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tafe, diploma of software development


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#1 cornedbeef

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:41 PM

considering studying a diploma of software development at tafe next year. i have little knowledge of programming; apart from what i've studied independently the last few months (fundamentals of C#) and the entry requirements prefer a "ICA40511 Certificate IV in IT - Programming." i've contacted tafe by phone and email on the matter and received different answers. if anyone is currently studying/completed studying this course recently or know of anyone who has, any advice on the level of knowledge appropriate would be appreciated. thank you

#2 smakme7757

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 07:42 PM

Having a look here:
http://www.upskilled...(ica50711).aspx

A few of the units they offer are the follwing:
1. Apply intermediate programming skills in another language
2. Apply advanced object-oriented language skills
3. Debug and monitor applications

The words "Intermediate" and "Advanced" seems to suggest that they expect you to have at least the fundamentals before starting the course. I suppose it all depends how quickly you grasp the content. If you're unsure and really want to get into development i'd be more inclined to take a course more directed at getting the fundamentals in order before jumping in the deep end.

I could be wrong though, but that's just my take on it.

#3 p0is0n

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:30 PM

I did a Cert III of Software Development in 2005 at East Perth TAFE, and because it was only a few extra units I did Cert III of Network Administration too. I moved onto Cert IV but dropped out because I needed to work more hours (full time) and so I never finished it. I'd recommend doing Cert III before Cert IV as Cert III will set you up with the skills you will need for Cert IV. To elaborate, we covered the basics of C, C++, Java & VB.Net, this includes laying out a simple program, proper syntax, then moving onto creating functions/modules and then input/output files etc. I wrote programs with menus, which called various modules as required, passing values into and out of them and then if required, writing output to a file/array. We also covered some basic linux terminal stuff such as navigating the command line and shell scripting. If you can do all of that already, then you should be fine to do Cert IV. FWIW I did find Cert III very easy. That was quite a few years ago now... so things may have changed. If you have any specific questions, I may be able to answer them.

Edited by p0is0n, 09 October 2012 - 08:32 PM.

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#4 kikz

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 09:38 PM

"Advanced OO skills" hehe. I'd like to see what they cover. I guess Uni's do try and teach advanced OO and I guess TAFE's do to. It has been my experience that even many "Senior" Developers don't have good advanced OO skills. Anyway, I'm sure it's decent enough for getting you all Juniored up. Honestly uni (and TAFE) graduates are generally useless anyway, and we all (those of us who manage development teams) know this and it's fine.

#5 sponger

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 11:11 PM

"Advanced OO skills" hehe. I'd like to see what they cover. I guess Uni's do try and teach advanced OO and I guess TAFE's do to. It has been my experience that even many "Senior" Developers don't have good advanced OO skills. Anyway, I'm sure it's decent enough for getting you all Juniored up. Honestly uni (and TAFE) graduates are generally useless anyway, and we all (those of us who manage development teams) know this and it's fine.


How are they useless?

I've seen some incredibly bad programming from so-called developers (including "senior") and if they went to university I'd be surprised.

#6 smakme7757

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:22 AM

"Advanced OO skills" hehe. I'd like to see what they cover. I guess Uni's do try and teach advanced OO and I guess TAFE's do to. It has been my experience that even many "Senior" Developers don't have good advanced OO skills. Anyway, I'm sure it's decent enough for getting you all Juniored up. Honestly uni (and TAFE) graduates are generally useless anyway, and we all (those of us who manage development teams) know this and it's fine.


How are they useless?

I've seen some incredibly bad programming from so-called developers (including "senior") and if they went to university I'd be surprised.

It's one thing to learn programming, but it's something else to be good at it. A university degree can get you going, but it's really what you learn in your own time that makes you a "better" programmer. I'd say that's what Kikz is getting.

By all means, there can be a bunch of super stars in a graduation year, but i'd bet that would only be a few.

Edited by smakme7757, 10 October 2012 - 03:24 AM.


#7 SledgY

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:59 AM

"Advanced OO skills" hehe. I'd like to see what they cover. I guess Uni's do try and teach advanced OO and I guess TAFE's do to. It has been my experience that even many "Senior" Developers don't have good advanced OO skills. Anyway, I'm sure it's decent enough for getting you all Juniored up. Honestly uni (and TAFE) graduates are generally useless anyway, and we all (those of us who manage development teams) know this and it's fine.


How are they useless?

I've seen some incredibly bad programming from so-called developers (including "senior") and if they went to university I'd be surprised.


Programmers fresh out of uni generally have a good idea of the basics and theory but very little practical experience especially in a business environment. This usually leads them to being "useless" for a few months while they skill up.

