I want to enroll in a beginning programming course

In summary: So someone who is brand new to programming could take the introductory course without any difficulty.
  • #1
symbolipoint
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Long ago I studied one and only one beginning programming course. The only requirement or prerequisite was a couple of remedial Mathematics courses (Algebra 1 and Algebra 2, and maybe Trigonometry). No other computer courses needed as prerequisites. With much struggling, I earned a C. The main language being learned was BASIC.

I am not currently a student at any college or university. I wonder if I would be qualified to enroll in any Introductory computer programming course today. I found in a online document for a school, a set of course descriptions with a listing including these:
  • CIS id#, Computer Programming Logic (will use a programming language but unspecified)
  • CIS id#, Programming in C/C++
  • CIS id#, Python Programming
  • CIS id# Java Programming
While I am trying to find the set of course descriptions again in writing this posting, I am not able to find that online document, but the "Computer Programming Logic does have a prerequisite of "Introduct Computer Information Systems" which had a description of "wordprocessing, spreadsheets, database,..." and this was RECOMMENDED as a prerequisite. The other three courses listed above, "programming in C/C++, Python, Java" have ONLY the "Computer Programming Logic" course as their only prerequisite.

I do not know how I would fit. I have learned to use a wordprocessing program, some simple use of a spreadsheet program, and am not too strong with other "office" types of applications. I learned to use a couple of wordprocessing and spreadsheet programs/applications mostly not within any formal instruction - but mostly on my own. I tried getting counseling and academic advice a few times in the past from the particular school, but the responses were very much lame.

I wonder if I am technically equipped and prepared to start right into the Computer Programming Logic course and at least after that, one of the other courses listed above.

The course I studied many many years ago was done with BASIC, on a "time sharing" system, and the code used line numbers, and this BASIC was a 'procedural' language. No graphical user interface at that time; I believe they did not exist for most people. I later learned another form of BASIC several years AFTER university graduation and did write a few good programs, but this was NOT as any kind of enrolled student. It was all or nearly all for hobby purposes.

So with that, I wonder if I could reasonably enroll in the "Computer Programming Logic" course, and then maybe the C/C++ course afterwards. Or could I possibly not yet be qualified to enroll in the "Computer Programming Logic" course?
 
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  • #2
symbolipoint said:
I wonder if I am technically equipped and prepared to start right into the Computer Programming Logic course and at least after that, one of the other courses listed above.
symbolipoint said:
So with that, I wonder if I could reasonably enroll in the "Computer Programming Logic" course, and then maybe the C/C++ course afterwards. Or could I possibly not yet be qualified to enroll in the "Computer Programming Logic" course?
It would be best to get a detailed description of the Computer Programming Logic course (and post it here), but it sounds like you should be able to take that class since you already use word processing, etc.

It would also be good to see a more detailed description of the C/C++ class, to get an idea how soon or late in that class they start talking about Object Oriented Programming (OOP). I think it would be best if about half of the class was on regular C programming, and then switch to OOP and C++. But others may have a different preference...
 
  • #3
berkeman said:
It would be best to get a detailed description of the Computer Programming Logic course (and post it here), but it sounds like you should be able to take that class since you already use word processing, etc.
I agree. Plus, the OP took a programming class (in Basic) years ago, so might remember some high level ideas, such as that a program can do input and output, programs can have branching statements (if ... then logic), and can execute some blocks multiple times (loop constructs such as for loops or while loops).
berkeman said:
It would also be good to see a more detailed description of the C/C++ class, to get an idea how soon or late in that class they start talking about Object Oriented Programming (OOP). I think it would be best if about half of the class was on regular C programming, and then switch to OOP and C++. But others may have a different preference...
It has been my experience recently (past 4 or 5 years) teaching courses like this, where community colleges typically teach a sequence of two or more courses for C++. In one college I taught at, the first quarter was devoted to C only, and the second and third quarters used C++ as the language of instruction. In another college, it was C++ all the way through three quarters, but the first quarter was C++ in a non-OO approach (i.e., some classes were used, but the students didn't implement their own classes).

Another option besides the C++ path is a course in Python...

Yet another is Java, which many colleges use as their main or only programming language. IMO, too bad for their students, but that's a tale for another thread.
 
