Notes for our introductory courses

This page outlines what you can reasonably expect from our introductory programming courses.

GBdirect's Introductory Courses

Our introductory courses (in particular for PHP and Perl) regularly attract the interest of delegates who have never seriously used a programming language before. Alternatively, sometimes employers have a specific goal in mind and want someone to learn how to do it. We are are usually asked "what will I be able to achieve at the end of the course" or "will I be able to perform task X or Y at the end". Unfortunately it's very hard for us to to give answers other than "it depends" because that's the honest answer.

Don't consider one of these courses if you only have a single project to undertake or a specific feature that you want to add to some existing software. If you have a single task like that, get a consultant instead (we may be able to help, so give us a call). Our courses are for people who intend to program regularly and do a lot of self-study after taking the course, making a full or part-time career out of it.

If you are contemplating undertaking a career change that involves programming and aren't sure if you are suited to it, here are some bullet points we ask you to consider in depth before choosing to commit one way or the other.

You need to be realistic about what you can achieve on an introductory course, especially if it's the first time you have taken up the art of programming. To reach the levels of the top professionals takes years of study and practice, just like any field. However, to be able to make modest modifications to existing programs or undertake small projects for yourself is well within the grasp of people with much less experience.

The best that a short course can do is to

The courses are not normally intended to train you how to undertake tasks as specific as "implement an e-commerce shopping cart". What they try to do is give you the basics and the skills to help you on the path to figuring that out for yourself. Look at the course outline and be realistic about what you are going to learn in the time available.

People who make a full-time living out of programming vary widely. Some have undertaken years of full-time training coupled with many years of practice and work in highly specialised fields. Others have found different routes and different niches in the profession: you don't need to be Picasso to make a living as a decorator but you still need to know what you are doing to do it well. Our short courses help you get started, the rest is up to you!

If you have any doubt about whether you will benefit from our short courses, call and ask to speak to someone who can help you with advice. We aren't able to provide career counselling but we can listen to what you want to achieve and we will try to help you decide whether the course is appropriate or not.