October 26, 2021

The Best Advice You Could Ever Get About Computer Science


  1. “Play with your passions.”
  2. “There is a world of information, support and community out there for Computer Science.”
  3. “Network with like-minded people.”
  4. “Keep practising using the concept you learn and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.”

So you’re thinking of upskilling or reskilling in the Computer Science space. Rest assured - you’re in the right place! Like any new specialisation, it can be daunting and unfamiliar at the same time. Here at CS101, we have been designed by industry for industry so you know that you’re in safe hands.

Whether you’re curious about what to expect when learning about Computer Science or simply, keen to get any advice to kickstart your journey - here is a round up of solid advice for our team of experts:

#1 “Play with your passions” -- David Collien, Founder and CTO, OpenLearning

David Collien, OpenLearning’s Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder; and Head Instructor of CS101. David, an educationalist at heart, holds a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) with 1st Class Honours from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). His former PhD research topic at UNSW centred on Computer Science and Education: pedagogy, motivational mechanics, and social dynamics which facilitate effective online learning communities, self-directed learning and online heutagogy.

David’s advice is: “Play with your passions. For anyone who wants to learn Computer Science or or technology in general, they are tools that help you solve problems. Learning to code for the sake of coding is rarely what I would recommend. Rather, find something that you are passionate about and then learn more  “Computer Science superpowers” that let you further explore that passion.” 

Read David’s QA blog here.

#2 “There is a world of information, support and community there for Computer Science” -- Shaun Thompson, Senior Learning Designer, OpenLearning

Shaun Thompson, OpenLearning’s Senior Learning Designer for CS101. With over 15 years of experience within his field, Shaun loves to get creative in engaging learners with various forms of content and activities.

Shaun’s advice is: “For someone who is looking to upskill or reskill in Computer Science, advice I would give is that there is a world of information, support and community out there. For example, there’s this site called StackOverflow which has a “meme” attitude around it, it's almost like a cheat sheet for programmers where most searchable questions already have an answer to; and another Reddit page I’ve recently become a huge fan of is Programming Humour where there’s a real community for those within the Computer Science realm that are there to assist and share information that may be of interest and value to others. So essentially, if you’re looking to head down the road of Computer Science, rest assured that there is a real online community that is willing to help you.”

Read Shaun’s QA blog here.

#3 “Network with like-minded people” -- Hien Nguyen, Senior Learning Designer, CS101 by OpenLearning

Hien Nguyen, a Senior Learning Designer working for the bespoke CS101 program. Hien holds a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) with honours from Texas A&M University and a Doctor of Education from Penn State University. She is a creative and passionate learning experience designer with over 15 years of experience.

Hien’s advice is: “For someone who is looking to upskill or reskill in Computer Science, it will be valuable to build a network with like-minded people (you will find that by actively participating in this program!) and actively look for opportunities to practise what you are learning, whether you are in your current workplace or at home.”

Read Hien’s QA blog here.

#4 “Keep practising using the concepts you learn and don’t be afraid to make mistakes” -- Jessica Rahman, SME and Computer Scientist, CS101 by OpenLearning

Jessica S. Rahman, OpenLearning’s Subject Matter Expert and Computer Scientist for the bespoke CS101 program. She is currently completing her PhD and teaching various courses in Computer Science, with extensive experience in working with human physiological signals and machine learning techniques.

Jessica’s advice is: “I would suggest taking a step back and always look at the problem first in general rather than solving it in terms of computer science. I guess a big part of computer science involves programming languages so we often think the way to upskill is learning many programming languages and terms etc. But it is very important to understand the underlying concepts first. Any sorts of problems we deal with in computer science have some sort of real-world implications, understanding the problem and the concept first will be the most helpful in solving the problem, rather than thinking of the programming language or technique first. 

The other suggestion I would give is to keep practicing using the concept you learn and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I find the best way to learn is when you try to understand why something didn’t work. Asking those questions, sharing with others will help you upskill to reskill in computer science.”.

Read Jessica’s QA blog here.

What next?

Feeling inspired? Why not make the move and kickstart your Computer Science journey with CS101 powered by OpenLearning. Download our CS101 Course Syllabus: