Advice Needed For Computer Courses

 
#1

Guys, need some help...
I feel that I know a fair bit about robotics however I am held back by my lack of computer knowledge in general... I have actually had a few job offers after my inMoov video but I turned them down because I am a bit of a dumb a** when it comes to computer knowledge... I can't very go into an interview if the HR guy asks me what software can you use and I look at him like I am Homer Simpson... I have a real interest in possibly working part-time in the robotics industry in general... Whether online helping or working local for a company.... I am not looking for a second career really, rather part time gig...
So, what are the must courses would you guys recommend other than C++, C# etc?... What do you recommend that would be a good compliment with my interest in robotics... SLQ, Visual Basic, web design or ?

@Alan, Rich David, DJ... I especially welcome your input...

#2

Sql is huge, used almost everywhere in one form or another. I would start with MS Sql Server or MySql to get the basics nad you can get them for free to practice with. Most of what you learn would apply to Oracle, but it has so much more to learn about server management that it is a hard place to start.

For programming languages, i would not bother with visual Basic. It is easier than others, but hardly used in commercial settings, mostly because of reputation than capability.

I am struggling with the same decision about what to concentrate on myself. At my job we use Java a lot, but also some C#. Python is good if you are interested in web development. A few years ago I would have said start with C++ as a good foundation that you can build on, but I don't think that is still valid (the idea was you should be abke to code in notepad without relying on an IDE before learning the easy stuff, but everyone uses an IDE now).

C# is probably the most useful for Robotics because of the EZ SDK and also Microsoft Robotics. I understand learning Java after knowing C# is also easy because they use a lot if the same concepts.

Alan

#3

Not to sure about Canada Courses, but here in the U.S we have the CompTIA the A+ Certification. It is pretty much a basic 40hrs course that teach you the fundamental of computer system, most technical job here in the state without a degree require A+ cert.

https://www.coursera.org/ have a large amount of free courses different subject.

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/ also have large amount of free courses c++, c#, SQL, etc, self learning, at your own speed. Mainly for Microsoft product but free courses.

#4

I can recommend:
www.lynda.com
www.learndevnow.com
www.pluralsight.com
www.infiniteskills.com
www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com


As stated above C# is going to be better to know than VB, although VB can do anything C# does. Also stated above, knowing SQL is a must.

Even after you feel comfortable, still take 2-3 courses a month so you can somewhat stay on top of things.

#5

Ok SLQ is on the list... check...
C# probably too... check

#6

SQL is good but is completely different than any structured programming language. C# is good also as Alan mentioned above. The concepts are very similar to java.

There are a great many books on C#, java and SQL but you will find that they all contain bad habits. Java less so than C# and SQL. Using MSSQL with C# is simple and takes all of about 10 minutes to figure out if you understand both. If you need help, you know where to turn for a quick tutorial.

On the C# front, learn first about OOP or you will develop some really bad habits that are hard to break. I started 20 years ago when OOP was more of a neat concept than a requirement. OOP is all that is being done now and without understanding it, you really have no chance of sustained employment. OOP isn't a C# thing but more of a way of coding that java, C++, C#, VB.net and a lot of other languages use. learning how use OOP is probably the most foreign thing to most people but those that understand it are normally good programmers.

Okay, back to figuring out what to do with all of the movie and tv info with a robot...

#7
#8

Thanks everyone for your input.... Going to have a look and see what kind of courses are available at our local college here....

#9

I'm a professional programmer have been doing it over a decade. Sometimes I really enjoy it and other times I want to self immolate. Programming languages and frameworks have multipled so much over the last ten years it's overwhelming.

My first suggestion is don't go at learning it alone. Fund some mentors.

Secondly, programming in the corporate world has a lot of politics and can be down right boring and frustrating. Don't let it drain your love of Robotics. Some days I come home and my eyeballs feel like lead weights and as much as I would love to stair at a screen I just cannot do it.

In closing I would say let your curiosity guide you as it is the best teacher and motivator. It has a multiplier effect on learning and memorization.

If you want a hard suggestion that's symbiotic with your existing knowledge buy a Arduino and program c. The framework and library is easy to wrap your brain around. Once you get good at that then learn c# and the EZ robot SDK.

Personally, I write c#, html, just, vb.net and SQL all day every day and I really like the simplicity of EZ script because I can work on the basic katas. Sometimes going back to simpler languages can be great for getting out of the box ideas.

#10

I'm only chiming in because you mentioned me...

But honestly, I can't recommend any courses since I'm self taught and every course I've ever taken I've found boring, tedious and in most cases I've known more than my mentor/tutor/teacher/lecturer.

I've "done" a whole bunch of courses, quite a few of the MCDST, MCSA, MCSD, MCSE etc. (I forget which ones I've actually finished (i.e. completed the exams etc. after reading all course materials etc. - there aren't many), which I've got bored with (this is most of them) and which I haven't touched - I think they are bunched together as MCP or something like that). They will give you more than enough knowledge for MS Operating Systems, MS SQL, etc.

It really depends which route you want to go down and where you feel you need guidance. For me personally, I can usually pick up a new application, OS or whatever and within a couple of hours am pretty competent with it (depending on how interested I am in it).


My real advice. If you enjoy robotics as a hobby why risk killing that hobby? Progress your skills for yourself but I like to keep work and play as two different things. I've turned down some pretty amazing opportunities because I don't want my hobbies becoming my work (despite the large figures thrown around, I'd rather be happy, poor but still have that escape than rich and miserable and a hobby that causes stress).