First term at university

I’ve completed my first term at university and am set to begin my second next week. This post is a roundup of some of the stuff which I’ve done this term. I know this is a little late, considering when I go back, but I’ve been busy with other stuff (sort of university related).

Firstly,  at the beginning of the year I was looking forward to starting my course, but at the same time worried. I worried because all the IT courses I’ve done to date (GCSE and A-Level) have been more end-user focused. I am not an end-user. Well, I am but I’m also someone who is very interested in technology and IT. Anyway, the courses may have been good for people who were only interested in learning about how to use computers, but, I’m not one of those people.

To my relief, my course has not been at all like this. It’s been full of interesting topics which have expanded my understanding of the subject. Though the programming module, I’ve learnt a language which I was not very familiar with at the beginning of the year (The programming language in question is C). I’m looking forward to programming in Java next term. Java is a language I have some experience with, it’s the first object orientated that I tried (and failed for a long time) to learn.

I have gained useful knowledge about planning out databases. I may complain about how much planning annoys me, and to a large extent it does. This is mainly because the planing I’ve done in the past has not been particularly helpful to me. The words “Gantt Chart” still make me want to set fire to excel – a feeling which is probably shared by most of my GCSE IT class. planning my database out helped me realise that there is probably a better way of storing data, rather than the “slap some more columns things on tables” approach I’ve used in the past.

CE111 is all about problem solving. It involves working in groups. It’s tought me something very important about how I approach things, mainly that leaving everything to the last-minute is a really really bad idea. Okay, I knew that already, but it’s encouraged me to get into the practice of actually not leaving things to the last-minute.

Networking has re-enforced my view of networks. The like being stubborn and will only work if your really nice to them, but it’s been a fun thing to learn about. I’ve learnt some interesting things in the course, but Cisco’s on-line site needs much improvement… pages appear from nowhere.

Next term I’m going to try to re-write my timetable application using an MVC approach (separating out the GUI, Data and Control) to make it cleaner. I’ve got an alpha of it written in Java, but when I was creating it I ignored much of what my course was teaching me, thus, code soup. I’ll write up what I have so far and write another post about it.

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