I happened to meet two young students yesterday. They are MCA students from Dharwar. Meeting them was quite a strange experience.
They were here like hordes of other students – to look for a project for the their final semester project. I could see within minutes of meeting them that they are far from being in a position to do anything non-trivial. They were interested to do some project in software-engineering. Beyond the definitions of SDLC, their knowledge of it was absent. In fact they had come here with an intention of doing a project or programming language. This doesn't mean that they intended to work on the theory of programming languages. Their intention was solely to work on some kind of development in a programming language, preferably Java, or C# perhaps.
I really couldn't make myself advise them in doing a project with the main intention of learning a programming language. I could also sense that they weren't in a position to do any research oriented project. I asked them to look around in their own institute and see if there's anything in the process of their office administration, which has a scope of automation. It would give the necessary skill and experience in programming. And apart from that they would get to do something that would possibly be used by someone else, which is surely a proud and satisfying feeling.
They seemed to take the idea well. The overall experience was, infact, quite gloomy. But, I was suddenly flooded with a ray of hope when one of them asked: 'Just tell us what's the way to think in a right manner.' I thought he had already started thinking in the right way, by asking the right question! Yes. I told him so. And gave him a short lecture on how to drive himself to a state of endless curiosity, asking right question at the right time, and seeking their answers aggressively.
In the end, I felt that there was a smile the faces of all three of us. May be for different reasons!
Bits of Learning
Learning sometimes happens in big jumps, but mostly in little tiny steps. I share my baby steps of learning here, mostly on topics around programming, programming languages, software engineering, and computing in general. But occasionally, even on other disciplines of engineering or even science. I mostly learn through examples and doing. And this place is a logbook of my experiences in learning something. You may find several things interesting here: little cute snippets of (hopefully useful) code, a bit of backing theory, and a lot of gyan on how learning can be so much fun.