely depends what u wanna work on. I want to work in sound/image processing so I know I need to be good at low level optimisation, probabilistic maths, signal processing, know a wide range of computer vision algorithms, etc...
Focus on figuring out what u want to do first. Also actually learning a langage is literally useless in comparison to understanding the core of your field. It take a few months to learn any programming language, but developing the intuition that comes with a deep understanding of a given field take more like a few years at least.

Not OP, but I'm curious so I have to ask: I'm thinking about a career change and I'm looking into IT, don't have a degree though. Would a bachelor's CS be pretty much necessary to achieve this with irrelevant work experience? Thanks ahead of time.

What do you think I should focus on if I want a job as a software developer or engineer? I'm a freshmen in college and I imagine even then those are pretty broad fields. I'm considering doing a joint major in CS/Econ if that helps.

Okay but how did you pass your classes if you can’t code?

OP here. That makes me feel a lot better. I feel like I over think a lot and usually when I read into the jargon I don’t understand I find that it’s usually fairly simple and that I just panic at first glance. Thank you for that recommendation, I’ll read into it.

Those are great points, I know I need to research more into what I’ll be doing for my career. Should I just google “CS career options” or is there some sticky or something that explains it better?

May not mean much coming from me (OP) but I’d assume there’s more focus on networking in an IT degree than there is in CS

True, I shoulda been more clear and said IT/CS. Not sure which path I would wanna go down, but I'm curious which would be a bit more flexible/easier to get into while working a full time job.

With that GPA you could jump ship and go to grad school for another major you're interested in at any point in your life. For example, go to a JC and take some psychology classes to see if it interests you. Then go to (interesting topic's) grad school. What some of my friends did when they had a useless bachelors.

(not saying yours is useless, but in the case it ends up being so....)

Is your full time job related to CS or IT? Maybe you could transfer departments or have them pay for your classes if you’re serious. I’ve heard that has worked for some people

just anything? I honestly don’t know what else I would do. I’m not too passionate about a lot. I have strong interests and will read up on many things but it’s hard to imagine myself as doing it professionally.
Most likely I’d choose music as I’m great with music theory and I’ve been told by music professors that I could get a professional job with how well I play piano. The only problem is I worry it won’t be enough to support myself and my son. And one day I’ll want to support my mother financially in case of anything that can happen, thought I might be overthinking again.
I know it sounds stupid to go to school for something I’m not passionate about but I’m essentially on a time constraint and I can’t waste time deciding on what to do—I had to make a move and decide a major.

There’s another thread similar to this but we’re different people FYI

Again it really depends on what u want to do. Pretty much anyone can write some decent code for an application or website after some time of self-learning. It’s harder to learn the maths, complexity theory and more abstract stuff that might (or might not) be related to the job - by yourself.

No idea, I’m not the most knowledgeable person for this cause my course is pretty far away from a general software engineering course, i’m sure that you will learn all the useful stuff for that in a appropriate software engineering course though. (at a guess complexity theory, basic algorithmic, object and classes programming etc)

There is a world of possibility for CS jobs, if you have a passion/hobby you can try getting a job related to it : if you like music, become a music tech dev, if you like photography/movies, become the person who write the image processing algorithms

Since u like music you can join me and try to become a music tech dev, designing audio effects and virtual instruments and shit, it’s fun and it’s the FuTuRe

Hey guys, i feel in the same boat as u all, Im an IT major but studying coding on the side, I started studying C# but wonder If I can do anything web-related to it. Its a pretty popular language here in terms of employment.

Are you switching from IT to programming? Also where do you live?