I’ve been doing an Open University degree in Computing for the past 4 years now. It’s definitely had its ups (writing my first line of code, introducing me to Java) and downs (that team working module) but on the most part it’s been pretty interesting and I’ve been happy with most modules I’ve done. In fact, after doing three modules of Java I got myself a job writing Java full time.
The problem is that fact that the quality of the module choices drops off dramatically at level 3. Last year I did the only module that sounded interesting and had decent reviews (Developing Concurrent, Distributed Systems) which was dated but still useful.
This has left me with a pretty poor choice this year. I’ve ended up doing The Fundamentals of Interaction Design which is a six year old course that feels dated and any useful material is lost in the plentiful, dry reading. I’m also doing Software Engineering With Objects that is just a lesson in UML and actually just seems to be rehashing material from a module I did last year.
I think I’m just disappointed because I expected level 3 modules to cover more meaty subjects as the level 2 ones had laid down a good foundation of language skills. We could be writing a compiler to better understand what’s going on when we hit build or building a game engine with basic physics and AI. I know that’s all stuff you can learn independently but so it everything else on the course so why not offer advanced students something a bit more computer sciencey.
It also doesn’t help that these two modules still take up a good chunk of my time. I’d rather be doing something a bit more interesting like learning Angular.js or building something with an Arduino.
After these I have one more proper module, Algorithms, data structures and compatibility (using Python) which actually sounds pretty fun, and then it’s final project time.