7/6/09 UPDATE: Coleman College is now known as Coleman University - this review was written for their classes that I took in 2005-2006, so some things in their curriculum may have changed since then.
This is the mod where the programmers and the networkers branched off into their separate classes. We wouldn't be in the same class again until our final mod, mod 7.
Mod 4, for me, was Java and Oracle. Java was my first look into object oriented programming. They used a great book for this class and I really learned a lot from it by doing the exercises as I read through the book. I can't remember what the book is right now, but I can try to go back through my manual for this mod to see if it's listed in there.
One nice thing about Coleman College's core program is that they provide you with the books - you don't get to keep them, just check them out during the mod. But after the core program, you have to buy your own books. So during the core, you don't have to spend any money on textbooks at all. Which is great since you don't have to deal with going to the bookstore, getting the right books, and whether or not you'll be able to sell them back at the end of the class.
Anyway, Java... I learned a great deal about classes, objects, polymorphism, inheritance, swing, awt, Graphics classes, interfaces, threads, applets, exception handling, using Java with HTML, and oh my gawd... API's (anyone who took this class with me will probably have the same hatred of doing the API assignments).
It was a great introduction to Java, but I wished that we had more real world types of assignments instead of making stupid yo-yo programs or fireworks.
I wish that I had started at Coleman two or three mods after when I did start. Those guys who came after me really got the kinds of projects that I wanted to have. Especially the people who started three mods after me. Their websites for their internet programming classes were awesome. They had someone from the graphics department teaching them the kind of advanced CSS that I wanted to learn. And when they got to Java, they weren't making fireworks or yo-yos.
There were some other useful applications that we made like the pizza ordering one where you'd pick your size and toppings and whatnot. But the fireworks and yo-yo projects were just silly. Sure, you learn about threads and animation, but the apps themselves were pointless.
The 4 unit class for this mod was Oracle. For a 4 unit class, it seemed a hell of a lot more like it was 8 units. The work was way more than any other 4 unit class I took at Coleman. We learned PL/SQL, working with Oracle forms, triggers, stored procedures, exception handling, the LOV wizard, transferring data from form to form, what a boilerplate is, and a whole lot more.
The projects for Oracle were sweet - this was the kind of stuff I wanted. An application that uses some sort of GUI. Not just some console application with plain text. Seeing the finished project after all the work you put into it was really gratifying, especially since sometimes Oracle can be a pain in the ass to work with.
That's mod 4. Stay tuned tomorrow for mod/part 5.
Here are the links to all of the parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, more thoughts