Principles of Computer Programming
July 21, 2014

Tuesday night

At the risk of sounding too grade school, I'd like for the teams to sit in the same vacintity tomorrow night. I have some competitive team exercises (for fun and credit) and it would be best for your team if everyone is in close proximity.

Warm regards.



July 16, 2014

Reinforcement

There is a video on the class website that is almost a repeat of last night's class so if you have questions or some points are not clear, please take a look at the video titled, "Master Pages & TreeView Control". It was created using VB 2010 but I think you'll see how it works exactly the same way.

Please post any questions that arise.



July 15, 2014

Team Projects
Team Captains: Mr. Aubin, Mr. Zuluaga, Mr. Parr, and Ms. Williams. Please make sure you contact your team members as early as possible to let them know they're in your group and... it's never too early to start brainstorming.

The teams for the website competition are:
  1. Team Aubin
  2. Mr. Whyte
  3. Mr. Lucas
  4. Mr. Abedeji
  1. Team Zuluaga
  2. Mr. Cardo
  3. Mr. Arsenis
  4. Mr. Lotti
  1. Team Parr
  2. Ms. Edwards
  3. Mr. Watkins
  4. Mr. Garcia, J.
  1. Team Williams
  2. Mr. Garcia, A.
  3. Mr. Valdez
  4. Mr. Morro

The Project
As a minimum each project should have the following content:
  1. a master page
  2. a Home page
  3. at least two product pages
  4. an About page
  5. a Contact page that includes:

    • street address
    • e-mail address
    • phone number
  6. the style of the content should be controlled by a cascading style sheet (CSS).
  7. an order page with a shopping cart. The shopping cart should work for testing but not be live. The shopping cart should be thrid party. Don't try to write one yourself. There are several available free or for trial.
  8. a "Developers' " page that tells about the team and the members that devloped the site (This is for the competition only and will not be displayed on the real site.
  9. There is to be one page not listed here that is relevant to the store but is the pure idea of the team. It cannot be substituted for any of the previously specified pages. There could be more than one if you come up with more super ideas but it's not required.
  10. There are minor elements that can be added to a website to improve search engine optimization (SEO).
For the night of the competition, the site should be on a laptop that has an RGB connection or a zip file that can be loaded onto the SSC computer at the instructor's station. Test both thoroughly. A site that does not work cannot take first place.


Change to the Syllabus
For the web development part of this course, I want everyone to focus on and maximize your effort on the Team Project. Therefore, I am making the last two chapter challenges optional and for extra credit for those who need it. The quizzes are still required.


Chapter 10 is on databases.
It's a very important topic for anyone in programming or IT. I encourage you to view the authors' videos and work the projects in the chapter. I will bring a project to class Monday night that I think will help solidify the concepts and the mechanics of databases but you should have a good understanding of the concepts in the chapter.


Chapter 12 is on objects.
This is the core of object-oriented programming.



July 14, 2014

Standings w/Retirement Calculations

The Retirement Calculation projects have been graded so check Sakai for your individual scores. The graph below shows the current class standings.



See you tomorrow night.



July 9, 2014

This week

I'm in Rhode Island and Massachusetts this week. Help each other in the Forum.

I forgot to tell you about an article we have on the website for CSS. It's short and explains the simple syntax used in creating good style sheets. The article is under Links & Downloads.

See you next Tuesday.



July 8, 2014

Chapter 7

The grades are posted in Sakai and here are the current standings:



The curve actually helped a few people this week which is always good to see.

We have 16 people in class and 10 are currently holding an 'A' average.

If you are not currently in the 'A' group you can still raise your grades. Ask/post questions. Let me (us) know what it is you don't understand so we can get everyone's grade as high as possible.

