The right temperament, four years of engineering

Note: This has come back from the archives and was written way back on 03 May 2011. [Back from the Grave]

Disclaimer : This article is a compilation of my say about four years of college, things that i wish people told me, things that people told me and helped me make a difference and yeah, of course things that i want to say :). It would also be a a lot biased towards computer engineering (obvious reasons).

College is a lot different than school, a lot lot different. Full freedom, no teachers, bunking classes is regular, going classes is a once in a while thing, friends are family, family is now a phone call away. Yeah, I know howmuch fun college is but on a seious note we should never forget the primary reason we joined the college,

First year of College

  • Make Friends, lots and lots of them.
  • Find people who share a similar interst you have and if you are not sure about your interests, make sure by the end of this year.
  • Learn the habit of learning
  • Do what you think is interesting, and don’t feel shy to share it with the world.Check this video, really inspiring.
  • Classes are important but not more than exams. By the end of first year it would be obvious that studying 2 days before the exam is more than enough.

Second year of College

  • This is the most important year of college.
  • Data Structures are very important, learn it, love it and don’t forget.
  • Take part in programming competitions, online contests.
  • Try to be a part of an open source project, try to submit a patch for one or too, it maybe used, maynot be, but the best part is you’d learn.
  • If you don’t understand in class then very good, neither did we, but ask a couple of questions to the faculty just to confirm if it is a period worth bunking.
  • Toward the end of this year, apply for training or some project (in a reputed university). Try out for Google Summer of Code, or maybe apply to an open source project for a summer intern.
  • And yeah, the most important have fun, try going out everyday, move around. Nothing is better than a cup of chai with friends @galla.

Third year of College

  • Now, this is when things start warming up and you start to feel the pressure.
  • CAT CAT everywhere, not a TIGER to see .. haha . I can’t say when do you go for an MBA but i can surely say don’t go for one if you are really interested in Computers ( Other Department people, just replace with whatsover is the alternate .).
  • One point is very clear, programming or writing programs is a kid’s job, but writing the perfect program, with the most optimized algorithm is what is awesome.
  • Learn algorithms, if you have been participating in online competitons then you must know how interesting it is.
  • Once again, towards the end take on a project, work on it, have fun. If u had contributed to some open source project before and have continued, most chances are you would be very close to the team by now, so you have a whole world of opportunities in front of you.
  • If higher-studies is what you wish to do next, its high time you give GRE, TOEFL … and all those 3 Letter words :-P

Final year ( The End, that’s what i’m talking about)

  • Take up a project that you would love to work on, and seminar on something that you’ve wanted to learn or try.
  • Have Fun, a lot of fun.
  • Placement is just another thing, dont’ worry.
  • Once again, Have FUN!

An Important Issue :

Recently, I was also thinking that why do most of the tech startups or the awesome ideas that totally change the world come from some place on the other side of the globe. If they can why not someone in India? or Nepal? No, it’s really hard to. Why? It’s because the way we are taught, the way colleges run. Colleges are just making the next lot of engineers, they are not making thinkers, not innovators. But, again, it doesn’t mean we can’t. It’s high time we take a shift of paradigm, try to do some interesting stuff in college, mix it with all the awesome fun we are having.

That’s all for now. I’ve a lot, seriously a lot to say. Any issues or suggestions, pop up a comment below.