Student FAQ

The following are tips from students, for students. If you’re a new student, you’ll likely find some of the FAQ below will help you get the best out of your university education!

What are some helpful online resources?

StackOverflow, Mozilla Developer Network, w3schools, and Code Academy are just some of the fantastic resources out there that can aid with your study or provide education outside of the typical curriculum. The #1 thing to always remember is “google is your friend”.

Which professors are the ‘best’?

They are all good! Some having different teaching styles. Some are easier to follow and learn from. You will have to see how well ‘you’ fair with each one. Learn what you can and get the most out of your own experience here. Your education will only be as good as you make it. If you have difficulty with an instructor's style, lean on others in the program and the Computer Science Club Support Lab for support.

Any advice for purchasing textbooks?

It is always good to delay purchasing textbooks until necessary. Email your professor or wait until the first day to find out how necessary the book will be for the class, and if you will require the book at all. Many books are often listed for additional study purposes, which can be good but not necessary for the course. Please also consider eBooks where possible, they weigh less and often cost far less than their paper counterparts. Peers in the program will often know where to find eBook versions of your textbooks! If you must purchase a physical textbook, consider buying used or buying via the TRUSU book exchange.

What electives should I take?

This is a common question and always depends on one thing: What are you interested in? Try to take electives in things you are interested in! Many of the computing science electives at TRU are among the most interesting courses in the program, so take it if you think you’ll like it and you will often be surprised!

How can I get involved in the community?

Fantastic question! Extracurricular learning is paramount to your education and often increases your exposure to employers and chance of getting hired. Staying involved with the club is step #1, if you havn’t already subscribed to our mailing list on the left hand side of this page then you should do that now! The TRU CS program also has a student-run Facebook group for getting involved with other students. The Kamloops Innovation Centre is also consistently putting on technology and startup related events, and is worth checking out.

Which programming languages will I learn?

At TRU you will be exposed to mainly the Java programming language. You will also learn C#, C, Python, and Assembler. The curriculum also includes exposure to basic web technologies such as Javascript and includes some PHP.

Which IDE should I use?

TRU currently teaches using DrJava for Java, but many students recommend against using this in the long term. For Java, IDE’s like Eclipse and IntelliJ are popular. Python users will often recommend PyCharm. Notepad++ and Sublime are general purpose IDE’s which are very good. Vim is very customizable and powerful, however the learning curve is very steep so often it is not a good choice for a first editor.

Which OS should I use?

Any of the most popular will work! Windows, Mac, and Linux are all good as long as you are using a recent version. If you don’t currently use Linux, but are interested in experimenting, Ubuntu Linux is a good starting place and many people in the community will be happy to help you learn how to use it.

Got a tip for students? Email us!

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