"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." Samuel Johnson



June 25, 2014

Chapter 6

Planning documents are worth 11% of the project grade. If you don't turn in planning documents you can't get an 'A' on the project. Planning documents should include:
  • A statement describing the purpose of the project.
  • A diagram that depicts the layout of the form(s).
  • Pseudo code, a list of brief statements, or something that describes how you intend to get from the description of the project to the functionality of the program. Some people use TOPSET or a similar list of their own design very effectively. Others just provide a number of statements describing the Input, Processing, and the Output. Remember that Processing includes Sequence, Selection, and Iteration. If you produce a good planning document first you are far more likely to create a good project and in less time.

Some people are making the same mistakes that I listed previously. That doesn't make sense. Check your projects against the list below to make sure you haven't missed anything. I've added to the list to cover new content and requirements. The changes are placed at the top of the list and I've changed the order of a couple to prevent confusion.
  1. All Windows Forms Application projects for the rest of the semester should include a SplashScreen that relates to the project.
  2. All Windows Forms Application projects for the rest of the semester should include an About form that contains your picture and a one or two paragraph bio.
  3. It's time to start making the forms look a little better. Include an image related to each project and apply color to forms, buttons, and other objects that will make your project more marketable.
  4. At the very top of the main code window add a commented section that includes:
    • Your name
    • The project number - the project name
    • One sentence describing the purpose of the program
    • The due date
  5. Include Option Strict and Option Explicit above the Class name, both turned on.
  6. Set the form's AcceptButton and CancelButton properties when appropriate.
  7. Organize code: FormLoad first, Exit button last, alphabetize everything in between.
  8. Right justify text boxes and labels that contain numeric data.
  9. Set the correct Tab Order.
  10. Always give the objects more meaningful names than Form1, Form1.vb, Button1, and Label1.
  11. Always remove empty event handlers.
  12. Please don't zip the project into one file and the planning document in another. Put the planning document in the directory with the ".sln" file and zip both into one file.
  13. If you're still having trouble zipping, checking, or submitting your projects, please read the section in the Syllabus titled, "Here's how it works" or view the video on the "How to..." page of our website titled, "How to submit your projects". If you're still having trouble with it ask/post questions so we can help.


Here are the current class standings through Chapter 6. If you're grade is in the top of the class, please help answer posts in the Forums for all others. If your grade is not where you want it to be, do not panic. There are a lot of points still on the table and there will be extra credit opportunities in the last two or three weeks of the course.

Don't forget... there is no class next week.



June 23, 2014

Getting Help

A few have posted that they are having trouble with Chapter 6 which means it's likely there may be others who just haven't posted. Some are even having trouble figuring out what to ask or how to explain the question. Here's what I recommend:
  1. Try to find the area or topic in the book that escapes you.
  2. Type in the tutorial for that topic. Yes, type it in. You can't take shortcuts to the point educators call discovery (when the light comes on) without actually trying it yourself.
  3. Use F8 to step through the project and make sure you understand what occurs on evey line.
  4. If you come to a line that you don't understand, post it to the Forum and ask for an explanation. Make sure you include the location of the code so we can all refer to the same code.
  5. Whether your question is general or specific, ask it. No one can help you if they don't know what you're missing.

I want all of you to succeed but I have to trust that everyone is:
  1. reading the chapter
  2. working through the examples
  3. searching the built-in Help resource
  4. viewing the authors' videos
  5. searching for examples on the Internet
  6. going to see the tutor in V-102
  7. posting questions in the Forum
  8. asking questions in class.

If you did not buy access to the authors' videos it's like only buying half of the book. Go get the access code.

The projects I work and/or discuss in class are intended to supplement the content of the book and help add perspective to the concepts of the chapters. I open and close every class by asking if anyone has questions. That's the perfect time to let me know if there's anything that's not clear.

Don't forget, I'm going to be gone next week so you should use that time to get caught up, ask/post questions, search the web, review the videos, and generally get back on track.


