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Education Programming

Ask Slashdot: What To Do Before College? 335

First time accepted submitter MtownNaylor writes "I graduated high school two days ago and am currently enrolled to attend college for studying Computer Science. I spent last summer working as a contractor, programming in Java doing work for a single company. I am looking to further either my career, my education, or both this summer. The problem is that I have found it difficult to find summer employment or internships programming for a multitude of reasons (lack of opportunities, lack of experience, lack of degree.) So what is a high school graduate who wants to work as a programmer to do?"
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do Before College?

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  • New Zealand (Score:3, Interesting)

    by terbeaux ( 2579575 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @01:49PM (#40401055)

    Get a working holiday visa. http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/work/workingholiday/unitedstatesofamericaworkingholidayscheme.htm [immigration.govt.nz]

    Go to New Zealand.

    Enjoy the best year of your life.

    Go home.

    Start your career.

  • MIT (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @02:02PM (#40401323) Homepage

    MIT open courseware. Take all the courses now. That way you can get ahead of the curve by leaning from the TOP professors instead of the second tier ones you will have elsewhere. IF you do good enough you could test out of many classes for course credit so you can be further ahead of the game.

    Right now is the best time to be a teen before college. You have world class undergrad and graduate level stuff available to you for free. Eat all of it and ask for more.

  • 2. Contribute to open source. I'd shy away from starting your own open source project. That is actually difficult to do unless you know someone demanding it and then you're kind of being held to get it done.

    Well it depends on what your intention is. As the author of an open source project I got little feedback on [sf.net], I'm still glad I wrote the project because I needed it for my own purposes, and I was still able to treat it like a "real project." I wrote an installer for it. I had version numbers. I shipped it out on laptops I setup for my employer, because I might need to use it to diagnose problems. If the author has a real problem to solve for themselves, even if its for their weekly D&D game or for a fantasy sports league, they can still teach themselves about version control, installer software, unit testing, or other things.

    I learned about version control when I was writing VB6 programs as a clerk in a security guard company. No one told me to. I decided on my own. Later when I was a programmer there I taught myself to make an MSI installer and how to use NUint. No market pressures from my boss or a client made me do this. Just a desire to be more professional and disciplined.

  • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Thursday June 21, 2012 @03:08PM (#40402375)

    Also get a manual labor job. A job that you really hate and despise, which pays almost nothing, outdoors or in a warehouse w/o air conditioning or with a crew chief that screams at you for flipping burgers too slowly. That's real life. Then when you get the programming job you will appreciate it and not act like a prima donna.

    Even if mom and dad are paying for everything and you don't need a job and just want something to do to get in touch with yourself, you need to do something down to earth instead of a stupid vacation. If you want to hike the trails, then do it as a volunteer who cleans up the trails and cuts brush. If you want to visit Europe then get a job volunteering at a charity there instead of partying and trying to get laid.

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.