This was the advice i gave to some of my college mates who were struggling to get started with computer science and be placed in a startup. This is what i wrote to them …
I was a non-programmer and turned myself into one. It was hard but not impossible. During that phase i learned one thing ‘how to learn’. I tried numerous ways to teach myself. I can say one thing for sure. ANYTHING CAN BE LEARNED.
I call you people to do the same. Stop bothering about placements for sometime and instead focus on polishing your skills. Whatever your dream job be, its a skill market now, skills will earn you respect as well as money.
So my way is little bit twisted and I have a PLAN for you all .
But this plan will work for those who are determined enough to execute it honestly.
Before i tell you the plan, if you aspire to do MBA or IAS or anything NON-CS , don’t feel guilty of not doing justice to your major, just trust your gut and if you feel that MBA or IAS is for you. Go for it. Commit to it. Stop worrying about placement. There is nothing like backup plan.
My plan is for CS and its simple:
1. Build 2 small apps (full blown apps) every month, for 4 months which makes it to 8 apps. 15 days a app. i repeat SMALL WORKING APPS.
2. Do not focus on building a ‘million dollar idea’. Just focus on building any app like twitter clone, small chat app or anything which exist in the market and you love it. Idea here is to explore your P-Creativity. Believe it does wonders.
In case of web app, try free web hosting site and host them.
4. Embrace the Internet, the most Democraticized system ever created. A laptop and a decent internet connection can change everything, you just need a curious mind. Use it for inspiration for building apps and find numerous tutorials.
5. Include a sport activity in your daily routine. Trust me … will calm you.
6. Meanwhile, make a crisp resume and prepare a impressive cover letter. It will be good if you make your online portfolio. Portfolio can be one of your app.
7. Make a spreadsheet of companies you want to apply to. Include email id, contact name, company and DO NOT APPLY before 4 months. Just keep filling your spreadsheet with the names of startups you come across.
8. Brush up your Data structures and Algorithm concepts on daily basis, one by one.
9. After 4 months, dump all your app to Github or you can start committing your code as you start. Include all links in your cover letter.
10. AND APPLY TO ALL COMPANIES in your spredsheet .. atleast to 30-40 companies. Research properly about each company before applying and remember to modify your cover letter accordingly.
In 99% case , you’ll land a job respectfully but in case you do not. Believe me, sense of able to build something will change a lot in you.