Introduction to Computer Science

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Introduction to Computer Science

FabioRosado Tuesday, 24 Oct 2017

My Journey

At first my coding skills were close to none. I knew a little bit of Javascript and Java.

When I found the course Introduction to Computer Science and Programming from MIT at edx.org my eyes lit up. I enrolled in the course and loved every bit of it.

I loved struggling to come up with a solution to a problem. I loved spending hours trying different things and it all felt like a big puzzle. I was hooked!

Unfortunately, I didn’t complete the course at first try, because half way through the course I decided to move to the UK.

New Beginnings

One day I was listening to an audio book while getting ready for work. The author said something that made me stop.

“If you lose track of time while doing something, no matter how hard it is or how much you struggle, you still have fun. That’s your passion and you should embrace it.”

I’ve remembered those sleepless hours, as I tried to write a piece of code to solve a problem. I remembered how much fun I had while doing it. It was when I’ve realised that perhaps, I should try and be serious about coding.

My first stop was edx.org. I enrolled to MIT6.00.1x the same day and started working on the problems while taking the lessons in my spare time. After some hard work, I was able to complete the course and get my certificate - I bought the verified certificate to tell myself how serious I was.

The journey

After completing the course, I’ve been spending my free time and days off on Khan Academy to improve my math and I’ve been doing code challenges every day. I also bought some books and a bunch of paid courses on stackskills.

Along with that, I’ve tried to create a sort of study plan based on universities curriculum (Oxford, MIT, Standford). I’ve also tried to get the books that these universities use on their courses.

I have to say that the journey hasn’t been easy. My time is divided by flying (I’m a cabin crew for an UK based airline) and trying to improve my knowledge of CS and coding skill. At times it feels that there is just not enough time in a day to do everything.

I’ve always wanted to contribute to Open Source. One day I was listening to a podcast. The episode was about Opsdroid. I’ve decided to have a look at Opsdroid github page and see if I could contribute somehow.

Contributing to Opsdroid was an amazing experience and I still contribute to it today. I’ve learned so much from this experience that I can’t even put it into words.

What I’m doing now

MITx6.00.1x was just the first part of the course. I’ve just started the first week of the second part of the course (MITx6.00.2x), all I can say is wow! This feels way harder than before. This part of the course if self-paced, there’s no time constraint, so I can spend as much time on a problem as needed.

Along with that, I’m still trying to improve my knowledge of Python, Fedora(from a course that I’ve bought), maths and contributing more to open source projects.

Plans for the future

I’ve came across this amazing project on GitHub - Open Source University - So I’m eager to start working on all of these courses and see how much I could improve while following this curriculum.

I’m still unsure if I should go back to uni and take a proper degree in computer science. Some people say its worth it, while others say that you can learn everything by yourself, if you try hard enough. At the moment I’ll do the courses and see how it goes.