Thursday, April 26, 2007

A review of Coleman College's / Coleman University's CIS program, part 6

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.

Here we go with part 6 of my sort of review, but not really much of a review.

The classes I had for mod 6 were C++ and UML. It is so disappointing when there are things you really want to learn, but when you finally have the classes, you don't learn that much from them. That's how I felt about C++. I really wanted to learn the ins and outs of C++, but I learned barely anything new (since most of the concepts were similar to Java), yet I still got a 100 since it was so easy. The MFC applications we made were interesting, but again not really much of a "real world" type of application. Well, at least it wasn't more yo-yos and fireworks.

My class was also grouped together with students who were in mod 4 & 5, so our class was huge. And it kind of hindered our progress when not everybody understood the material as well because, for the people who were only in mod 4, it was their first object oriented programming class. I found myself being asked for help a lot in this class by other students (a lot more than in previous mods). People knew that I knew what I was doing and could help them out. So I did get a bit of debugging experience with trying to find the problems in other people's codes.

Okay, so the afternoon class... I don't know the official name of the class, but we learned UML. Zzzzzz. Barely anybody could stay awake for this class. It was just nothing that any of us were interested in. We all would just rather be writing programs than diagraming them.

I understand the importance of modeling a system before you go ahead and get to work on it. The beginning phases of a project are the most important part of the systems development life cycle. Because if you don't spot your errors early on, it costs more and more the later you get in the development cycle to fix them. Stuff like UML helps you to see how your system will work, and if the systems analysis phase missed any sort of requirements. But UML is just so boring when you'd rather be coding. But this class is helpful in helping you understand how to read UML diagrams.

So, this mod was just... meh. I really wished I could have learned a lot more C++ instead of spending most of my time looking through other people's code to fix it. And UML... eh, maybe that should be combined with part of the capstone or should be left as an elective. I'll get into the capstone in part 7.

Here are the links to all of the parts: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7more thoughts

Monday, April 23, 2007

A review of Coleman College's / Coleman University's CIS program, part 5

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.

So I've covered mods 1 through 4 of Coleman College's core Computer Information Systems program.

Mod 5 for me was Software Testing and Visual Basic 1. I'm not sure if those are the actual names of the courses in the Coleman College catalog, but that's what we covered. Software testing wasn't really anything exciting - we learned the terminology like black box vs white box, different ways and methods of testing (load testing, acceptance testing, equivalence partitioning, etc.) and thinking (having the right mindset to go about testing and debugging a problem), and just the fact that it's impossible to test everything, bugs follow bugs (where you find one, you'll probably find another related to it), etc. Just a lot of conceptual stuff.

The reason they do Software Testing and VB in the same mod is because the application that you develop in VB (.NET) is (crap, I can't remember the specific terminology they used for it) a GUI application where your user can do things (click on the wrong things, etc) that you wouldn't normally expect them to do. I don't really know why software testing was the 8 unit class this mod when we spent more time in VB.

So in VB1, we made an application that would store customer information into a text file (later on in VB2, it would get more in-depth and use a database). We started off small, not saving any information, just being able to enter it, update it, and delete it. And then we would go around and try to break each other's programs to see how much we learned in software testing.

VB is really easy to learn, but can be used for complex applications. Overall, this was a very easy mod. I really loved all of the lab time that we got to work on our VB applications. The less lecture, the more hands on the better - I learn a lot better that way.

Here are the links to all of the parts: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7more thoughts