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I'm nearing the end of my education and in preparation for getting into the work place I thought it might be good to study up on some hot topics in the CS field. I've heard of things like Net Neutrality and Computer Human Interaction and others but never really until now spent much time studying these kinds of things in depth. I was hoping to get some input so I can focus on things that are more useful/practical in the field. Also as a side note what would be some good certifications to pursue that would really open up job opportunities.

Just a little background in case its important: I have work experience as a webmaster and currently would like to pursue embedded programming or network programming of some sort.

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closed as off-topic by user16764, gnat, MichaelT, GlenH7, Kilian Foth Sep 26 '13 at 7:53

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First, computer science topics don't lend themselves to certifications. Second, embedded and network programming are not anywhere near the same thing (reminds me of my cousin who's favorite poets are e.e. cummings and Edgar Allen Poe). –  David Thornley Mar 1 '11 at 18:03
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Um, you're aware that net neutrality is a political issue, not a technical one, right? According to the latest ACM TechNews, the hot technologies today seem to be crowdsourcing, supercomputers, vision augmentation and "tapping the potential of radar technologies to advance the emerging discipline of aeroecology". –  TMN Mar 1 '11 at 19:15
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3 Answers

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There is so much wrong with this question... You're nearing the END of your education and you're asking these questions? I'd expect this from a freshman, not a senior... What the heck are they teaching you kids?

If you want to look good to employers, then what matter is: can you write GOOD software. Not spaghetti code, not hacked up junk that no other developer can follow. Just good, quality, clean, functional (and preferably tested) code. More importantly - can you solve problems? That's what we do. We solve problems. Code is our toolkit, but we're essentially problem solvers. And being a good problem solver NEVER goes out of style and ALWAYS pays...

I'd suggest studying these topics: unit testing, test driven development, agile development methodologies (extreme programming, scrum, lean), the SOLID principles, OO Design, Domain Models, and know how to use source control...

Good luck.

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Just focus on being a solid developer and being able to write english well. Those are far more important than certs for engineering positions. Especially writing English.

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In my experience, good software development organizations do not pay much attention to certifications. There are people holding an MSCS and multiple certifications who still can't program. If you really want to do embedded work, you might want to delve into Linux internals. No doubt there is some device needing a driver. That experience would probably be more impressive than any certification.

Certifications may be valuable if you want to manage technology. If you want to create technology, they don't count for much.

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