Hello all I am looking for a way to get some real hands on experience. I am a third year Bachelor Student. I received my Associate Degree June 2013. I am looking for anything that would allow me to develop skills in the field so that the last two years were not a waist of time. My skills at the moment are limited but I have a desire to learn and the motivation to figure finish what I start. I have a lot of humility so I am not afraid to ask question even the dumb ones but once I have learn the fundamentals of a task I excel. If anyone knows of anything or has any input for me I would be grateful.
The only way to get better is practice, practice, practice.
I think there are three main directions you can go:
1. Come up with your own idea, develop it. Even if the first code you write sucks, you have learned something and hopefully produced something useful.
2. Get a job, learn from your betters. There is no replacement for OJT (On the Job Training).
3. Get involved in something open-source. Find an interesting project, find out what they need done, contribute.
When interviewing people that have been unemployed for a while (especially in 2010), I always ask what they've been doing professionally to improve their own skills. If they've been making things in their spare time, contributing to FOSS, joining professional organizations or getting involved in the local academic community then I don't mind that they haven't had a job for a while. But if they've only been playing computer games, working at McDonalds and waiting months on end for a job, then I'm less interested.