Is AIE good to learn computer programming?

OK, this might be the strangest post yet. Here goes. Hello. My first post.

I am a postgraduate [BA in maths from Deakin]. Last year I started messing about with compilers and started for the first time in my 33 years to like programming - no that's wrong - I started to LOVE it. So
I downloaded compilers and started mucking about. In Feb 2008 I also began a Dip of Design offline through Australian College; it is a great course that I am about 1/4 through. So after spending a lot of 2008 as a total lunatic - I read so many things about programming that my brain should have burst - I settled down and found that I really liked one language a lot: Ruby.

Then I started to think "I am learning on my own about programming; what about something like a cert to show for it?" Great Idea! Hmm. Not a lot on offer. I didn't do honours or anything IT as an undergrad so that closed down options. These 5 day courses that cost 4000 bucks? No thanks! I can't do them anyway; I like to learn over a longer period. So I scoured the net up and down dale. TAFE? Lack of specificity: what compiler? what language? I also don't have 2 years to do some course. I am getting old.

Then I find the AIE. What's this? A cert 3 in programming? Looks good! And the visual C++? Already got it on my PC! And 1200 bucks; got that! Better than 18000 for some postgrad uni thing with some weird fee help that I can't understand. Offine too! That's good - means I can get work exp, do my other course etc.

So in a nutshell I want to use the AIE cert 3 as a backdoor method of getting a programming qualification. Yes, I KNOW that it isn't the same as a Dip of IT etc. I KNOW that. That misses the pt. I am teaching myself heaps of stuff as well. I have access to VTC and every free C++ tute on the net. I have bookmarked them all - i told you earlier that I am a lunatic.

Any thoughts? I have filled out the enrolment form. Hope I am not too late. AIE Seems to end apps in Jan. I like game programming, but I will probably never be a games programmer.

StephenWade's picture

I guess, you only get out what you put in. Cert III isn't extremely 'high up' the chain of command, so to speak. If you want a good qualification they take time, but as you say you don't feel like spending 2 years or doing post-grad work. It depends what the rest of your resume looks like, you just have to remember that as far as programming jobs go, you have to compete with people who have either experience on their resume or a degree ...

or both :S

If you think you have a good case for employment already, but need a bit of paper to back yourself up maybe a Cert III is a start. I'm not sure how far you can get into programming though at Cert III level i.e. what you'll actually be able to learn.

I'm totally biased, but I'd personally rather do a graduate diploma or part-time honours study and build on the bachelor of maths (this is coming from a guy who is thinking of starting a phd after honours is over)

sorry i don't know much about AIE ...!

Lantree's picture

AIE have a good reputation in the industry traditionally. Your BA in Maths will look good anyway when you go for a job application, having the AIE to help boost your programming skills certainly isn't going to look bad.

AIE are more practical, tend to have actual industry based teachers, i.e. most of the teachers are ex-game industry staff.

Sounds like you may like the idea of being a game play scripter, liking ruby etc. i.e. here at infinite we use LUA for all our game play scripting.

Anonymous's picture

Now they are as bad as Qantm and the other uni's, maybe even a bit worse :P

Anonymous's picture

no way anything is worse then QANTM, I've seen dancing monkeys with more C++ competency then their programming teacher

Anonymous's picture

I dont know which Qantm Campus you are talking about but the Brisbane campus is aweasome. They know what they are talking about and stop to help people who dont grasp what they are talking about.

Ive heard bad things about the Sydney Campus but out of the Melbourne ans Brisbane Camps', Brisbane is by far the best

Sydney has alot of focus around Animation and Digital Movies
Melbourne is more about Design
Brisbane is alot more Programming

So the campus you go to makes a difference

Anonymous's picture

several of AIEs teachers claim to have games industry exp, but they dont. or if they do, it was with microforte, or some other obscure place.

Anonymous's picture

the sydney campus specificly, I've heard good things about the Brisbane one.

Anonymous's picture

I have worked at Micro Forte (its actually two words not one, as we have been told !) and at times we have provided lecturers at the AIE in Canberra. To say that they dont have industry experience is a bit of a stretch, as that what we have help cover. I dont know of any other studio that is still co-located with an educational institution do you? And to call them obscure !! That really sucks. I worked on Fallout while at MF and that is not obscure. Its just that Micro Forte does not focus on doing publisher related work as much as my current employer. Its their choice I guess, but they are not obscure and saying this hurts and is not very fair, given how much they have done for students at the AIE

Anonymous's picture

Don't let facts get in the way! I'm pretty sure most of their teachers have industry experience. I worked with Conan at THQ / Bluetongue. http://www.aie.edu.au/sydney/staff.php

I think Andrew Goulding is teaching programming at the Melbourne AIE, but he's not on their website.

Anonymous's picture

AIE Sydney is amazing, i am a recent graduate and Conan has worked on multiple AAA titles, and the second teacher; Mike Timbrell, is about as competent as Conan himself is.
The arts teachers, Epona schweer and Alan Maxwell have both worked on multiple projects, alan on titles as far back as mad max 1+2; And Epona on Happy feet and Animalia to name a few.

Anonymous's picture

Though I am not myself a student [nor was I] I have met both the students and teachers several times over last year during the Beer&Pixel events and must say that I have been positively impressed. Although they probably should have a more unit test oriented approach :P

but seriously, the students were serious and the teachers passionate, not much more to ask for... And just for a last comparison, the direct competition is QANTM and on meeting their teachers I was faced with not only a serious lack of passion for the job but also a worrisome lack of working knowledge when it comes to the actual materials.

All in all, meet the people, learn the right questions to ask and make absolutely sure that the people who are suppose to teach you know and care about their profession.

Anonymous's picture

Some of the teachers have industry exp.

but not all..

i know one of the teachers at Melbourne was an AIE grad from overseas, and had never had a job in the industry.

the senior programming teacher ( atleast between 04 and 08 ) was more interested in her own studies than teaching at the canberra campus, and only had obscure work or contract / indie work exp

Anonymous's picture

i had this at AIE Canberra, and am sorry i spent 20k there.