Go Down

Topic: Programming class (Read 10608 times) previous topic - next topic

westfw

Quote
Any idea why they'd be teaching people to write code in Excel?

Getting back on topic...
Have you asked the teacher what's up?  (perhaps somewhat carefully; it doesn't do to make enemies.)
Do you have an "adviser"?  Have you asked them?
It's early in the term, right?  Perhaps you will progress to real C++ "shortly."  Or something beyond VBA.  Having more than one example of "programming language" is a generally useful thing.

graymalkin

I'm not sure VBA is a good language for anyone to start with, wouldn't it make sense (if you're learning C++) to learn something that is ALSO low level?

Schmidtn

Yeah, I went into his office hours and asked about the catalog saying C++ and then we're working in VBA.  He said it's really an intro to programming for non-programming majors and the university told the professors to switch to the cheapest (price wise) language to write code in.  Then the catalog description never got changed.  We will always be working with VBA this quarter.  I'm not against learning VBA, I was just looking forward to learning something that I could apply to my Arduino.  But it is a wonky language and I'm constantly googling how to make certain cells active and things like that.  It seems like it's more complicated than it needs to be.

Valalvax

#18
Jan 22, 2011, 05:33 am Last Edit: Jan 22, 2011, 05:34 am by Valalvax Reason: 1
Tell your college that Microsoft gives out licenses for Visual Studio for free for college students at www.dreamspark.com I mean, it's not C++, but it's better than VBA...

Actually, looking at the site again, they offer the C# Studio and C++.... so it's not like it's a cost thing, unless it's the books...

Schmidtn

#19
Jan 22, 2011, 06:08 am Last Edit: Jan 22, 2011, 06:08 am by Schmidtn Reason: 1
The course doesn't have a textbook, that's why I have to google everything.

pluggy

If Excel classes as programming, I guess I needn't feel inferior using BASH.....   :)
http://pluggy.is-a-geek.com/index.html

Imahilus

That excuse is very VERY lame. It just means, in my opinion, that the teachers are lazy ***s. The cheapest language they could switch to... php. Full very detailed documentation, any basic text editor will do (you don't even need an expensive office suite). How about C# or C++, the microsoft visual C++ / C# suite has a free to use (I do believe only for non-commercial use, such as eduction) version called the express edition. How about java, there are two fine high-end IDE's for it (netbeans and eclipse) with full documentation online. If the microsoft thing has a reason not to use, java has similiarly powerful IDE's.. Than there is python, also no costs associated with it.. excellent documentation online, also just needs a text editor...

I see absolutely no excuse why they'd use VBA as opposed to the above mentioned languages. Funny part is, I know there are many more languages that fit into this pattern, though I simply have never been exposed to them. In fact, I can't come up with a programming language that inherently has costs associated with it.


So in short, there has to be something else up with those teachers, because the argument provided holds no ground.

Valalvax

#22
Jan 22, 2011, 08:01 pm Last Edit: Jan 22, 2011, 08:03 pm by Valalvax Reason: 1
Quote
The course doesn't have a textbook, that's why I have to google everything.


What... the... fuck... I'd drop the course, and get the hell out of that college... are they even accredited? If not, to steal a phrase from a friend, their courses are as good as Chuckie Cheese tokens, only good there.

Imahilus, I'm sure that you could probably change to any language in the world for free, find a free IDE/use a text editor, the only big deal would be documentation

Except for proprietary stuff, that is

Schmidtn

Yeah, they actually have the number two college of engineering in the US of A and the number one Industrial Engineering program at a public school.  Normally they're pretty spot on with their classes, but I really think they dropped the ball on this one, and I'm not sure why, but I'm trying to figure it out and maybe get it changed.

Valalvax

Hmm, I'd say that sounds like GA Tech, but they have really good programming courses, and you're in Cali, what school is this?

Don't protect the guilty..

Imahilus

Quote
Imahilus, I'm sure that you could probably change to any language in the world for free, find a free IDE/use a text editor, the only big deal would be documentation


Of the examples I gave, all of them (except for C++, I haven't used it yet thus I haven't looked for online documentation) have great online documentation, references, support fora and plenty of tutorials.

westfw

Quote
it's really an intro to programming for non-programming majors


Any language can be used to teach the introductory principles of programming, if it's taught that way.

Maybe you need to switch to a programming class that IS for programming majors (too late now, I expect.)

My F-ing prestigious Ivy-league alma mater used to teach APL to the non-engineering majors.  The economics classes actually used it rather significantly; it had some of the advantages I imagine VBA has today - it was very easy to "connect" with datasets of real-looking data (whereas the fortran or PL/1 classes (for engineers) would end up spending a month learning how to do file I/O.)

Quote
I was just looking forward to learning something that I could apply to my Arduino.

In my general experience, "Intro to progamming" classes would rarely apply "directly" to arduino, though of course if it were a C++ class you would at least be learning about C++ syntax.

Goals are good.  Keep a vision of "how would I connect an Arduino to VBA?"  It would be sorta neat to twiddle a dial on your desk and have a spreadsheet update...

Go Up