"You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to make them quit." Anonymous



June 18, 2014

Programming Challenge 5

Some planning documents are getting better but some are still a little weak. If you say what you intend to do, give some indication of how you're going to do it. For example if you say you're going to get multiple pieces of information fromt the user are you going to use multiple text boxes, a loop, read it from a file... what?

Too many people tried to take the authors' example and bend it just a little to fit their needs for this project. I'm glad you're studying the examples but design your own solution and write your own code.

If you look at the current class standings the majority of the class is in the A-B range. All of you could be. Ask/post questions. Let me know where you think you're missing something. Go see the tutor in V-102 from noon to 5 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Let me know if you need help.



If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse. Jim Rohn



June 10, 2014

Programming Challenge 4++

The planning documents are still a little weak. Keep in mind that the planning document needs to describe the problem, define the input, explain the processing, and define the output. Setting the properties alone or the sketch of how the form will look does not constitute a planning document.

Constants are values that remain constant. In the temperature program this week we see the use of the freezing and boiling points of water. Those are constant values and like Pi and the acceleration due to gravity, they will never change.

In the ISP cost project there are stated prices. Some people set them as constants. What happens when the company decides to raise their rates? Prices always change so they should never be declared to be constants.

Don't forget to refer to the previous week's error list. A lot of people are losing points by making the same mistates.



"You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to make them quit." Anonymous

If you need help, don't quit. Let me know.



June 8, 2014

Extra Credit Opportunity

I would like to have someone do a demonstration of prototyping in SketchFlow on 6/24.

Presentation requirements:
  • Start at the very beginning.
  • Demonstrate how to create a SketchFlow Map.
  • Demonstrate how to create content on the artboard.
  • Demonstrate how to go back and forth between the map and the artboard.
  • Demonstrate how to colaborate and get feedback from the client with SketchFlow.
  • Demonstrate how to preview a prototype in the SketchFlow Player.

The presentation should be between 9 and 11 minutes.

This project is worth up to 125 points based on the quality of the content and delivery.



June 6, 2014

Added number 6 to the list below



June 5, 2014

Programming Challenge 3:10

The following is a list of common errors to avoid on future projects:
  1. Always give the forms and files more meaningful names than Form1 and Form1.vb
  2. Always remove empty event handlers.
  3. Please don't zip the project into one file and the planning document in another. Put the planning document in the directory with the ".sln" file and zip both into one file.

The following list is of things that should be included in all future projects:
  1. Include Option Strict and Option Explicit above the Class name, both turned on.
  2. At the very top of the main code window add a commented section that includes:
    • Your name
    • The project number - the project name
    • One sentence describing the purpose of the program
    • The due date
  3. Set the form's AcceptButton and CancelButton properties when appropriate.
  4. Organize code: FormLoad first, Exit button last, alphabetize everything in between.
  5. Right justify text boxes and labels that contain numeric data.
  6. Set the correct Tab Order.

If you're still having trouble zipping, checking, or submitting your projects, please read the section in the Syllabus titled, "Here's how it works" or view the video on the "How to..." page of our website titled, "How to submit your projects". If you're still having trouble with it ask/post questions so we can help.

Here are the current class standings through Chapter 3. If you're grade is in the top of the class, please help answer posts in the Forums for all others. If your grade is not where you want it do not panic. There are a lot of points still on the table and there will be extra credit opportunities in the last two or three weeks of the course.





May 26, 2014

Notice

Greetings All,

I will be out of town Wednesday, May 28th, until Saturday, May 31st. If you have questions, please post them in the Forum between now and Tuesday's class or be prepared to ask questions in class.

While I'm away, everyone will need to check the Forum to see if you can help each other.

See you Tuesday night.



May 23, 2014

Visual Studio Updates
Microsoft has created a convenient system for posting updates to Visual Studio and software provided by approved vendors. To check for updates go to the pull-down menu of Tools, then select, "Extensions and Updates...". If there are updates available there will be a number in parenthesis next to the category, "Updates". You may choose the ones you want. There is a current update for Visual Studio and there may be others.

