Press J to jump to the feed. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts
Posted byu/[deleted]5 months ago

Confused about the best use of my time in college


1 comment
67% Upvoted
What are your thoughts? Log in or Sign uplog insign up
level 1
5 points · 5 months ago

Your goals seem achievable.

The best use of your time in college is finishing you degree with a good GPA. Priority #1. A very close #2 is securing some sort of on-the-job training, typically via an internship.

Will I be able to handle a full time work load while enrolled full time in my courses?

I don't know you.

I did 12 credits (3 junior-level courses) while putting in a little over 40 hours/week at FedEx. It was fucking rough.

I knocked it down to 8 credits (2 junior/senior level courses) while putting in the same hours as SWE, then DevOps/Support person over 2 years to finish the degree. Slightly less fucking rough, but still rough.

You could breeze through it. I don't know you.

If I do leave work for Summer classes will I have enough time to learn enough leetcode for Fall internship interviews?

Probably, yes.

How should I start preparing now for internship interviews?

Meet with local orgs. Step 0 is knowing what opportunities are even available to you. Alternatively, if relocation for the internship is fine, meet with non-local orgs. If pursuing BigN/FAANG, reach out to their "intern finding folks" and recruiters.

Grinding Leetcode/Hackerrank problems is good interview prep, but it's not the only interview prep you should be doing. Be good at explaining the things going on in your head while working through a problem. Basic communication skills also -- hello, how are you, small talk type stuff. Show an interest in the meeting/interview you're in, not just presence.

I thought freecodecamp html/css would be a good first step. But where do I go from there?

Add some back-end; C#/.NET, PHP, NodeJS, Java/Spring, etc. Build crappy stuff, learn why its crappy, make new stuff that's less crappy, rinse, repeat. Most popular language+framework combinations have demo projects you can step through to get started.

An addendum:

Side projects

Side projects are not a be-all-end-all that many people make them out to be. Unless you're a lead contributor/maintainer of some wildly popular tool, your portfolio is not going to draw a lot of attention by itself. They're useful references to help explain to prospective employers what your problem solving processes look like. Do them with that intention; Document all the things, put that shit in version control, maybe even blog about it. Be able to gush about all the tricky design choices you made and how you might've done things differently in X Y Z conditions.

This doesn't mean a cheeky calculator app that you whipped together with some POC code. This means a project which adds value (don't conflate "value" with "revenue") or solves a problem. It's OK if the problem has already been solved before, but perhaps pick something that isn't a common learning project in academia (calculators, card games, geometric plotting, etc). A project that you took from "idea" to "production ready", or a project current in production (think open source) that you've added value to or solved problems in.

You don't need some beautifully orchestrated release/build/test process, you don't need CI/CD. This can be a simple app or website you throw up somewhere.

Cheeky calculator apps are great for learning, but are unlikely to turn heads. Organizations want to hire problem solvers, not people who are simply proficient with the latest tools. Show them you can solve problems -- preferably complex ones.

More posts from the cscareerquestions community
Continue browsing in r/cscareerquestions
Community Details





A subreddit for those with questions about working in the tech industry or in a computer-science-related job.

r/cscareerquestions Rules
Posts must be related to computer science careers
Posts must show thought, effort, and research
Some questions belong in daily stickied threads
Survey or data-collecting posts need mod approval
Promotional or advertising threads are not allowed
Trolling or being a jerk is not allowed
Posts must contain a question or foster discussion
Comments should be on-topic
Comments should be professional and helpful
Use ModMail instead of PMing moderators if you have issues

Welcome, one and all, to CSCareerQuestions!

Here we discuss careers in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, and related fields. Please keep the conversation professional, adhere to the reddiquette, and remember to READ OUR RULES.


CSCQ regular u/Kevincav runs a discord called CS Career Hackers. Please check it out for your chatting needs:

Please note that we, the CSCQ mod team are not in charge of this discord.

Want to ask a question?

User Flair??

Noticed some cool user flair around? Take a look at this thread to see what it's all about.

tl;dr: darker colors == more posting experience here.

Salary Sharing Survey

The survey and response spreadsheet have been updated as of November 23, 2018.

Survey | Responses

These are the old responses to the previous survey

Share your current compensation and review the data submitted by other users in the two links above. More info about the salary survey can be found on the subreddit wiki.

Salary Sharing Threads

These are only posted by mods, following the schedule listed in the FAQ. You can find past threads here.

CSCQ Demographics Survey

Daily Threads

In addition to a chat thread that's newly spawned every day, we have a daily rotation for threads for certain topics. Please don't start new threads about these topics without getting mod permission first, lest we be forced to...intervene.

Contribute to the FAQ!

We could always do with more help and wisdom, friend! The better the FAQ, the harder we can come down on lazy posters with low-effort OPs, which means a higher quality subreddit experience for you.

Don't see your link?

CS Career subreddits

6.7k members


6.5k members

Education / Theory subreddits

12.7k members


530k members


73.7k members


10.1k members

Programming subreddits

978k members


2.0m members


146k members

Job subreddits

232k members


74.5k members


74.8k members


7.1k members


445k members

Software Engineer
12 Years XP | TPM | DevOps
Android Dev @ G | 7Y XP
Software Engineer
Hiring Manager
Developer for the
Site Reliability Engineer
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.