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  • #4
I found again, so here is more:

This is the description taken from the course which is a “recommended” prerequisite for the programming courses:

INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER INFORMATIONSYSTEMS 3.0UNITS Class hours: 3.0 Lecture/1.0 Laboratory This course provides the student with the essential knowledge required for a well- rounded understanding of the use of the computer as a tool to produce useful information in small and large organizational environments. The course allows the student to achieve an understanding of computer technology, computer hardware, computer software, and how computers can be used to produce meaningful information. The student will solve applied problems in spreadsheet preparation and analysis using Microsoft EXCEL and will be introduced to basic operational concepts in database programming using Access, in creating and editing text in Word, and be introduced to presentation graphics using PowerPoint

I question my qualifications even for that one because of my useful but still somewhat limited experience and training for Excel and my complete absence of knowledge about PowerPoint and Access; so maybe I am stalled before I would ever start.

Here is the description of the first PROGRAMMING course which serves as the only prerequisite for the other courses:

COMPUTER PROGRAMMING LOGIC 3.5 UNITS Class hours: 3.0 Lecture/2.0 Laboratory Recommendation: Concurrent enrollment in or completion of CIS 101, or CIS 102, or equivalent with a grade of “C” or higher or "Pass". This is an introductory course in computer programming logic. The student will learn concepts applicable to all programming languages, including: identifiers, data types, arrays, control structures, algorithms, modular programming, generating reports, and computer memory concepts. The student will learn to use charts commonly used in business and information processing. Programlogic will be developed using flowcharts and pseudocode.Programswillbewrittenusing a programming language. The student will be introduced to the following additional topics: graphicaluser interfacedesign,objectoriented and event-driven-programming, searching, sorting,andfileprocessingconcepts
See how the description does not specify what or which is “Programs will be written using a programming language”. As with the other course just given described, I also wonder if lack of knowing Access and Powerpoint and limited skill with Excel become a quick barrier in success in this course. Also I would worry about other modern computer technology skill; I do not know how to evaluate how my acquired skill fits or not, to the academic situation.
I currently cannot find the course description for the Python course, but here is the C/C++ description:

PROGRAMMING IN C/C++ 3.0 UNITS Class hours: 3.0 Lecture/2.0 Laboratory Prerequisite: CIS 103 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or higher or "Pass". This course introduces C and C++ programming language structures. Topics include data types, operators,program control flow, arrays, functions, pointers, character strings, structures and pointers. This course also includes an introduction to object- oriented programming design.

One of my worries is also, Do we need clever, fancy, modern computer & technology skills if we want to learn Computer Programming TODAY? We did not need it many decades ago
 
  • #5
“Programs will be written using a programming language”
Send an email to the instructor (or if unknown, last year’s instructor) about what this means.

There are plenty of free online resources for learning to code. You might try one of these before laying out money for a university course.

What are your programming goals? C/C++, python and java all have different strengths/weaknesses. For scientific computing users (as opposed to code developers) python might be a better choice. The answer to this question will also help with how many “clever, fancy, modern computer & technology skills” you will need to learn.
 
  • #6
symbolipoint said:
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER INFORMATIONSYSTEMS
It sounds like it might be good for you to take this class first, to brush up on your skills and learn a few new ones.

Then I think you will be ready for this one:
symbolipoint said:
COMPUTER PROGRAMMING LOGIC
 
  • #7
Most people learn online these days: programiz is good. I recommend Python.
 
  • #8
pbuk said:
Most people learn online these days: programiz is good. I recommend Python.
Learning online is not part of my potential plan, but I will look into "programiz" anyway.

(More can be said here about certain things "online", but I will postpone saying, or may create a different topic.)
 
  • #9
symbolipoint said:
Learning online is not part of my potential plan, but I will look into "programiz" anyway.

(More can be said here about certain things "online", but I will postpone saying, or may create a different topic.)
Are you looking to gain a degree in this field? Is this for showing potential employers that you have relevant skills? If its the latter, wouldn't learning the skills through self study and creating a portfolio be better option? I assume you have an advance degree, at least a MS in a stem field. I am sure you are more than capable of learning on your own spare time.

Or if you are employed, and employer fits the bill, and you have time to spare. Then sure why not take formal classes. I tend to be cheap when it comes to non math books.

Unless you are extremely computer illiterate or tried to go this route, and no learning occurred, then sure take some classes.
 
  • #10
MidgetDwarf

Let me separate this quote of your post into parts.

---

Are you looking to gain a degree in this field?

No.

Is this for showing potential employers that you have relevant skills?
Maybe; not sure;

Mostly desire for skills development; possibly for employability; very possibly for being more competetive, including to be more self-reliant in case be in a situation in which other associates do not have such programming creation skills; your question here, I am not solidly sure yet.

If its the latter, wouldn't learning the skills through self study and creating a portfolio be better option? I assume you have an advance degree, at least a MS in a stem field. I am sure you are more than capable of learning on your own spare time.

