Letters after my name…

You may not know that I have letters after my name, namely ” B.A.(Hons) Jazz Studies”. Yes, jazz studies. It was a great course, but not very relevent to my current career. I’ve been thinking about getting some form of qualification in computing or web development for a while, but haven’t had the chance to do a lot of research so far.

But I spent some minutes today looking at a few local universities, and I found a few relevant courses:

Huddersfield University: Multimedia and E-Learning PG Certificate/PG Diploma/MSc (details), Information and Communication Technology BSc(Hons) (details), Internet Application Development MSc/PgDip (details)

University of Leeds: New Media BA (details)

Leeds Metropolitan University: FdSc E-Business (details), E-Business Systems (details), FdSc Internet Computing (details), BA(Hons) Web Media Management (details)

I then took a trip to the Open University, a remote learning centre of some repute, and discovered that they do a web development certificate: full details at http://telemat.open.ac.uk/webapps/.

Ideally I’d like something where I could start each module of a course when I want, take however long I want – so I could whizz through the bits I already know well and spend more time on the bits that are new to me – and therefore get a certificate or qualification more quickly. Does anyone know any web development courses, or computing courses in general, like that?

And I was always taught that objectifying things was bad…

Well, it isn’t. The last two weeks have seen me throw myself into learning object-oriented programming in a variety ogf languages – namely PHP, JavaScript and C# (for .net techologies) and I’m impressed. Very impressed.

It’s not so much the objectifying of it that impresses me, or the inheritance and sharing capabilities, but the fact that anything can be objectificated. In fact the only major brain problem I’ve come across is working out how to not go too far when creating classes and objects.

Let me explain. A very wise man once told me that when dealing with relational databases developers have a tendency to want to normalise everything to the nth degree. Normalisation is good, vital in fact. But when it leads to having 600 tables all with 2 fields in, you have to ask yourself &uot;have I gone too far?”.

It’s the same with this object lark. A data table = new object. A database connection = new object. A set of string manipulation methods = a new object. A repeated block of HTML = a new object. Before I knew it I was wearing out the ‘c’, ‘l’, ‘a’ and ‘s’ keys of my keyboard. So, I’m trying to learn where the balance is between my old-style procedural big-block-o-functions and the more separated and scalable class system. The balnce is ther somewhere, I just have to find it.

And yes, all those examples were from the new Wiblog system. My time is extremely limited at the moment, but I’m doing what I can. In fact I’m quite pleased because this week I’ve finalised how the admin area is going to work on paper (plenty-o-nifty features). I just need to find the time to actually write the code. But wife and children come first.

Oh, and if you were wondering what happened last month to the Wibsite, this image tells the story quite well:

Easily the worst website hosts in the world

(Yes, I know the dates don’t quite tally up with the downtime, which happened on the 18th-21st, but this is honestly straight from the stats program).