What should a first year CSE student do in the 40 days holiday before starting of 2nd year?

What should a first year CSE student do in the 40 days holiday before starting of 2nd year? by @balajivis

Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:

Day 0: Familiarize yourself with Evernote[1] and Trello[2] . Watch videos and read tutorials. Every student must learn the best way to use these.

Days 1-10: Setup linux and learn Linux commands. Even if you later end up using Windows, a good engineer should always know Linux/Unix commands. Get immersed into the command line[3] GUI is for non-engineers 😉

Days 11-16: If you don't already know a language, start with Codecademy[4] or something similar to get started. Look to spend 10-15 hours a day on that. If you can't, you must look for some other career option beyond programming. Pick one language – say Ruby or Python – anything that is easy for beginners.

Days 17-20: Familiarize yourself with a good IDE if you have not already. Eclipse[5] is usually the best for a lot of languages, but you could pick something else too like Komodo, NetBeans, Sublime Text or Atom. Understand what debugger means for instance and continue with your coding lessons.

Day 21: Familiarize yourself with Git [6]. Understand what source control means and how Git is used. You can practice stuff here[7]

Day 22-25: Setup an account in Github and browse through Github Explore[8]– Make a note of interesting projects on Evernote as you go along. Read through the project description and note the activity in there.

Days 26-39: Pick up one interesting project from your previous research that has some activity and where you have some understanding. Start contributing to it – you could start with just text based documentation. Write the project description to make is very usable for a new user. Go inside the code and add intelligent comments where things are not obvious.

For these, you have to pull the code in your local Git repository, make edits and then push it back. Mainly stick to commenting in your initial contributions. If there is a community page for that project, get active there and ask about what else you can contribute. Be a good listener.

What will you learn:

  1. Note taking and organizing information
  2. Learn to work in a command shell in Linux
  3. One programming language
  4. One IDE to manage your code
  5. Source control [Git]
  6. Understand some hot new projects on Github
  7. Learn to work in a team in a professional environment
  8. Get connections in open source ecosystem
  9. Learn to read code
  10. Understand the importance of commenting

That's it. Have a nice summer. Wanna go to the next year. Here it is: What should a second year CSE student do in the 40 days holiday before starting of 3rd year?


[1] The note-taking space for your life’s work

[2] Trello

[3] Learn the Bash Command Line

[4] Learn to code

[5] Getting Started with Eclipse

[6] Learn Version Control with Git

[7] Try Git

[8] Build software better, together

What should a first year CSE student do in the 40 days holiday before starting of 2nd year?


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