--Originally published at richardctc201
I have read Joel Spolsky’s blog post about the advice he gives for Computer Science students in order to have more chances to succeed in their careers. Joel writes down seven pieces of advice, almost all related to academic stuff, in which he encouraged students to not only center on programming stuff, but also on other topics that may not seem as interesting as computer science itself.
Here are the seven pieces of advice Joel talks about:
- Learn how to write before graduating.
- Learn C before graduating.
- Learn microeconomics before graduating.
- Don’t blow off non-CS classes just because they’re boring.
- Take programming-intensive courses.
- Stop worrying about all the jobs going to India.
- No matter what you do, get a good summer internship.
Last semester I had a course called “Introducción a la Electrónica” taught by Electronic Engineering director Eduardo Espadas. Here I was asked to elaborate an academic plan for my years at Tec de Monterrey. In this ‘plan de carrera’ I enlisted my goals for every semester I’m going to attend here at Tec. One of my ideas was that for every semester I would try something new, I would register myself in a new course that has nothing to do with electronics. Some of my plans are: take the Legal English course (I swear I had this idea long before reading Joel’s advice of learning how to write); enter to cultural courses such as guitar, cuisine, etc; learn another language (currently I’m in German courses); and many other plans for the rest of my years in University.
Clearly I agree with most of the ideas of Joel, but of course there must be at least one thing that I don’t share with him, and this thing is the importance he gives to the GPA. This disagreement has nothing to do with my grades, I have a very good GPA; the real reason is that I think that there are things way more important than the GPA. I know that the GPA is very important, and in some way it tells many things about level of responsibility and dedication of a student. The thing is that if in this time of my life I became an employer of a company, I would definitely give more importance to extra academic important achievements than to the GPA of a potential great engineer.
Of course we all have different points of view, and not always we are going to agree absolutely everything about something, but what its a fact is that if you want to be a great engineer whom the company’s fight between them for you, conforming with taking only classes of your academic area is just not enough.