The Top 6 Websites for Computer Science Students

May 24, 2023

A smiling young woman types on a laptop.
Salma Mohamed
Salma Mohamed is a third year computer science student with a minor in mathematics at UIC. Salma, a brand ambassador for Edlyft, writes articles to engage CS students and encourage others to consider CS as a major. Outside of school and work, Salma hangs out with friends or explores the city.

Have you ever gone to office hours only to get more confused? Have you ever spent hours preparing for an internship only to get rejected in the first round? Have you ever edited your resume just to get instantly resume-rejected? You’re not the only one who has ever felt this way. Sometimes you just need a little extra help. Luckily, there are plenty of online resources out there designed to help you feel confident while pursuing your CS degree.

Here are the top 6 websites for computer science majors:

1. Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is a free, easy-to-use open forum where programmers can ask questions to a community of other programmers. There are many answers already available to common CS questions in a range of topics—from programming languages to syntax errors to debugging code. Plus, anyone is welcome to ask questions or reply, so if you have a question that hasn’t been asked yet, you’re sure to find some answers. 

Of course, since the website is an open forum and anyone can respond to questions, it's important to take answers with a grain of salt. However, Stack Overflow has a great feature that helps filter out untrustworthy information. Anyone can up-rate or down-rate an answer, or even suggest modifications.

2. HackerRank

Anyone who’s been applying to internships has likely heard of HackerRank. It’s a popular website that many companies use to assess candidates. What a lot of students don’t know is that you can also use the website to do practice coding challenges for free. Each problem is tagged by difficulty, and there is a discussion section that students can use to share their answers and pseudo codes. 

If you’re still a beginner, I recommend that you start with the easier questions and then move up in difficulty from there. It can be easy to be discouraged initially by those hard questions, so start slow and build your way up.

3. LeetCode

LeetCode is a free website that students can use to practice for their technical interviews. The website includes a vast collection of coding problems ranging from basic data structures and algorithms to more advanced topics in computer science such as machine learning, database systems, and system design. These questions are usually ranked by difficulty. Students can submit their answers and receive feedback on their solutions. There is also a leaderboard so you can turn studying into a fun activity and compete with friends to stay motivated.

Because there are so many questions to choose from, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and lose confidence. A good rule of thumb is to always start with the easier questions and then move on to the harder ones. Don’t stay on one coding question for too long—if a question is taking a while, look at the discussion board, and then take a break and come back to it later.

4. GitHub

GitHub is a code hosting platform that allows programmers to collaborate on projects and share code. GitHub is free but can be tricky to set up, so consult a friend or look up some intro to Git videos. If you usually work on group projects with your classmates, this website should be your go-to—it makes sharing and merging code easy. I personally also use it during Hackathons because it’s great for collaboration between students from different schools who are using different technologies.

Bonus Tip: GitHub can also be very useful during recruiting season. It usually contains free repositories of all companies still hiring or accepting applications! 

5. Codecademy

Codecademy is an online learning platform that offers a variety of coding courses in different programming languages. It can be very useful for students who just started an internship, as they are usually expected to learn and use a new language that they may have never even heard of.

This is also a free website, so any student can use it, but it can be a bit vague if you’re looking to get advanced help in a specific language. I would recommend it more for beginners to intermediate students.

6. Edlyft

Whether you’re looking for a mentor, an internship, a like-minded computer science community, or just trying to find more resources, look nowhere but Edlyft. Edlyft is an online community and resource hub built to help bring you closer to your goal of getting that CS degree. 

Edlyft was founded by two women who were just as confused as you are when they began majoring in CS. So, they decided to step up and create a platform to encourage others to continue their degrees, with proper support and guidance. On Edlyft, you can find helpful study resources, plan your internship application schedule, and get access to mentorship opportunities offered through the company. 

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