Coding courses

#1
Now I'm settled into civvy life, I find I have a bit of spare time on my hands, as well as 2 ELC grants that need to be used fast (after they reduced the time limit you can claim them for).

Has anyone done any coding courses with their ELC? Any particular languages?

The last stuff I touched was VBASIC at school! I want to do it as it'll probably be needed in some way in future for many jobs, and it'll really pîss @Skylog off that us capitalist scum can diversify our skills more than a commie factory worker.
 
#2
Hi, language choice depends on what direction you want a career to take. Some of the more standard options might be:

Web Development: PHP / JavaScript / .NET

System Administration: Python / Perl

Traditional Programming: C / C++ / Java

There is plenty of overlap. A C-like language is always a good choice as it provides familiarity with other languages.
 
#3
Hi, language choice depends on what direction you want a career to take. Some of the more standard options might be:

Web Development: PHP / JavaScript / .NET

System Administration: Python / Perl

Traditional Programming: C / C++ / Java

There is plenty of overlap. A C-like language is always a good choice as it provides familiarity with other languages.
Thanks for the reply.

I'm not sure yet - I was more looking at a starter for 10; something that isn't insurmountable for a beginner to, well, begin with - before deciding.

It's about future proofing at the moment; learning whilst relatively young to demonstrate to future employers that I know the basics, whilst providing myself a foundation of knowledge to build on.
 
#4
Thanks for the reply.

I'm not sure yet - I was more looking at a starter for 10; something that isn't insurmountable for a beginner to, well, begin with - before deciding.

It's about future proofing at the moment; learning whilst relatively young to demonstrate to future employers that I know the basics, whilst providing myself a foundation of knowledge to build on.
I would suggest going for either a combination of PHP and JavaScript or .Net and JavaScript (assuming there are courses for them!) - PHP/JS is the standard for Open Source web dev, .Net/JS is the standard for the corporate/Microsoft world. Either combination gives you current in-demand skills and should be transferable.

(adding)

Look into HTML5/JS/CSS as well if you're interested in learning how web pages themselves fit together (rather than the code to spit out the pages).
 
#6
How long would it take to become proficient in coding?
Now that really is a piece of string question! Like most skills it's not the book knowledge that ultimately counts, it's the experience gained by actually using it. It's also an area of expertise where you never stop learning - as soon as you do you're out of date.
 
#7
Just to add a personal suggestion for anyone who is learning some sort of programming language - put it to use as much as possible, even if it's just playing with things in a personal capacity. Write yourself a media library system to track CDs, Blurays, MP3s, whatever. Create web pages that have log ins. Try your hand at writing some sort of game. Best way to really learn is by doing something that interests you.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#9
Behave.

ELCs are for scuba diving courses in South Africa.

Throbber.
 
#12
Education will help, but for employability nothing beats commercial experience.

There's often organisations in the voluntary sector need IT help, including developing websites, customising CRMs that kind of thing.

Pluralsight is a good online resource

Choice of language really is personal preference, but jobwise you can't go wrong with Microsoft .Net and C#, Java, or Php and Wordpress knowledge, learn around Html 5, and CSS as well as a web development language and there are loads of 'fullstack' developer jobs going. For front end Javascript frameworks the easiest to start with is Bootstrap

Just becareful of learning the latest fad language, Ruby on Rails was the next big thing and I've spent a lot of time migrating Ruby stuff to other languages as companies have moved back to more traditional languages
 
#13
As an alternative to learning programming languages you might look at learning application software skills - especially SAP.

As @AlienFTM can probably testify (as he almost certainly got dicked for recruitment days at Admiral) a coder fresh off a course will only ever be initially employed at the bottom of the greasy pole as a junior programmer.

Your SAP skills would place you at the bottom of the SAP greasy pole but that is many greasy rungs above JP.
 
#14
I'm a self-taught programmer (Matlab).

It takes years to learn how to program - so ignore any of these course that claim to make you a programmer in X amount of time. The real skill comes in applying logic and thinking, like a programmer, and this is what takes time.

