Principles of Computer Programming
September 16, 2014

Results and Standings

This is the first project and several people made the same mistakes so I am listing them here instead of in each Assignment Feedback panel so that everyone gets the same information.
  1. Planning documents were not submitted. (11%)
  2. Planning documents should be in the same directory as the sln file.
  3. Planning documents must include an image of your intended form design and a written description of its operational/code design.
  4. Give your projects a more meaningful name than WindowsApplication1.
  5. Always give the form file a more meaningful name than "Form1.vb".
  6. Always give the form object a more meaningful name than "Form1"
  7. Always provide more meaningful text in the title bar than "Form1"
  8. Give controls a name other than Button1, Label1, PictureBox1, and TextBox1.
  9. Name projects as specified in the Syllabus.
  10. Include Option Strict On and Option Explicit On at the beginning of every project.
  11. Include a commented header at the beginning of every project start form class that includes:
    • Your name
    • Date started
    • Project name
    • Assignmet number
    • Purpose of the project
    • Brief description
  12. Remove all empty event handlers from your code prior to submission.
  13. Always include an Exit button or Exit entry in a ToolStrip menu (Chapter 4).
  14. Make sure you follow the instructions. If a MessageBox is specified, don't assume you may substitute with a label or text box. It is ok to add objects but those specified must be satisfied first.
  15. You can add requirements to the specification but not change or exclude the existing ones.
  16. Cite/reference legally used work such as photos and clipart.
  17. Do not publish with ClickOnce Deployment.

Current Standings:

If your grade is not what you want it to be do not be discouraged; you can still make an 'A' in this class. It's just going to take a little effort. There are still well over 2000 points on the table.

See you in class.

September 15, 2014

Jobs and SQL Saturday

We frequently get requests for students who are looking for positions as starting programmers. What companies are seeking is someone who has taken this course and at least one other to qualify for their positions; I recommend the next level of Visual Basic, C#, or JavaScript. The downside or the trap to this is that people who do well as intro programmers are moved into good positions that make them feel secure without a degree. A few years down the road that almost always comes back to haunt.

Another option, if you want to get experience while still in school is to register with the Career Development Center. They're really nice people and love to help you with resumes, interviews, and placement.

Additionally, there is a series of free on campus seminars that we host once a year called SQL Saturday. All you have to do is register and attend. This year they are having a special half day seminar just for our students called, "From Students to I.T. Professional". I highly recommend this event to anyone who wants to have a career in computing technology. Check the links for information and registration.

Not only is this a valuable opportunity but extra credit will be awarded to those who attend sessions and bring me a schedule initialed by the presentor on each session attended. 10 points will be awarded for each session attended except for the morning sessions in the left most column. For those, points will be awarded as designated on the following schedule:

Please don't forget to bring me the initialed schedule. Extra credit cannot be awarded without it.

September 11, 2014


Far too often people submit a project that will not run when I open it on my side. Once you've submitted an assignment you should always test it to make sure you sent the whole thing and that it works as you expected. To test it:
  1. Go to Sakai where you submitted your project.
  2. Download your project to a directory other than the one where it was created.
  3. Unzip it and try to run it.
  4. If it runs you should be good.
  5. If it doesn't run you have a problem; most likely with including all of the project files.
  6. If it doesn't work you can repair and resubmit it.
Remember you can submit a project as many times as you like before the deadline and I will only grade the one most recently submitted; presumably your best effort.

Planning Documents
If you don't have Microsoft Office do not despair. There are two very good open source (free) office style programs you can download from the Internet; LibreOffice and OpenOffice. I put them side by side today for comparison and they are both very good. I found that I liked LibreOffice just a little better. Owning Microsoft Office is not a requirement but both of these are Office compatible and I can open your files without any conversion or extra effort.

Friendly Reminders
  • Start your work early. It always takes longer than you think.
  • Post questions to the Forum.

September 10, 2014

Code snippet for last night's discussion.

I ran out of time last night and didn't get to develop an example for numeric formatting, Concatenation, and using the MessageBox so I put this together this morning.  Code Snippet

In Help look up Standard Numeric Formatting.

