A friend of mine said, "I've visited your web sites, viewed your articles, and took a look at your background." It's apparent to me, you do not have a background in Information Technology (Computer Science) or Business Intelligence as a field of study acknowledging Computer Science.'
I wondered, does one have to have a background in IT or BI to qualify as a professional in the industry; or does it take a simple interest?
AutoCad, C Language, Visual Basic, Power Point, Java Script, Excel, Access, Cobol, Word (Microsoft Suite), Data Entry/Processing, DOS, Fortran, Lotus Notes, Management Information Systems, HTML, and Management cover a broad spectrum within the beginning or preparation in the world of IT / BI. The eclectic value of the specialization in one or more of this study group is the mastery and/or understanding of all.
About a week ago, I was contacted, recruited, and enrolled in a four-year college program. The recruiter was adept at what she was doing and I went along with the schedule as presented. I continually asked, "How am I going to pay for these college courses?" When the prepared documentation was submitted for the finalization process, it all came down to dollars and cents. The financial aid person finally made contact with me assuming that I was a prime candidate for the 'Stafford Loan!' This is a general education loan designed for students to enroll in a given college. I explained to the administrator that I am without money, have no wish to establish a loan (for anything), unemployed, and not to mention...my age is also a factor. With the ability to complete the required studies, I would be done in less than a year. I have three years of accredited college courses with an Associate Degree. I estimated that I would be paying off on a student loan for more than a few years, if I landed a job. I will soon be sixty years of age. Burdened with an educational loan that would probably be on my plate well after I'm sixty-five, I asked the recruiter and financial aid worker, "Do you really believe that I would take out a loan for an extravagant amount of money in the hopes that I would get hired...at my age?" Even if I were to start up a new business, a loan would be a bit risky...improbable. It would have been a good thing if I were able to get back into the classroom.
Whatever happened to the H1-B Program, The NAFTA Treaty, or the "Financial Hardship" Claus with the "Obama Letter" and/or ex-workers that are forced into the utilization/awarding of UC Benefits?
I was promptly dropped from the student roles by the four-year college.
Meanwhile, I am offering data that may help anyone who is interested in the pursuit of computer science knowledge. Should you be attempting to enroll in computer science and management courses, this information will give you a leg up on what is entailed in this multi-faceted field of study. Many schools will teach these courses as pre-requisite(s) to advanced courses in a four-year college. Even if you are not enrolled or intending to enroll in school but only interested in how it all works, the limited amount of information that is detailed in this message will probably aid you in your preparation and/or research.
The outlined courses are:
COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language):
COBOL was first released in the 1960s as a joint venture of industry, universities, and the United States Government. COBOL's purpose was to provide a high-level computer programming language for the business world. COBOL directly addresses the basic needs of information processing while being easy to use as well. (Take a look at SQL).
COBOL, BASIC, C, JAVA, and PASCAL are examples of high-end level computer language(s). A low-level language is a programming language requiring knowledge of a computers' internal components...that are non-transferable.
Auto Cad (Computer Assisted Design):
2D (Dimensional) drafting tasks, allow you to get acquainted with computer assisted designing. Auto Cad is designed to assist you in the creation of landscape plans, including setting up layers, adding text and dimensions while making modifications. You can create electrical diagrams using symbols and attributes.
You are taught how to extract the attributes into an Excel Spreadsheet Program. Boolean operations and modeling construct and analyze complex 2D shapes and images for isometric drafting, a method for simulating 3D drawings and Lt drawings. Explaining the use of Auto Cad, one can learn to embed DWF (Drawing Web format) files in web pages. An overview of Auto Cad and progressive projects teaches you how to create drawing projects, landscape plans, and/or electrical schematics. The Internet related topics include direct access to particular web sites, opening and saving, drawings on the web, and embedding DWF files in a web page,
The available text on C Language enables the student to be taught both a rational approach to program development and an introduction to ANSI C. Because the first goal is primary, a disciplined approach to solving problems and applying widely accepted software engineering methods to design program solutions as cohesive, readable, and reusable modules. ANSI C (American National Standards Institute), is a standardized, industrial-strength programming language known for its power and portability. C Language helps the student consolidate their understanding of pointers as arrays, output parameters, and file accesses. Just prior to their exploration of the role of the pointer in dynamic memory allocation.
C Language is widely perceived as a language to be tackled only after one has learned the fundamental of programming in some other friendlier language. Designers as a vehicle for programming the UNIX operating system, C Language found its original clientele among programmers who understood the complexities of the operating system and the underlying machine concepts that are not in the syllabus of a standard introductory programming course. C Language is for computer science majors and/or students of a wide range of other IT/BI disciplines.
The easiest and fastest way to write 32-Bit Windows-Based programs is the Microsoft Visual Basic Programming System. One can learn to work with ActiveX controls, compiler options, and new development tools. You can master programming fundamentals, including variables, decision structures, loops, and functions. Creating custom dialog boxes, clocks, menus, animation effects, managing text files, encryption, and sorting algorithms are learned through the utilization of Visual Basic Programming. VB also adds dimension and automation to integrate Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, and other features into an application. Other examples of the integrational power of Visual Basic include the ability to explore ActiveX controls that process RTF (Rich Text Format), run videos, display progress information, and play audio compact discs (CDs). You can also call the memory management function in the Windows API (Application Program Interface), download FTP (File Transfer Protocol), and HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) files from the Internet and design DHTML (Dynamic Hyper Text Markup Language) pages, exploit ActiveX data objects (ADO) with learned skills from Visual Basic.