Portfolio, maybe; self-study? I seem to be poor at self-study, except for non-computer/non-technological things which I had previously studied, and could then review (whatever I had already studied before).
My degree is undergraduate, already earned.

Or if you are employed, and employer fits the bill, and you have time to spare. Then sure why not take formal classes. I tend to be cheap when it comes to non math books.

Unless you are extremely computer illiterate or tried to go this route, and no learning occurred, then sure take some classes.
Basically, I require the leadership of a regularly attended live teacher instructing in an organized class; so there is lecture, textbook study, homework, laboratory section, assessment & feedback, some opportunities to ask for help
 
  • #11
symbolipoint said:
See how the description does not specify what or which is “Programs will be written using a programming language”.
People writing the course descriptions want the description to be flexible enough so that the language used can be changed, but the course description doesn't need to be.
symbolipoint said:
As with the other course just given described, I also wonder if lack of knowing Access and Powerpoint and limited skill with Excel become a quick barrier in success in this course. Also I would worry about other modern computer technology skill; I do not know how to evaluate how my acquired skill fits or not, to the academic situation.
I seriously doubt it. My guess is that the main goal of the intro class is to get people comfortable using computers running a variety of applications.
symbolipoint said:
Basically, I require the leadership of a regularly attended live teacher instructing in an organized class; so there is lecture, textbook study, homework, laboratory section, assessment & feedback, some opportunities to ask for help
Then my recommendation is to sign up for an intro programming class at a local JC, after completing whatever is the prerequisite class. The classes typically have much smaller class sizes than the corresponding university classes, which means you get more of the instructor's time on a face-to-face basis.
 
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  • #12
symbolipoint said:
See how the description does not specify what or which is “Programs will be written using a programming language”.
Mark44 said:
People writing the course descriptions want the description to be flexible enough so that the language used can be changed, but the course description doesn't need to be.
Case in point: Around 1990 I converted two CS courses that I had been teaching, into a two-semester Pascal programming course, incorporating the concepts from the previous courses. I renamed the courses as "Program Design I & II", and wrote the description to include the phrase "using a modern programming language."

A few years later, I switched those courses from Pascal to C++. Around 2003 someone else took them over and switched to Java. The course title and description remained the same. The last time I looked at the course catalog a few years ago, around the time I retired, the course numbers were different due to a massive college-wide course-renumbering, but the title was still the same, and the description is still very similar. I don't know which language they use now.
 
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  • #13
jtbell said:
Case in point: Around 1990 I converted two CS courses that I had been teaching, into a two-semester Pascal programming course, incorporating the concepts from the previous courses. I renamed the courses as "Program Design I & II", and wrote the description to include the phrase "using a modern programming language."

A few years later, I switched those courses from Pascal to C++. Around 2003 someone else took them over and switched to Java. The course title and description remained the same. The last time I looked at the course catalog a few years ago, around the time I retired, the course numbers were different due to a massive college-wide course-renumbering, but the title was still the same, and the description is still very similar. I don't know which language they use now.
I would assume therefore, the department's or professor's chosen language would be taught along with the "programming logic" topics of the course, which I guess should be logical connection enough. Still, I appreciate the previous suggestion of "talk to the person who teaches the course, and ask."
 
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Related to I want to enroll in a beginning programming course

What is a beginning programming course?

A beginning programming course is a class that teaches the fundamentals of computer programming, including basic coding concepts, syntax, and problem-solving skills. This type of course is typically designed for individuals with little or no prior programming experience.

What skills do I need to enroll in a beginning programming course?

No specific skills are required to enroll in a beginning programming course. However, having a basic understanding of computers and technology can be helpful. It is also important to have a strong desire to learn and a willingness to practice and problem-solve.

What programming languages are typically taught in a beginning programming course?

The programming language(s) taught in a beginning programming course can vary, but some common languages include Python, Java, C++, and HTML/CSS. These languages are often chosen for their simplicity and versatility, making them great for beginners.

What can I expect to learn in a beginning programming course?

In a beginning programming course, you can expect to learn the basics of coding, such as how to write and execute simple programs, how to use variables and data types, and how to solve problems using code. You may also learn about different programming concepts, such as loops, functions, and conditional statements.

What are the benefits of enrolling in a beginning programming course?

Enrolling in a beginning programming course can provide you with a strong foundation in coding, which can open up many opportunities in the tech industry. It can also improve your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as your ability to work with others on coding projects. Additionally, learning to code can be a fun and rewarding experience!

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