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Where to learn programming?

BigBadBaldy

TRIBE Member
OK, so I'm interested in taking college level programming courses, but I really don't know where to start. I'm going to research the major colleges in the GTA, and see what I come up with, but I wanted to know if any of the working compgeeks on Tribe went to college for this sort of program, rather than the Uni Comp Sci route?

Any advice would be amazing!

BBB.

Desperately needs a career change, and wants to learn stuff.
 

labRat

TRIBE Member
DO NOT go to one of those devry or ITT type of schools, sure you may learn a bunch of programs and syntax but in the end you'll be screwed once you venture outside that box.

wherever you go, take up as many math courses that you can. the programming syntax is nothing, the problem solving techinques are what make a good programmer and you need a solid mathematical background to do this.

calculus, numerical methods, algebra ... as boring as it sounds it will make you a better problem solver.

--craig
 

stir-fry

TRIBE Member
i went centennial college for programming / analsyis
it's not a very good college, but it taught me what i needed to look good on paper.
i was already a programmer before i went there, but i needed the diploma
between centennial and seneca, seneca would be the better choice.. they teach more up to date technologies.
 

dj Red Turtle

TRIBE Promoter
I took the uni route. But there are a lot of 'mini' IT schools out there. Programming you can learn anywhere. You can learn it on your own if you pick up a book and just read and do the exercises, but it will be hard to keep yourself motivated. If you need help on assignments give me a shout but you have to promise to keep your genitals inside your pants :p
 

dj Red Turtle

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by *labRat*
DO NOT go to one of those devry or ITT type of schools, sure you may learn a bunch of programs and syntax but in the end you'll be screwed once you venture outside that box.

wherever you go, take up as many math courses that you can. the programming syntax is nothing, the problem solving techinques are what make a good programmer and you need a solid mathematical background to do this.

calculus, numerical methods, algebra ... as boring as it sounds it will make you a better problem solver.

--craig
Agreed. All that math does make you a better programmer in the end. It gets your mind thinking in a certain way.

<----------------------- still hates linear algebra to this day.
 
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labRat

TRIBE Member
if you want a real, hardcore programming type job then you'll have to be a university grad. you will not get a second glance if you don't have the background, unless you have 20 years of COBOL or FORTRAN programming experience, then you may be excused.

what were you hoping to get into?

--craig
 

UU7

TRIBE Member
It's about technique not syntax. If you learn a language by memorising, as soon as someone puts another one in front of you you're lost.
I agree fully that math and problem solving skills are much more important than just memorising syntax.
 

416

TRIBE Member
I'd recommend Mohawk in Hamilton. That's where I went. They've got a sweet 3yr co-op program going. They've been running it for 25 years or something. Not many people have a problem getting placements and they have really really solid contacts within the industry for helping you get a co-op job.

You can literally pay for your last 2 years of school with the bread you make on co-op... which is one of the reasons I recommend it so highly. Also, you get out of school with an actual edge over university grads because of your experience.

Sheridan is also supposed to be good. It also has co-op. But you gotta qualify with grades to be elligible for placement... and I think their co-op starts later. At Mohawk, you take 3 semesters of class, then hit up work for 4 months, and alternate every four months after that until you're done.

Labrat's advice about math is really good by the way. Don't worry if you suck at it, there's tons and tons of extra help available.... and they'll "target" you as needing extra help the first week cause you gotta take these basic skills tests.

Anyway, if you don't mind moving, it's totally a sweet place to go.
 

SENSEi

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by *labRat*
if you want a real, hardcore programming type job then you'll have to be a university grad. you will not get a second glance if you don't have the background, unless you have 20 years of COBOL or FORTRAN programming experience, then you may be excused.

what were you hoping to get into?

--craig
That's just not true..


The web has many programming opportunities..

If you're good, you're good.
If you can show applied knowledge then you're laughing..

I started @ Sheridan, then went to trebas.

That got me in the door, from there it's all work experience.

SENSEi
 
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Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
to program is simple.
to develop is divine.

it depends on where you want to go with programming. Much of the practicality of it can be quite simple, there are many libraries out there that cover almost everything. Quick low-level 'teach-yourself' crap courses will show you how to use some specific libraries, and get quick, in your face, results, although you will be missing a deeper understanding of programming in general.

If, you wish to be writing libraries, or doing really base stuff, writing complex algorithms and such then yes, labrat is absolutely correct; math, math, logic, logic.

So really it depends on what path you wish to travel. It is a definite large, large advantage to have a grasp of the math and logic required, but if you just want to write simple applications you may not need a gigantic math/logic background. Just don't expect to be writing a Quake IV engine that will run on anything less than a cray supercomputer due to algorithmic inefficiency.
 
