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View Full Version : Good Programming schools are they out there???



jbarby
05-01-2009, 11:35 PM
Hi,

I have been largely disappointed with the quality of courses offered at community colleges. I took a class in C# and say I didn't learn much. 13th week of a 16 week course and just getting to arrays which is pathetic. I want to learn to become a good programmer and I am not concerned with getting a degree and have no interest of being fast tracked through an easy course. I already have a degree in a different subject. What I really want is understanding. Not just understanding just enough to build a basic program in Java or C#. Not that I am against Java I actually want to learn it. But I also want to know the types of subjects that I read about in the article here:

The Perils of JavaSchools - Joel on Software (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/ThePerilsofJavaSchools.html)

I want a class that will make me think and hopefully change the way that I think and approach solving problems. I have gained a little bit of insight of programming from the K&R book "The C Programming Language" but sadly at a certain point I could no longer follow the author. I would like to find a good in person course as there is no substitute for a good mentor.

So on that note I ask. Do you know of any good schools or teachers or other educational institutions to really learn programming?? I live in Fairfield, California so if you know of any places that are within approx. 100 miles of where I live that would be even better.

Thanks.

bithub
05-02-2009, 12:41 AM
If getting a degree is not important to you, then I don't believe there is much of a need to go to school. You can learn programming on your own just by going through online tutorials. Once you've spent a couple weeks going through tutorials, you can start on a project of your own. You will run into issues and problems as you go, but that's where Google and this message board can come to your aid.

I went to a well known engineering college, but 95% of my programming knowledge came outside of the classroom -- working on my own projects. The main thing a degree is good for is getting you interviews, since having a degree is usually a requirement for getting a programming position.

zacs7
05-02-2009, 06:14 AM
The problem is, the actual programming side of things is often more exaggerated than it should be. Don't get stuck in the pattern of going "oh hey, I learnt language X, let's move onto language Y".

> I live in Fairfield, California so if you know of any places that are within approx.
University of California ;)

More often than not, community colleges largely just teach syntax.

abachler
05-02-2009, 07:43 AM
Just because you learn a programming language that doesnt make you a programmer. The ability to apply abstract problem solving techniques to impliment problem specific solutions isnt something that can be thought in school. Programming isnt like flipping burgers, its a skill that not everyone has, and it can't be learned. All the schools can teach you is syntax.

laserlight
05-02-2009, 09:51 AM
Programming isnt like flipping burgers, its a skill that not everyone has, and it can't be learned.
I think you meant to say that it cannot be taught as that would be consistent with the rest of your paragraph ;)

abachler
05-02-2009, 05:24 PM
I think you meant to say that it cannot be taught as that would be consistent with the rest of your paragraph ;)

yes, i coudl have phrased that better.

indigo0086
05-04-2009, 02:35 PM
"Instead what I'd like to claim is that Java is not, generally, a hard enough programming language that it can be used to discriminate between great programmers and mediocre programmers."

I think that's a ballsy statement but enough people can disagree with him that I won't have to bother.

Edit: No wonder there isn't a comment feature on that article

zacs7
05-04-2009, 04:36 PM
It's not even clear what he means by "hard". Syntax? Standard library? Concepts?

meh. Perhaps writing trees and other stuff in BrainF would discriminate between great programmers and mediocre programmers.

indigo0086
05-04-2009, 04:52 PM
He made it clear that explicit Pointers make a language hard to learn...

yeah

nonoob
05-06-2009, 04:34 PM
Just because you learn a programming language that doesnt make you a programmer. The ability to apply abstract problem solving techniques to impliment problem specific solutions isnt something that can be thought in school. Programming isnt like flipping burgers, its a skill that not everyone has, and it can't be learned. All the schools can teach you is syntax.
I disagree with that. I learned "abstract" problem solving techniques in school / university. I doubt anyone just dabbling in programming could come up with sophisticated data base structures (linked lists for example), or searching & sorting methods that span a variety of domains. One can be quite proficient in the syntax, but making a program that's semi efficient and usable for non-trivial problem solving takes more than random hobbying.

bithub
05-06-2009, 04:59 PM
I doubt anyone just dabbling in programming could come up with sophisticated data base structures (linked lists for example)I'm sorry, did you just use a linked list as an example of a "sophisticated data base structure"? Your example completely disproves the point you were trying to make :)

At any rate, all those "abstract problem solving techniques" that you learn in school can be learned elsewhere. Books for instance.

nonoob
05-07-2009, 05:22 PM
No, no. Books are good. The three or four volume Knuth ones come to mind immediately.

And no, linked lists aren't too sophisticated and probably are something anyone can conjure up themselves eventually. I guess that's too trivial an example. If someone had oodles of time, lots of incentive generating problems and lots of energy, they might come up with many of the already discovered techniques. But schools supposedly give you those faster.

mr_coffee
05-11-2009, 09:57 PM
You may have a hard time finding a good paying job without a degree. I just graduated, half the stuff I learned was useless but the fact that I had a degree and internships helped me land a sweet job with cisco systems a semester before I graduated.

Also I agree totally, that knowing how to program in programming language x or y isnt' whats important. If you can solve the problem on paper is whats important, not that you know the syntax of a langauge, thats secondary ... a 12 year old can learn the syntax of a language. Solving the problem is the hard part and thats the part you get better at with college. By taking all those math classes and physics classes, it helps build your problem sovling skills. It also helps you pick things up a lot faster I think because your so use to teaching yourself in college that now just picking up a book and learning it isn't tough at all.

ninety3gd
05-11-2009, 11:18 PM
I have been largely disappointed with the quality of courses offered at community colleges. I took a class in C# and say I didn't learn much. 13th week of a 16 week course and just getting to arrays which is pathetic.

Remember at CC you have may different people taking those programming...some with know clue or skills at all...it is not like at a University were in generally there are stricter admission standards...

strickyc
05-12-2009, 06:31 PM
I seen a few in your area I think this one looks the most promising.

Sacramento City College Computer Information Science (http://www.scc.losrios.edu/Current_Students/From_Enrollment_to_Graduation/Catalog/Degrees_Certificates_Courses_and_Transfer_Majors/Computer_Information_Science.htm)

Los Rios Community College District - Summer and Fall Enrollment and Tuition Fees (http://www.losrios.edu/lrc/lrc_tuitionfees_fall.php)

Prices seem a bit high for a tech school at about 80$ more per credit hour than the tech school I went to. Probaly just the price of living in your state though.

k&r is really a book to just introduce the tools and some simple programming concepts. It's impossible to learn it all from just one book or class. Just as fast as some concepts are implemented they are also discarded. I dissagree with what our resident mensa member said (like the way the next post corrected the genius wording for him) If you stick with it and keep on studying the topics you want to learn you will pick it up. We all posses the ability to learn anything, Some just don't have to work as hard at it.