The Big Academic Project Paradox

With Universities embarking upon yet another year I wanted to offer some advice for students entering their final semesters in education.

Unlike many self-taught web developers, I had the opportunity to study the subject academically as part of my degree; after two years of studying Computer Science I specialised in Web Development for the final year.

While it was definitely a good move (to start general and then specialise) it meant I completed two final year projects and discovered what I call the “Big Academic Project Paradox”:

Academic projects are meant to be learning experiences, but you’re so concerned with delivering to-deadline that you have little time or energy to learn anything new.

Me, just now

Therefore my top tip for anyone completing a FYP is to dedicate some time every week to learning something new; try a fresh framework or have an entire side-project, keep a list of things you want to experiment with or smaller projects you may want to pursue someday. Otherwise you may just go mental.

Get ankle-deep in code, refine your art, make stuff and always always always enjoy the process. You are in one of the best (and coolest) industries in the world – so bloody well act like it! :)

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