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416

TRIBE Member
Oh, last piece of advice.

Learn mainframe technology.

Seriously. Zero competition for work. Lotsa money. Operating systems that always work. It's some sweet action.
 

BigBadBaldy

TRIBE Member
My aim out of all of this is still pretty vague, I'm sorry to say. I would like to get into software development, mostly for pro audio tools, thereby using my audio engineering background as well.

Maybe I should start taking some night math classes, as it's been a long time since I was in THAT kind of school.

BBB.

It's just a sperm of an idea, still.
 

labRat

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by SENSEi
That's just not true..


The web has many programming opportunities..

If you're good, you're good.
If you can show applied knowledge then you're laughing..

I started @ Sheridan, then went to trebas.

That got me in the door, from there it's all work experience.

SENSEi
sure, the web has a lot of programming promise. but it's not what i'd refer to as hardcore. most web programming is perl scripting and database design ... which is difficult and all at times, but not necessarily complex.

i'm speaking about firmware, OS, assembly level development. now THAT's hardcore. baby!

--craig
 
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labRat

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by BigBadBaldy
I would like to get into software development, mostly for pro audio tools, thereby using my audio engineering background as well.
if this is the case, then you'll definitely have to get into some calculus level math for understanding modelling and 'mutation' of audio. a little DSP background will help as well.

again, it depends on the extent that you want to take it.

--craig
 

SENSEi

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by *labRat*

sure, the web has a lot of programming promise. but it's not what i'd refer to as hardcore. most web programming is perl scripting and database design ... which is difficult and all at times, but not necessarily complex.

i'm speaking about firmware, OS, assembly level development. now THAT's hardcore. baby!

--craig
You make a good point.

I do mostly javascripting, ASP and SQl type programming.

Assembly is definalty far more complex but everyone tells me you need to be a but of a masochist to get into that stuff.

You can learn C and other similar languages in college as well as university.

I think University can help you rise above to the managment type jobs.

Naturally University will open many other doors as well, but for someone looking to learn and get a job without waiting 5 years, then college is the way to go.


SENSEi
 

BigBadBaldy

TRIBE Member
Well, this all definitely gives me more to think about.

Thanks for the response!

BBB.

Sometimes Tribe is good. :D

..but mostly it's EEEEEVIL!
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by SENSEi


You make a good point.

I do mostly javascripting, ASP and SQl type programming.

Assembly is definalty far more complex but everyone tells me you need to be a but of a masochist to get into that stuff.

You can learn C and other similar languages in college as well as university.

I think University can help you rise above to the managment type jobs.

Naturally University will open many other doors as well, but for someone looking to learn and get a job without waiting 5 years, then college is the way to go.


SENSEi
comp sci base is usually 3 years, but i see what you're saying.

oh, and assembly is extremely simple, in fact, its simplicity is what makes it so unappealing to most, that and it is not at all portable to other platforms. It is rarely used anymore though, for low level stuff, most system modules these days are written using C.
 
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SENSEi

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by Bass-Invader


comp sci base is usually 3 years, but i see what you're saying.

oh, and assembly is extremely simple, in fact, its simplicity is what makes it so unappealing to most, that and it is not at all portable to other platforms. It is rarely used anymore though, for low level stuff, most system modules these days are written using C.
Doesn't it require hundreds of lines of code, to make a dot appear on the screen?

A guru friend of mine did some Assembler to work with some machines.

Powerfull stuff, but very long to program.

Since Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and all the greatest arcade games of all time were written in assembler, it must be good.

More power to you!

SENSEi
 

labRat

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Bass-Invader
oh, and assembly is extremely simple, in fact, its simplicity is what makes it so unappealing to most, that and it is not at all portable to other platforms. It is rarely used anymore though, for low level stuff, most system modules these days are written using C.
sure it's simple from a syntaxical point of view, that's why it's used... otherwise the computer would get confused.

but try developping drivers for ATM network interface cards or optimizing DSP code. that's where it gets complicated.

--craig
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by *labRat*

sure it's simple from a syntaxical point of view, that's why it's used... otherwise the computer would get confused.

but try developping drivers for ATM network interface cards or optimizing DSP code. that's where it gets complicated.

--craig
that is what is implied by me saying the simplicity being the unappeal. keeping track of thousands upon thousands of base operations gets tedious after a while.
 

labRat

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Bass-Invader
that is what is implied by me saying the simplicity being the unappeal. keeping track of thousands upon thousands of base operations gets tedious after a while.
yes, assembly programming is only meant for co-ops and the living dead.

dj Red Turtle: we are moving along and we chose Simplified - thanks for the suggestion, they were the only company that could do everything for us. we should be cutting the check next week.

--craig
 
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