Being productive between terms
We're now at the end of my first semester at Hunter. The Spring term classes don't start until the end of January. I've got an assortment of projects to work on but some of the students should have a nice block of relatively free time.
I wanted to share some recommendations on things to explore with a few student groups and thought it would be easier to write those recommendations down here once and then just share a link.
So, here we go.
Much of the first few CS classes at Hunter and elsewhere focus on the fundamentals of programming, data structures, and algorithms. It's all good stuff but students want to supplement that classroom knowledge with some practical skills.
I recommend playing with a language like Python that can be used in all sorts of domains. If you haven't played with it, check it out.
I like Automate the Boring Stuff with Python as a nice, free, online text.
I'd also recommend learning a web platform like Flask. Flask is a web framework in Python. The web site has a nice getting started guide and tutorial but here are a couple of other great learning Flask resources:
Once armed with the above, you'll be well positioned to work on a variety of your own projects, enter hackathons, and more.
I'm also a big believer in using good tools. I love the emacs text editor. Why not spend some time going through the web series on Using Emacs.
Finally, if you're not using Git, you should be. Here are a couple of playlists to get you started:
And if you haven't done so already, head over to Github Education and sign up for a student developer pack.
So, there are a few recommendations on things to work on before the next term begins.