Be careful adding extensions. Some are free and some are offered on a trial basis. They should all be labeled one way or the other.


Forum/Messages
All general computer and programming questions need to be posted in the Forum so that everyone in class can benefit from the discussions. It’s not fair to the class if I answer a question for just one person. When questions are posted, someone in the class either knows the answer or everyone should think about the questions and help the others find a solution. That’s how it’s done in the real world so it’s important that I help you learn how to do it correctly and effectively while you’re in school.

Some instructors offer extra points for Forum responses. I don’t actually give points for the number of responses people provide in the Forum because I’ve yet to see such a system that I thought was fair to all. However at the end of the semester if someone is borderline on a grade, one thing I consider is the number and quality of responses that person provided in class and on the Forum. That doesn’t mean if person 1 provides a good answer and person 2 says, “I agree”, that person 2 has provided any benefit to the discussion. In fact, person 2 just created junk that the rest of us have to read.

I will leave the Message option open in Sakai for now. If you have a specific question about your own grade, that would be a good use of a Message. If you have a question about grades in general it goes in the Forum.


Goals
Thank you for your help on this. My goal is that everyone gets all the information, no one gets behind, you learn a lot of useful stuff, and everyone makes a good grade.



May 21, 2014

Off to a good start

We covered a lot of material last night, some of which is not found in the first two chapters of the book. The content of the chapters is the sort of thing you'll find on the quizzes. The other things we cover are for your benefit.

I am encouraged by your questions. Please keep them coming. Don't hesitate to ask even if it has been asked previously. I want you to get a strong base in the beginning so you can get the most out of the course.

There were a couple of questions about the assignments that were asked as we were packing up so I'm not sure everyone got the answers.
  1. There is a video on our class website on the "How to..." page titled, "How to submit your projects". It's important that you view this video and follow the instructions.
  2. Whatever you choose to submit for a planning document(s) should be saved in the same directory as the ".sln" file; not zipped separately.
  3. Quizzes 1 and 2 are due not later than next Monday night, May 26th, at 11:45pm.
  4. Programming Challenge 6 in Chapter 2, "Clickable Images", located on page 109, is due at the same time as the quizzes.

NOTE:
  • No work is accepted after the due date.
  • You may retake the quizzes as many times as you like. The highest grade will be recorded in the gradebook.
  • You may submit the project as many times as you like prior to the deadline. I will only grade the last one submitted.
  • If you miss or do poorly on an assignment, do not despair. I intentionally made the course worth a lot of points so if you hit a bump it won't destroy your grade.
  • There will be optional extra credit opportunities after midterm.
  • I want all of you to succeed; learn a lot and make a good grade.
It's good to have each of you in the class.



May 19, 2014

Get Ready...

Greetings All,

In preparation for class tomorrow night everyone should have a textbook (printed or e-book), access to the authors' website, and a computer with Visual Basic 2012 or 2013 installed. If you're having any problems downloading or installing VB, please post questions to the Forum.

Please make sure you've gone over the first two chapters in the book. I don't want anyone to get behind.

Don't forget, the authors have some videos that can help explain the chapter content.

See you in class.



May 16, 2014

Access code

The section access code for myprogramminglab.com is SEMI-14964-DSQK-21. If you have any trouble with it please post your questions to the Forum.

Just a reminder... please post your introduction in the Forum.



May 15, 2014

It always takes longer than you think...

Greetings Everyone,

It was a pleasure getting to meet all of you Tuesday night.

Quizzes, Forums, and Assignments have all been posted.

If you have questions, please post them to the Forum so that all may benefit from the discussion. If you can answer a question on the Forum, please do. The Forum is for class discussions about the designated topics. If you want to talk about something not listed in the other topic areas, there is an area titled General Discussion.

Please post the requested information in the Introductions section.



May 13, 2014

Welcome to Principles of Computer Programming

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