This isn't an insult but more of a reflection of what kind of skills that are taught. It is also not confined to just computer science.
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#8 kikz

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:37 PM

"Advanced OO skills" hehe. I'd like to see what they cover. I guess Uni's do try and teach advanced OO and I guess TAFE's do to. It has been my experience that even many "Senior" Developers don't have good advanced OO skills. Anyway, I'm sure it's decent enough for getting you all Juniored up. Honestly uni (and TAFE) graduates are generally useless anyway, and we all (those of us who manage development teams) know this and it's fine.


How are they useless?

I've seen some incredibly bad programming from so-called developers (including "senior") and if they went to university I'd be surprised.

I'm going to run with you asking a question rather than getting defensive about my statement...
Freshly minted developers generally don't cut production ready code, at least in a company where the senior developers are worthy of their title. They struggle with the robustness, edge-cases, maintainably written aspects of good code. They generally forget about other stakeholder concerns such as logging, security, concurrency, and more. They do provide some value, so its not entirely accurate of me to call them useless. However a software product is unlikely to e successfully completed by a team of juniors only. It ma be delivered and it may mostly work, but it likely be easily maintainable and more.

Notice i did mention that many "senior" devs lack the skills other senior devs would consider mandatory to be truely senior.

And yes, its not limited to only developers.

#9 cornedbeef

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:46 AM

thank you for the replies/apologies for the very late response, forgot account pass and the course was withdrawn; decided to take computers systems engineering then to decide midway whether to continue to university. yes smakme, poison are correct… better to start with fundamentals first/begin with a cert 3; from what I learnt, most people studying at tafe last year with little knowledge quit, teachers apparently weren’t very good and they rushed through most of the knowledge critically needed. a friend of mine instead decided to study a dual degrees it/law and is finding it easier than tafe, her bach degree (queensland university of technology) has the option of starting from the very basics

#10 pumpjockey02

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:03 PM

I had to pull out of a course at north sydney I think it was cert iv because I had too much on. It was fun but the teachers were really upset with the pay and conditions and they were not super interested but the Visual basic teacher was great. They actually were very negative about employment prospects which was a surprise. I second what 7757 recommended about cert III although all the programming teachers recommended home practice and starting with a textbook or dummy guide and working through it yourself. If you have found this site then cert II is not for you and cert III maybe. Cert IV speeds through the work, I chapter a week, so you might look at if and else one week, strings the next etc its quite fast. I found doing VB, JAVA and databasing a lot of work at the same time. Have you looked into the game programming degree, tafe course this might be a fun one to do.

Edited by pumpjockey02, 17 June 2013 - 10:05 PM.


#11 kikz

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:27 AM

With respect to employment opportunities, most research I'm reading points to ever increasing demand for IT and developer roles. The US has a massive shortage of talented developer staff atm. The average pay for a developer over there at the moment is a tad over $100,000. That's 40-50% more than here in Aus.

#12 pumpjockey02

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 12:59 PM

With respect to employment opportunities, most research I'm reading points to ever increasing demand for IT and developer roles. The US has a massive shortage of talented developer staff atm. The average pay for a developer over there at the moment is a tad over $100,000. That's 40-50% more than here in Aus.


Granted the tafe course was start of last year.

#13 Xen

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 02:20 PM

With respect to employment opportunities, most research I'm reading points to ever increasing demand for IT and developer roles. The US has a massive shortage of talented developer staff atm. The average pay for a developer over there at the moment is a tad over $100,000. That's 40-50% more than here in Aus.


We've never been able to keep people like Engineers, Scientists or programmers in this country.

Why would they stay when they know they can make double or more in the states.


Also the truest thing i've learnt from Uni is that Uni / TAFE are not designed to teach you to become a programmer, network engineer... etc.

They are designed to teach you how to learn to become one of those things.

I remember my first year so many were of the impression that as long as they passed all the exams and finished they could just hang their learning hat up and be set for life.

#14 kikz

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 03:02 PM

Also the truest thing i've learnt from Uni is that Uni / TAFE are not designed to teach you to become a programmer, network engineer... etc.

They are designed to teach you how to learn to become one of those things.

Definitely, because graduate programmers for the very large part are near useless in the real world. You cannot throw them a spec, or point them at a customer, and say "I'll see you 6-12 months when you've finished their application" (and expect anything finished or anything that would pass internal quality standards).

My experience with Uni was that maybe 20% of the students studying IT/CompSci/Eng (SE) could actually develop software. Certainly by 3rd year and decent scale project work it became bleedingly obvious. A

#15 pumpjockey02

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:09 AM

Also the truest thing i've learnt from Uni is that Uni / TAFE are not designed to teach you to become a programmer, network engineer... etc.