Power Point is a computer presentation graphics package. It gives you everything you need to produce a professional-looking presentation, i.e., word processing, outlining, drawing, graphing, and presentation management tools. A formal presentation to a large audience using 35mm slides of a more intimate presentation in a small conference room using overhead monitors, and/or an email presentation - Power Point has it all! The user is empowered with an outline to help organize his/her thoughts, an on-screen slide show with special effects such as animated bullet points, speakers notes, and audience hand-outs. Users of Power Point create color schemes, masters, and templates...there are ways to create the look you want for your presentation.
It is supposedly easy according to some Java Script authors. To start a simple script that makes cool things happen on your web page...in addition to more complicated stuff, as you need it.
Because the web is a dynamic medium, page designers want their pages to interact with the user. It soon became obvious that HTML was insufficient to handle the demand. Java Script was invented by Netscape to control the web browser, and add pizzazz and interactivity to your web pages.
Objectives - to reach the fundamentals of Microsoft Excel, to expose students to examples of the computer as a useful tool, to develop an exercise - oriented approach that will allow students to learn by example and to encourage independent study. Students are introduced to Excel terminology, the excel window, and basic characteristics of a worksheet and workbook. The applications include entering text, numbers, selecting a range using the auto sum button, copying using the fill handle, changing font size, bolding, centering across columns and rows (columns and fields), the auto format command, charting using the chart wizard, and the auto calculate area through-out the grid of columns and rows of the Excel spreadsheet. Any form of accounting, be it business, personal, or otherwise, Excel is a must study program for recording, charting, and analytics.
Microsoft Access includes two tools that provide assistance in helping to refine the design on an Access database. The GUI (Graphic User Interface) Development Environment of Microsoft Access, with menu commands, tool bars, buttons, tool tips, examples and help screens make development easier. Sound, quality relational database design and development requires considerable knowledge and expertise, no matter what the platform. Access, a Relational Data Base Management System, has the ability to manage data files from a single database. A must study course for any and all Data Base Administration, Business Administration, Secretarial Administration, and Computer Science students.
Word (CMOU - Certified Microsoft Office User):
Creating and Editing word documents; Wizards and Templates to create a Cover letter and Resume; creating a Research Paper with a Table; creating Web Pages; creating a document with a Title Page and Tables; generating Form Letters, Mailing Labels, and Envelopes; creating a Professional Newsletter, and using Word Art to add Special Text Effects to a Word document.
DOS (Direct Operating System):
Before Windows, there was DOS. With just a few mouse clicks, any Windows PC can revert to the original "Disk Operating System." Under DOS, all program files are named with either a COM, and EXE, or a BAT ending (called a filename extension). The DIR (Directory) Command is used to find files by name as well as to locate files in other Sub Directories on a disk. The output of the DIR command shows a list of files on a disk. The list has five columns: the file's name, the file's extension (part of the name), the file's size (in bytes or characters), the date the file was created or last modified, and the time of the last modification (changes).
Lotus Notes is a Document-Centric Database Management System. Lotus Notes is a Cross-Platform, Secure, Distributed Document-Oriented Database, Messaging Framework and Rapid Application Development Environment that includes Per-Built Applications. Lotus Notes is an Integrated Desktop Client Option for accessing business email, and Groupware System. Lotus Notes operates as the Client Side of a Client - Server Application.
Fortran (A Scientific Language):
Formula Translation - was designed to allow easy translation of math formulas into code of High-End Language. Fortran was designed n the 1950s. It used the first compiler (A program that translates source code into object code) ever developed. Fortran was designed to be a programming language that would be suitable for a wide variety of applications while being easy to learn
Fortran expresses mathematical functions as it permits severely complex mathematical functions to be expressed similarly to regular algebraic notations.
RDBMS (Relational Database Management Systems):
RDBMS was designed for the business organization. It requires extremely careful planning, setting up and maintenance. A database is a collection of information that's related to a particular subject or purpose, such as tracking customer orders or maintaining a music collection. If your database isn't stored on a computer, or only parts of it are, you may be tracking information from a variety of sources that you have to coordinate or organize yourself. Access can manage all or your information from a single database file, within the file, divide your data into separate storage containers called tables; view, add, and update by using forms; find and retrieve just the data you want by using queries; and analyze or print data in specific layout by using reports. RDBMS Systems allow users to view, update, or analyze the database's data from multiple locations. When the data is updated, it is automatically updated everywhere it appears.
Information Management Systems (M.I.S.):
MIS combines tech with business to get users the information they need to do their jobs Better Smarter and Faster. MIS Systems are planned systems of the collecting, processing, storing, and disseminating data in the form of information that is needed to carry out the functions of management. The system(s) consist of people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to decision makers - "The Right Information to the Right People At The Right Time!"
MIS is actually Information Technology Management and arguably not considered to be computer science. Armed with this information, the contingent, aspiring, Computer Science, Business Administration, Secretarial Sciences, Computer Hardware (A plus), and Accounting Student(s) will be prepared to face the challenges the IT/BI industry and the respective colleges have to dish out.
My friend and other cynics have caused me to wonder after comments were made. I wondered, what does it take...what form of study qualifies as a computer science student with a major in IT/BI? Well, I've studied all of the aforementioned programs and/or courses with an acceptable level of understanding, study, utilization, and practice...not to mention all of the other technological software/programs, articles, periodical reports, and white-papers involved in the learning process? Is it due to my background and experience in the Transportation / Hospitality / Customer Service Industry for a good many years? Or was it in fact... IT/BI Study/Research was secondary? "One Never Knows...Do One?"
What would it take to qualify as having a background in the field of "IT/BI - Computer Science" after studying all of those courses?
The point is...GAINED KNOWLEDGE!
Til next time...
Gregory V. Boulware