Thread: Home Study Courses

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Home Study Courses

    hey guys
    ive been looking into doing a home study course in programming (C++ mainly),
    i have experience in programming with visual basic, and of course html etc.
    But i just wanted to know if anybody has had any experience with these types of course?
    and if they allowed them to get a job in programming with the certificate they gained at the end of the course?

    any information is greatly aprreciated

  2. #2
    VA National Guard The Brain's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Manassas, VA USA
    I am all for taking home courses/classes, but at the same time, i don't think a single course in a programming language will get you an exciting fast-paced career in software development.. I think the equation for success looks similar to this:

    learning + time = proficiency = success
    • "Problem Solving C++, The Object of Programming" -Walter Savitch
    • "Data Structures and Other Objects using C++" -Walter Savitch
    • "Assembly Language for Intel-Based Computers" -Kip Irvine
    • "Programming Windows, 5th edition" -Charles Petzold
    • "Visual C++ MFC Programming by Example" -John E. Swanke
    • "Network Programming Windows" -Jones/Ohlund
    • "Sams Teach Yourself Game Programming in 24 Hours" -Michael Morrison
    • "Mathmatics for 3D Game Programming & Computer Graphics" -Eric Lengyel

  3. #3
    Attack hamster fuh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    I didn't take any type of home course when I was learning to program. I imagine you could teach yourself better with a book and/or online turorial than with one of those courses, but of course (pardon the bad pun) it all depends on where you're getting the course from. As for getting jobs, I don't think one of those certificates would make every company who needs a programming job hunt you down, but it could help when applying for work, and this again depends on where the certificate is from. (Although in my opinion a CD with all of your best work might do better).
    Hope that helps,
    Stupid things pop singers say

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  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    thanks guys
    yeh i have taught myself all the languages i have known in the past ... and its not the teaching that im interested in. As i can do that myself pretty well.

    its more showing your skills (ie the certificate) but now i think about it ... i suppose like fuh suggested... a CD of all your work would probably equate to the same as a certificate.

    and if you dont mind me asking, how long did it take you people to get proficient at programming before you managed to get a job (assuming you guys have jobs as programmers :P)


  5. #5
    Hardware Engineer
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    The sad truth is, most employers are going to look for BSCS at the top of your resume. Most job ads/listings for programmers/software engineers will say “BSCS or equivalent”. Most working programmers have university degrees. Many (maybe half) have degrees in another field, typically engineering, science, or math. (I do work with one programmer who does not have a degree.)

    I’d be cautious about home-study courses and “trade schools”. Especially if they want all the money up front, or if they want you to finance the course with a 3rd party loan. I think there a lot of for-profit trade schools that exist mainly to “help” students get student-loans… so they can collect the money. You should be able to try-out one course, or one semester, at a time.

    If the cost is not an issue for you, go for it! It can’t hurt… Any type of class will at-least help you structure and focus your studies.

    But, if there is a community college course available to you, it would be a better choice. With a traditional class, you‘ll get personal interaction with an instructor, and personal interaction with fellow students. An AS degree (or certificate) from a “real” school will be more respected by employers than a home-study degree/certificate. Of course, a BS degree from a “real” university is even better.

    CONFESSION - I’ve never taken a C or C++ class. I don’t have a job as a programmer. I have taken formal classes in some other programming languages, and I do a little BASIC and C programming as part of my job.

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