They are designed to teach you how to learn to become one of those things.

Definitely, because graduate programmers for the very large part are near useless in the real world. You cannot throw them a spec, or point them at a customer, and say "I'll see you 6-12 months when you've finished their application" (and expect anything finished or anything that would pass internal quality standards).

My experience with Uni was that maybe 20% of the students studying IT/CompSci/Eng (SE) could actually develop software. Certainly by 3rd year and decent scale project work it became bleedingly obvious. A


One of the problems with tafe and uni is that the corporate world has taken the academics over and then it took over the universities as well.
Tafe is being gutted by state and territory governments. Big time.

Here is an example of uni changes.
When I was undergrad after school in the late 90's If I was late to a tutorial or didn't do the readings the lecturer would make me come to a later one, 2 hours or so and after I had completed the readings. This year in my course no one, maybe 5 percent of the course does does any readings for tutorials. The tutors all know but they care little as long as the students pass. In one subject in my course this year a lecturer gave students the essay question for an exam before the exam and let the students bring in the pre-written essay and 50 pages of notes to bring in on the exam. 50 you could basically type out the whole exam summary.
In another subject the students had to listen to the lecture notes and bring no exam notes in, oh the squealing. Thats unfair, thats not how we did it in high school. Thats too hard. Even though all the questions were pulled directly from the lectures. What you mean you have to learn something.
The problem is the babying of children at school these days and the lack of focus on trades at school.
I have seen the worst babying ever at uni.
All the good academics can earn in 2 months in buisness what they can earn in a year at uni. Then all the good academics left for buisness and the uni opted to casualise the workforce to save money. This is effecting the students the most.
All the lecturers want to research and not deal with the whinging students.

Edited by pumpjockey02, 25 June 2013 - 12:13 AM.


#16 .:Cyb3rGlitch:.

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 12:41 AM

Rubbish in, rubbish out. University gives intelligent people the tools to become smarter, it doesn't automagically make idiots useful.

"We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." - Carl Sagan
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#17 SledgY

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:58 AM

The biggest take away from my time at uni (again started late 90's) was that it was up to you take care of your learning. Lecturers didn't force you to do anything, they provided the material and they will answer your questions but it was up to you the student to take the initiative. That was by fair the most important thing, especially in Software development/engineering as things move so quickly you need to keep up to date and the ability to seek out and learn on your own is required more than ever.
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#18 kikz

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Posted 25 June 2013 - 11:34 AM

I didn't get any of that from Uni. I can't / don't remember a particular event that caused me to go "Thank God I came to university or I'd never know how to learn things on my own, or how to think laterally" or any of the stuff that people are always saying university is actually for.

For me, the primary benefit of university was that it introduced me to topics I'd not have otherwise knew I needed to know. That is, it provided guided learning. A simple document saying "learn this then that would have been nearly as effective. That said, I did uni part time from the start of 2nd year, working full time as a software developer. Some things that I was learning at uni were things I already had to learn as part of the job. On other occasions I learnt things at Uni and introduced my workmates to them.

I didn't attend a course about 'how to learn' at Uni. Thinking back over my assignments I don't think completing any one of them suddenly leveled up my reasoning and learning ability. I think I did one hour session on how to use the libraries and journals both off and online, but that was about as far as I went down the "Unversities teaching my how to think" line. From my experience, the students that were poor students (well, poor programmers at least) at the start of uni were still poor developers at the end of their semester (being part time I didn't stick with the group of students for the whole degree years).

I also got zero encouragement from my parents to do senior school, with my father actively pushing for me to leave and come work for him in the building industry. That made it up to me to motivate myself to learn.

I missed lectures left right and center, when they conflicted with work . I only attended labs or tutes if attendance was compulsory. I was too busy working.
I keep up to date in software engineer not because Uni taught me I neded to, but because I love it. Always have.

So yeah, Uni isn't much good for some people other than depriving them of a lot of money. In that regard going to uni was a dumb decision, but the piece of paper has been nearly priceless.

blahlbhalbha. summary: The point of uni is to give you structure and inform you about what you need to know for your field. YMMV

Edited by kikz, 25 June 2013 - 11:37 AM.


#19 SledgY

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:24 AM

The point was uni doesn't baby you, you have to learn for yourself. For me uni was also largely a waste of time and money, had already delivered software projects before I even started worked my way to a good job while I was there left once I had one and not looked back since. Not having a degree has never prevented me from getting a job, is actually useful to get rid of Google recruiters ;)
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#20 kikz

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:06 PM

Yeah. I just happened to vent my long held opinions on Uni in this thread, at this time. I don't get the whole "Uni teaches you to think" line. Maybe that particular lesson was / is learned by osmosis just being there :)




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