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Unformatted text preview: 10/9/10 6:45 PM Advice for Computer Science College Students - Joel on Software Page 1 of 8 http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CollegeAdvice.html Joel on Software Advice for Computer Science College Students by Joel Spolsky Sunday, January 02, 2005 Despite the fact that it was only a year or two ago that I was blubbering about how rich Windows GUI clients were the wave of the future, college students nonetheless do occasionally email me asking for career advice, and since it's recruiting season, I thought I'd write up my standard advice which they can read, laugh at, and ignore. Most college students, fortunately, are brash enough never to bother asking their elders for advice, which, in the field of computer science, is a good thing, because their elders are apt to say goofy, antediluvian things like "the demand for keypunch operators will exceed 100,000,000 by the year 2010" and "lisp careers are really very hot right now." I, too, have no idea what I'm talking about when I give advice to college students. I'm so hopelessly out of date that I can't really figure out AIM and still use (horrors!) this quaint old thing called "email" which was popular in the days when music came on flat round plates called "CDs." So you'd be better off ignoring what I'm saying here and instead building some kind of online software thing that lets other students find people to go out on dates with. File a CV and let the great jobs come to you! Wanted: Google: Unix System/Applications Administrator, Google.com at Google Inc. (Dublin, Ireland / London, United Kingdom / Zurich, Switzerland). See this and other great job listings on the jobs page . 10/9/10 6:45 PM Advice for Computer Science College Students - Joel on Software Page 2 of 8 http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/CollegeAdvice.html Nevertheless. If you enjoy programming computers, count your blessings: you are in a very fortunate minority of people who can make a great living doing work they enjoy. Most people aren't so lucky. The very idea that you can "love your job" is a modern concept. Work is supposed to be something unpleasant you do to get money to do the things you actually like doing, when you're 65 and can finally retire, if you can afford it, and if you're not too old and infirm to do those things, and if those things don't require reliable knees, good eyes, and the ability to walk twenty feet without being out of breath, etc. What was I talking about? Oh yeah. Advice. Without further ado, then, here are Joel's Seven Pieces of Free Advice for Computer Science College Students (worth what you paid for them): 1. Learn how to write before graduating. 2. Learn C before graduating. 3. Learn microeconomics before graduating....
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- Spring '10