What Every Computer Science Major Should Know

6 min readAug 16, 2018

Portfolio vs. Resume

Portfolio versus Resume

A resume says nothing of a programmer’s ability. Every computer science major should build a portfolio. A portfolio could be as simple as a personal blog, with a post for each project or accomplishment. A better portfolio would include per-project pages, and publicly browsable code (hosted perhaps on github or Google code). Contributions to open source should be linked and documented. A code portfolio allows employers to directly judge ability. GPAs and resumes do not. You can check out my blog and github here as well as my YouTube channels (randerson112358 & compsci112358 ).

Programming languages

Programming languages rise and fall with the solar cycle. A programmer’s career should not. While it is important to teach languages relevant to employers, it is equally important that students learn how to teach themselves new languages. The best way to learn how to learn programming languages is to learn multiple programming languages and programming paradigms. The difficulty of learning the nth language is half the difficulty of the (n-1)th. Yet, to truly understand programming languages, one must implement one. Ideally, every computer science major would take a compilers class. At a minimum, every computer science major should implement an interpreter.

Discrete mathematics

Students must have a solid grasp of formal logic and of proof. Proof by algebraic manipulation and by natural deduction engages the reasoning common to routine programming tasks. Proof by induction engages the reasoning used in the construction of recursive functions. Students must be fluent in formal mathematical notation, and in reasoning rigorously about the basic discrete structures: sets, tuples, sequences, functions and power sets.

If you want to read up on more induction problems or Discrete Math topics in general a great book to easily learn and practice these topics is…