Looking back and doing some retrospective justification of my actions, I feel that I did a good thing by focusing on some fundamentals such as Object-Oriented Design, Unix and Linux Systems, Basic Programming and Computational theory. But I also regret not focusing enough on Fundamentals of Software Engineering Processes, Algorithms and Data Structures (The advanced stuff) and Probability and Decision theory.
In the first semester, I had a suite of courses,
Analysis of Algorithms 2,
Software Testing and Quality,
Advanced Computer Networks and
Introduction to Data Science etc. Well, for these courses, I attended a couple of classes. I decided to drop the `Analysis of Algorithms 2 and Introduction to Data Science courses as these are full graduate courses and require a lot of commitment and interfere with my Part-time Teaching Assistantship. (Plus, I did not want to flunk in the very first term of my course by doing a hackneyed job) But I ended up getting the course material and learning a lot about Analysis of algorithms 2 (Algorithms and Data Structures are two of my favourite subjects in computer science as they are the heart of and soul of good software). It was fun. I regret not taking that course. But nonetheless, I enjoyed and learnt a lot in courses on Software testing and Advanced Computer Networks. (underrated but essential stuff often neglected in the modern world of Cloud Computing).
One of the lessons I learned taking these courses is how critical the fundamentals are, whether basic programming and discrete math skills or basic algorithms, programming and operating system skills. It’s a good idea to spend a reasonable amount of time mastering the basics, and the advanced concepts will flow easily to you. It’s all connected.
But for the Data Science I did not really like it. I have a feeling that it is glorified statistics. (Yes, I said it! Sue me ;)) It felt like it was trying to torture data to get something I want and not considering other variables in the real world, which is a complex system.
Now that the first term is done, I understand how the academics work here and have got my grip on things. I hope to learn a lot more in the next term.