2. Try programming by yourself before signing up for a Computer Science course.
How can you know if it is actually for you when you haven’t tried it? You can play it safe. Start by short online introductory courses in programming and algorithms (from i.e. Coursera) during your afternoons/weekends, and after some time you will start to get the idea of what it’s like to code. Ruby would be a good language to start with as it is simple and avoids many complexities of some other languages. Watch a few videos, program along with them and if you start getting excited about it, then you would probably enjoy studying Computer Science.
On the other hand, if you like Computer Science, but don’t get passionate about coding then a possible area you may be suited for is Technical Writing. Writing documentation for an end-user of a product/framework. This would require a bit of technical knowledge so you actually know what you’ re writing about and spot error. Either way, Computer Science will change the way you think!
3. You can Convert to Computing, whenever you want to, no matter what your background is.
During my BSc, I had no idea how I would make it possible and convert to computing. I realised however that you can change your line of thinking by either going back to school for another BSc rather than finding roles unrelated to your personality and potential. It is that old saying about picking something you like, can do well, and that people will pay you to do. I knew I had many years to steer towards my goals and many years to benefit from advantage of another degree, but I wanted to take a bigger risk and find a way to do it at that exact moment.
My thinking process was fairly simple: I experienced A, it lead me to believe B, if B was true, I should take action C.
I experienced studying something I didn’t like and that I couldn’t change, this lead me to the hypothesis that the faster I would graduate, the quicker I would dive into the things I liked (a proper CS course). I accepted that this hypothesis was true and I graduated with the 2nd highest mark in my non-CS BSc and I did that just because I wanted to apply and be accepted to a really good BSc in CS degree abroad. I was at the time ready to spend another 3-4 years of my life starting over, and this is the moment I realised that I could convert in only 12 months! There are Ivy League MSc in Computer Science conversion courses out there, which are not widely known. Their entry requirements involve a good undergraduate degree and a strong passion for Computer Science, which is exactly what I needed.
4. Really intensive courses are likely to be life changing.
These 12 months of courses are really intensive and challenging, but life changing at the same time. If you are passionate about programming, you will find the courses interesting, logical and more importantly memorable. The actual studying, homework and programming assignments of medium to hard difficulty may seem paced a bit fast, but if you don’t push yourself, you can’t achieve great things.
Go through any designated prerequisites, it’s disastrous to ignore prerequisite advise and tremendously useful to follow it. Make sure you understand what it is you code in terms of math, programming, abstract thinking, bugs, group projects and programming in multiple computer languages.
5. Sometimes going egoless in Computer Science is just what the doctor ordered.
A few things I realised after converting to Computing is that: You WILL make mistakes, the point is to find them early, learn by them, identify them even earlier next time, and move on, don’t take it personally.
6. Someone else will be better than you, and you will be better than someone else.
Make sure to accept and actively seek and offer input from/to your colleagues, especially when you don’t think you any input is needed.