Be persistent, hard working, and creative. Be happy, confident, and honest.
Read all the relevant papers from major journals and conferences on any subject you choose to work on. Reading is an important part of your learning.
Thinking is more important than reading. Reading with a specific problem in mind is a good way of thinking.
As you read papers, you may want to keep these guidelines in mind:
Problem Statement: What is the problem area with which the paper is concerned? What are the concrete problems that the authors are trying to solve?
Contributions/New Ideas: Summarize the authors’ arguments. What the authors are proposing, new architecture, algorithm, methodology? Are you convinced? Why or Why not?
Evaluation: How did authors evaluate their new proposals? Did they build a system? run a simulation, collect traces from existing systems? or prove theorems? How their data collection was done? Do you agree with their conclusion? their analysis?
Weakness: Comparing with the state of art research in the problem area or according to the related work section in the paper, was the idea proposed new? Was the approach novel? What, in your opinion, should be evaluated to validate their new proposal, but are missing in their evaluation? Is there any alternative ways to conduct evaluation?
Some general points:
Enduring PhD process: