“It’s not just all grunt work. A good coding culture could mean a group of coders staying up all night for a coding marathon (with bouts of CS: GO), providing assistance in installing Linux; or something as simple as guy making a chat-bot that wishes his girlfriend a happy birthday.”
– Kumar Prasun
Disclaimer: – Please refer to the glossary at the end of the article for the meaning of abbreviations and some nonsensical jargon.
How do we get a coding culture going on campus?
Actually, before we go any further, what is coding culture?
The definition is fluid but it basically consists of the the coding activities that happen in a college apart from what is included in the academic curriculum.
With almost every engineering stream aspirant trying for a Computer Science stream for a fat salary, we have an excess supply of graduates that is several times the demand. So, you need to learn more than what is taught in your regular studies to have that edge against your peers, when you go for your interviews.
And hence, having people or clubs in your college doing stuff like competitive coding, open source projects or web/app developments is a benefit for you.
[Of course, salary and a good job isn’t the only reason for a coding culture, but it is the main reason.]
It’s not just all grunt work though. A good coding culture could mean being able to find a group of coders staying up all night for a coding marathon (with bouts of CS: GO), random workshops happening on a new programming language or for providing assistance in installing Linux; or as simple as guy making a chatbot that wishes his girlfriend a happy birthday (cheesy, but possible).
Such a coding ecosystem gives you motivation and a productive atmosphere for you to improve in.
Now coming back to the problem in hand, what if your college doesn’t have such an ecosystem for various reasons?
=> Get the freshers interested.
The new blood that comes to the campus is interested in joining and participating in everything. It’s the responsibility of their seniors to guide them and get them interested in coding with the help of workshops, one-on-one talks or involving them in coding competitions.
=> Self Learning.
With the explosion of MOOCs online, you have a good avenue for self development.
=> The Coding club.
As one of the most important centres of any technical college, it should be their responsibility to promote coding activates on the college.
=> Open Source Projects
Helping out with open source projects on Github not only improves your coding skills; it also helps you form connections with people from across the world. And with hard work, you can get into the prestigious Google Summer of Code.
One last thing- coding culture cannot grow overnight. It takes time and effort from everyone.
Over time, students will start winning competitions; bag good internships and secure jobs at famous companies. They become role models that instil pride among the other students, who start emulating them. In the process, they do well themselves, and become role models for their juniors. Thus, a virtuous cycle is created. Promoting coding culture then just becomes simply fuelling this cycle and taking it to greater heights, year by year.
Open Source– Software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified
CS: GO– Popular multiplayer game
MOOCs – A course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people.
Github– GitHub is a web-based Git repository hosting service.
Cover Designed By Lakshmi Bayanagari
Article By Kumar Prasun