06/23/2017 08:53 PM (GMT+1)

Thorsten Rood
Thorsten Rood

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Computer science in practice

Summary

Before I joined university I earned some pocket money as a programmer. This resulted in the first courses of computer science in practice being quite easy; you may imagine. If you're not familiar with coding so far, you better should spend some time on learning this in advance before registering for such courses - so won't get in trouble with timing.

Testing requirements

This area of study consists of many different aspects: some basic courseware and exams, a pre-selected programming example and an audit. You need to meet those criteria:

Classes

01578 Programming with PASCAL
Beginners might struggle when working with both programming courses the same time, since it's required to send in training answers every two weeks to make sure you may register for later exam.
This course unfortunately was still based on PASCAL language and made use of a commercial course book written in 1995. Later it got replaced by a JAVA tutorial.
01612 Concepts on programming
You will be presented with several simple implementation tasks for coding. The idea is not just getting the resultant piece of software to work, it's all about programming style to achieve "better code". Although the style guide that is introduced by the courseware is partially curious (compared to well-known industrial standards defined by Borland/Inprise) it is a good idea to enforce such constraints in the very first beginning. There also has been a web-based testing unit that allowed pre-checking the code before uploading final versions.
The second part addresses ideas around software verification. Conducting a full verification cycle is too complex even for small code packages but it opens your mind to prevent typical coding errors.
01663 Data representation models and structures
You be presented with different standard coding tasks like managing and sorting dynamic amounts of data.
It doesn't matter which sequence is used for training all courses but it makes sense to combine the two programming lessons to reduce the amount of work: they cover very similar content just from different perspectives.

Exams

1x Data representation models and structures or Concepts on programming
You need to pass one of both exams at least with D grade. For maximum flexibility on later audit it's recommended to attend to both exams.
1x Programming with PASCAL
Registering for the practice lab requires a documented skill on programming. Depending on the lab constraints (for example a predefined implementation language) you need to provide the appropriate exam results. In my case, this has been the PASCAL training.

Audit

21110
or
21120

earlier:
C1805
Oral audit in computer science in practice, ~ 25 mins.
Concepts on programming or Data representation models and structures
The audit is complimentary to the exams. In my opinion it's much easier to have an interview on programming instead of talking about data structures. You also need to take into consideration how long you really need to prepare for such a session.
I scored a grade B but spent no time on preparations, that's the story.

Practice lab

01580 Programming software
This practice lab is sized and designed for working alone. Every student receives a predefined implementation request that needs to be designed in both data structures, code and documentation. There's plenty of time to realize the program; around 4 months without intermediate deadlines. When I joined this lab, I had to create a push-down engine (refer to computer science in theory) which needed to be self-configuring regarding its rule set and the syntax parser by reading an external grammar file. Right after this, some demo data needed to be validated without further inputs.
To simplify review and scoring, most parts of the documentation were placed in the code as comment lines. Just a small introduction document was passed to illustrate the overall solution. Since every student was free in planning, I decided to create my proposal within a short timeframe of just four weekends. There's still much room for improvements in the code that I finalized but I received an overall grade of 94%.

Joining this lab requires a successful audit on computer science in practice! If you also plan attending the lab on programming at hardware level the same time, prepare your nerves for stress accordingly...

Research and support

 
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