I am a second year software systems student living in Canada. My future goal is to one day become a software developer at big companies like Microsoft, Google, and etc. I want to aim at getting a co-op at these companies, but the part that makes me worried is the interview process. I know that the majority of successful candidates have a portfolio of their work(the programs/applications they have written), but I don't know where to start? Any suggestion for what I can build to stand out of the crowd? Any website/resources that I can use to find out more information?
My current skills:
- C++ (~2 years)
- Writing test cases
- RobotC (EV3 robot programming)
- In the next 6-12 months, I am planning to learn python, Java, and software automation testing.
It's an exciting time for you, and you're smart to be thinking about marketability. While the entire CS discipline is likely to remain "hot" for a long time, some areas will do better than others. From what I've seen, the growth specialties are currently security and data science. If you wish to work in the Windows/.NET world, keep up with their latest UI tools.
Java and Python are good ideas. Consider a really robust UI library as well (Qt comes to mind).