Before choosing a language to learn, consider what you to do with it - and research what others in that field use.

Then I'd suggest signing up to an open online course somewhere like coursea to do a course on it there. I can't remember the name but there's also a Harvard open access course on computer science that has a good reputation and comes with a cert, support forums etc.

Good luck!
 
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#15
Now I'm settled into civvy life, I find I have a bit of spare time on my hands, as well as 2 ELC grants that need to be used fast (after they reduced the time limit you can claim them for).

Has anyone done any coding courses with their ELC? Any particular languages?

The last stuff I touched was VBASIC at school! I want to do it as it'll probably be needed in some way in future for many jobs, and it'll really pîss @Skylog off that us capitalist scum can diversify our skills more than a commie factory worker.
I don't know how old you are (or indeed anything about you at all) but when I worked for Cap Gemini we happily recruited account managers from the ex-Rupert pool and would take ex-NCOs and junior ranks onto the graduate training course each year (who said the class system was dead?)

One of the board members was a Colonel in the TA and ex-regular officer and made it so.

This has the benefit of you getting paid as you learn and a decent job at the end of the course more or less guaranteed (unless you are a total Mong in which case they make you a salesman. I was a total Mong at coding).

A lot of companies will take on trainee programmers based on how they score in one of the many different Programmer Aptitude Tests floating around. Worthwhile checking around.

Also try to get to some IT recruitment fairs where all the big boys set up their stalls.
 
#16
My university lecturers would recommend Codecademy as a good resource to get to grips with and learn Java in our own time alongside the stuff we were taught. If you're a complete novice it's a good starting point and has plenty of other languages to learn, also free. Link below.

Having seen the free Harvard course linked above, I may well take a shot at it my self, my ongoing health issues have forced me to drop out of my final year so I'm looking for anything that will keep me up to date in anything programming and network related and these free online course look great.

Learn to code
 
#18
Embedded microcontroller programming is worth a look. Lots of very low cost options for beginners around. There are lots of options PIC, AVR, ARM, et al. Each have their Place. ARM is more recent, I'm older school and prefer PIC. Nice thing about this option is that the micros have built in peripherals like adcs dacs uarts etc. You can build complete simple systems so the results are not purely virtual. Programming in C is a sensible starting point and perhaps delve into some assembler later.

Best way to learn as a few have already suggested is to jump in and have a go.

Matlab was mentioned in an earlier thread. Worth a look but this is a specialist tool. IMHO its not a place to start.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#19
I was trained by RAPC as a batch mainframe 3GL programmer. Nobody ever confirmed I actually passed the aptitude test, but I took the posting and got a Civvy career to move straight into. It kept me gainfully employed for 30 years before someone realised I wasn't the world's greatest software engineer, and I took redundancy voluntary separation as early retirement from one of the world's biggest companies last year.

Why, then, you may ask, can I offer any relevant advice? Because we got industrial trainees every year. Karen (must be in her 30s now, got an offer to come back, she had twins and i believe she left to look after them) told me this.

Universities haven't got a clue. They teach you Java first, cos it's easy, then then teach you C++. It's all arse about face. Java is so easy and does so much for you, that it's easy to be lazy. Then, when they teach you C++, which is much harder and you have to code everything yourself, you discover you have to unlearn bad habits. A good C++ programmer could walk Java code, but not vice versa.

I pass on this information for your use as you see fit.

Personally, I'd say learn PLX, JES2 JCL and C++ and get a niche job at IBM, but they won't thank you for it. They can't won't spend enough getting universities teaching mainframe.

A few years ago I read that whereas in the USA, some 138 universities taught mainframe skills, that figure in the UK was, well, zero. Even in America they don't have the skills to replace retirees that have kept the mainframe infrastructure running for decades.

Instead, they dumb down all the good stuff you get from a mainframe so that any jack PC programmer can sort of make it work without the mainframe benefits.

30 years on, I think the prediction that the mainframe is doomed has finally been allowed o be set fulfilling.

Miss it? Not a bit.
 
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