Please post questions to the Forum so that all may benefit from the discussion.

September 9, 2014

Results of Quizzes 1 & 2

September 8, 2014


Good morning All,

I hope everyone had a good weekend.

A few people have not submitted quizzes 1 & 2. They're due tonight so please make sure you get them finished and submitted on time.

Please read Chapter 3 before class tomorrow night. We will work through some projects to make sure everyone is clear on the basics and I'll try to give you more tools to help you streamline your work.

Second post on September 4, 2014

Good news

The logins have been distributed. I know how anxious you've been so try to get Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate installed as soon as you can. It takes a good bit of time to install so don't try to start it right before class.

If you have any problems with the installation please post them to the Forum. If you see a question you can answer, please do. I will try to watch the Forum but I'll be out of town until Monday.

Have a great weekend.

September 4, 2014

Nice Add-In

When you do get access to DreamSpark Premium, here is a nice add-in for Visual Basic: PowerPack

This is not required but it could help you in later projects.

BTW: Did anyone get Visual Studio 2013 instead of 2012 with their book? If so please post a message in the Forum and include the ISBN.

September 3, 2014

DreamSpark Premium

None of the other programming classes have received their DreamSpark Premium registration. Notification has been sent to the administrator of that facility to find out when access will be available.

Would the first person to get their access please post a message in the Forum under Got DreamSpark Premium Access so I know when it was distributed?

Thank you.

August 29, 2014

Syllabus, Quizzes, and Assignments

Good morning All,

The Assignment Schedule has been modified considerably. I tried to spread out some of the projects to even the load during the semester. It should work much better this way.

The quizzes and assignments have all been posted. You'll only be able to see them from the time they open until the due date so make sure you keep an eye on them.

You may take the quizzes as many times as you like. Sakai will only record your highest grade.

You may also submit your assignments as many times as you like before the due date. I will find and grade the most recent submission; presumably your best version.

Today is the last day of add/drop so you should be getting your username and password for DreamSpark Premium soon. It will come to your SSC e-mail account. Take advantage of that if you can.

Have a great weekend. See you Tuesday night.

August 28, 2014


The quizzes for Chapters 1 & 2 have been posted.

Assignment 2:6 is posted. Disregard all others for now. They're liable to change.

All quizzes and assignments can be resubmitted as many times as you like. The quizzes will only remember your highest score and I will only grade your most recently submitted Programming Challenge.

There may be more changes to the Syllabus. I try to keep changes to a minimum but I'm trying to keep the projects interesting and useful. At any rate, printing copies of the Syllabus may not be a good idea.

Everyone needs to go to the author's website and register for the Workbench. To do that you will need the Section Access Code (Course ID) which is SEMI-16526-QZCP-22. Please let me know if you run into any problems.

Please make sure you've included your introduction in the Forum. I read and enjoy everyone of them and it helps me gauge the classes' level of experience.

Second Post on August 27, 2014

Major Change

I made a significant change to the Assignment Schedule of the Syllabus so if you printed it out you'll need to print a new copy of page 3.

This change will actually give us an extra week of material we can cover. We might get to those phone apps yet.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

See you in class.

August 27, 2014

About last night

Good morning All. It was a pleasure getting to meet all of you last night and to start to learn of your interests and backgrounds. As you learned as we went through the introductions we have a diverse class. My goal is to provide all of you with a new set of tools that you can parlay into a higher degree of success.

Just a couple of reminders...
  • The instructions for installing Visual Studio are on the last page of the Syllabus.
  • There are several links in the Syllabus that you might want to bookmark; our website, Sakai, and DreamSpark Premium for example.
  • There is a link I didn't have time to cover last night: Class links. There are several links that we will use in class and others are just for your interest and convenience.
  • I have corrected the dates on the heading of the Assignment Schedule in the Syllabus.
I'm looking forward to our semester together and having the opportunity to help you to the next level. My goal is your success.

August 26, 2014

Welcome to Principles of Computer Programming (COP 1000)

This is where class announcements will be posted. Please check this page frequently.

Here are the final class standings from last semester:

Final Standings

I will make every effort to post class standings once a week starting at midterm.