Weekly Learning Update (05)

I had my final exam for my last class of the term last week, and since then I haven’t had any classes- which is weird when they’ve been taking up the majority of my time for the past few months!

Programming

My final exam was purely practical. We were given a list of written requirements and features, and a few screenshots so we had a good idea of layout and design.

Like in recent projects, we were accessing a table from a database to retrieve a number of records, however, for the exam, we didn’t need to be able to make changes to the data in the database- any changes to the data should only affect the data in the local repository. The data that we were dealing with was a list of invoices, so we had data that we were given, and had to use that to make calculations. Tax rates were obtained from another table in the database, with one of the taxes only being applied to certain items.

The exam was definitely in line with what we had done in the course (in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’d used the same table before!) It even included a pesky nullable boolean- which I knew how to deal with this time!

I’m happy with all of the code that I wrote, but despite having four hours, I didn’t quite finish it. Some of the TextBox‘s on the form should have been MaskedTextBox‘s to add some validation (we didn’t have to do a full business validation class) When I was setting up the form I had just inserted the standard TextBox‘s, and started working on other functionality. I submitted my project with about ten minutes to spare (the system allowed multiple submissions) and was looking over the validation requirements when the clock ran out. I think that familiarity with the language and concepts will help me work faster, so I’m looking forward to working on some more projects (or redoing the same ones!)

Non-Computer Time

This has been another week with my partner working from home, so that means learning without using my computer! Usually I watch videos to reinforce something that I’ve learned, or get a jump on something new. I remembered, though, that I still have my library books that I checked out in… March??? (the library closed, and announced that everyone should hold onto their books, but I just checked- they’ve extended all of my loans until Sept 1st! SUPPORT YOUR LIBRARY!!!) …so I have two Java books to re-read!

The first tech course that I took at the college I’m attending now was an introduction to computer concepts. It covered the basics of account administration, permissions, security, and networking; it was all pretty basic, but enough to get an overview. Because that was about a year ago now, I decided to go over some of those topics. Because I mostly use the internet and social media to look at pictures, gifs, and videos of puppies, I often forget just how much useful stuff is out there!

There are some videos that cover the subjects of the CompTIA A+ certification – I watched this one from PowerCert, and this one from Academic Lesson. A warning though, that both videos are pretty long, so I watched them sped up a bit (1.25 – 1.5x)

I’ve also been watching videos from the IT Career Questions channel on youtube, as well as Network Chuck‘s channel. By no means do I think I’ll become a hardware expert overnight, but I think it’s something that it’s important for me to learn about. Professor Messer is a name that I’ve heard thrown around a lot as well, and his videos are a lot shorter, so I’ll be watching at least a couple of those over the weekend.

Next

I suppose the reality is that I don’t know what exactly in tech I want to do, so I’m trying to learn bits of lots of things before I start really diving into something specific. I’d love to hear how other people decided exactly what role or path they wanted to take- so let me know!

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