I recently completed a Certificate in Internet Programming from UBC Continuing studies.
I started it a few years ago after having taken a course in Flash from UBC Continuing studies and really enjoying it. Up until then I had mostly learned on my own or from my peers, futzing with software and scripting until I could bend it to my will. I still do that, but I found the exposure to concepts in the Flash course that I wouldn’t have otherwise considered very valuable.
At that time, I had fooled around a little bit with PHP, a server side scripting language, and I was curious to learn more. It’s always easy to put off stuff like that, so to motivate myself to take the courses regularly, I decided to enroll in the certificate program to learn more about it and other internet technologies. It would require 200 hours of instruction over the course of 3 years.
On the whole, I would heartily recommend UBC Continuing Studies. The quality of the instruction was great. The location at Robson Square was very convenient. If I had one complaint it would only be that I found some of the courses I required were frequently cancelled due to lack of enrollment towards the end.
The program focused on open source technologies, but not exclusively. It covered using online databases (namely MySQL), and also XML, Perl and Python, and even included courses on client communications and project management.
Probably the most important thing I learned was the value in learning on a continual basis. In fact, it was much of the motivation for me to try teaching – several of my instructors appeared to be having a lot of fun and their enthusiasm was infectious. Having finished my last class last spring, I am currently feeling a little withdrawal. What’s next? Well, there is a (nearly) free ASP Certification program available from http://www.w3Schools.com – a popular reference site with many useful tutorials on a number of topics. Maybe I will give that a go.