I’ve graduated!

Finishing semester 2 2018 and passing both COMS7003 – Information Security and COMP7506 – Algorithms and Data Structures this semester now gives me a Graduate Diploma in Information Technology

I have a piece of paper to prove my learning too!

So this whole degree I have done 9 subjects:

  1. CSSE7030 – Introduction to Software Engineering
  2. INFS7900 – Introduction to Information Systems
  3. INFS7903 – Relational Database Systems
  4. INFS7204 – Services Oriented Architecture
  5. CSSE7202 – Advanced Software Engineering
  6. INFS7202 – Web Information Systems
  7. COMS7201 – Computer Networks 1
  8. COMS7003 – Information Security
  9. COMP7505 – Algorithms and Data Structures

I’ve been wondering this semester which subjects have I found the most useful or enjoyable or interesting. It’s really hard to say if I’m going to be objective about it. The first 2 certainly gave me the biggest jump in knowledge – from almost nothing to actually being a programmer and building databases!

INFS7204, COMS7201, and CSSE7202 probably gave me the next biggest jump in knowledge and practical skills. While the SOA side of INFS7204 may not be so relevant these days, the overall idea of spreading functionality over simple services is very much relevant still, and the experience with C# was good. CSSE7202 taught some programming concepts which explained some of the workings we experienced in C#. Whilst I may not need the in-depth understanding of TCP, the overall networking experience and theory from COMS7201 was quite interesting and I think it’s quite useful in this day and age. That subject gave me experience in network programming in Python at the byte and binary level, as well as my first introduction to base 2 and hexadecimal notation.

Algorithms and Data Structures is a hard one to discuss – while I hated the course, I learnt a lot of things, got more experience in object oriented programming and recursion, and well graduated earlier by doing 2 subjects this semester.

Information Security was quite an interesting course and well taught, I think it covered a range of topics that are useful in the modern IT field. The assignments were satisfying at least.

Web Information Systems and Relational Database Systems were probably the least useful subjects. Unfortunately I probably could have learnt much the same content in WIS for free online – though it was a good chance to build a real web application from scratch. Relational Database Systems was interesting, but honestly I find it hard to relate the knowledge back to writing better SQL – if I was going to work for Oracle or work on PostgreSQL maybe it would be useful. But still learning is and these 2 were part of the overall degree anyway.

Trying to remain objective, I think my Grad Dip IT was a good choice and has been good for me overall. I think a shorter course like a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma is a good way to break into IT. Maybe you could to a bootcamp and combine with some university study for theory and background too. I won’t get into that further here though.

Emotionally, I suppose these 3 years of part-time study has been good for my resilience with some rather stressful (for me at least) times, which I won’t get into. Suffice to say, what “they” say about pushing yourself is true, you do grow when you move out of your comfort zone.

Posted by Anthony

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