So I’ve been at Southampton for a month? A month and a bit? Not entirely sure, freshers week is still a little bit hazy in my mind. Well I’ve been here long enough that I’m completely settled in, so settled that I already know where to find the cheapest vending machine on campus(just inside The Annex opposite Building 2 if you were wondering).
This new settled-in state of mind makes me feel like I have some semblance of authority about “student life” and more importantly “ECS life” and more specifically “Computer Science Life” which is infinitely more superior to Electronic Engineering life or ITO life, because clearly ComSci is the best subject. By the way a quick lesson: if you come to ECS get ready for some inter-subject banter, there’s a lot of it.
In that beautifully banterous sort of way ECS here is kinda like an awesome club that we’re all members of. And by awesome I mean awesome in the kind of way that we all laugh at jokes about 64-bit operating systems in lectures and reference nyan cat in casual conversation at least once a day, if not more.
Anyway that’s all the fun stuff out the way, now let’s talk serious stuff. The main thing I think a prospective student like yourself (here I’m assuming you’re a prospective student and not some strange person who’s just really obsessed with the lives of university students) wants to know is: how much coding should I know before I get there?
And really when you ask that question you’re asking: Am I going to be the dumb one? I know this because I asked that very question before coming here, I was worried that everyone here would be ridiculously amazing and coding complete video games in their spare time and slowly building up a moderately sized robot army. Thankfully that’s not the case.
At ECS they know that people are gonna come from a lot of different backgrounds in terms of coding and also maths. Some people on the course have never seen code before, other people are insanely amazing at coding in Java and then there are those of us somewhere in between.
If you’ve never done any coding before, don’t worry they start right from the beginning slowly building up your repertoire of programming skills. Also you’ll probably have a better time in lectures than people who already do know java, since they always have a sort of glazed-eyed look about them in lecture. Or maybe they’re just the hungover people…
And if you are one of those coding ninjas then don’t worry you won’t be bored for long, here they run a thing called Space Cadets where you’re set extra tasks to do that are a bit more complicated.
Also don’t worry if you’re a bit like me, somewhere kinda in the middle. I had coded in another language before and had kinda started teaching myself java over the summer. So my knowledge was patchy at best and I didn’t know any of the proper names for things or any coding conventions. But I’ve managed to stumble my way through the course with some sort of success.
So yea that’s the first blog from me. Basically to summarize: Don’t worry about it, ECS is awesome.