My Master of Computer Science coursework has the requirement that I complete 5 core subjects plus 3 electives. Here are some of my completed courses since July 2009:
Semester 1 2009/2010
1. Advanced Network Technology (WXGA6105)
It was my first time ever learning network in a lab that seriously for network with all switches and routers and cables. I really don’t remember what I learnt during my undergraduate for network but I seriously don’t think I had been to such lab before. My current job does teach me a lot of networking and mainly I have purchased quite a lot of switches before. However, this course was really an eyeopener. I’m seriously glad that UM uses Cisco training material to teach this course. Cisco is the major player in networking arena and getting a chance to be up close and personal with Cisco products is definitely the best thing that ever happen in my postgraduate. Haha! I’m glad too that my working experience exposes me to networking which is a great help to me in scoring this course. I have been referred as the network queen ever since I got the highest mark in class. I have even helped other groups in their practical network tests. My group members just love me coz they said I helped them to score A too. Hehe!
2. Database Technology (WXGA6107)
Database is not something I like very much. My working experience has not led me to any real database exposure before other than some simple Microsoft Access and basic Microsoft SQL server. This course basically teaches basic to advanced database in Oracle. Again I’m glad I have the chance to at least learn Oracle, the most famous database software in the market now but I don’t think I’m any near to master it. Whenever it comes to programming, I’m fainting. Consider myself lucky that I have great group members that proficient enough in database and we managed to score flying colors. Not forgetting the second chance in midterms that the lecturer gave us, really helped me score better.
Elective subjects (Management Information Systems)
1. Information Systems Planning (WMGA6310)
This is one of the interesting course in the Management Information Systems major, unfortunately, I don’t think the lecturer is that supportive or helpful but that couldn’t be the only reason I didn’t score well. Hehe! This subject is basically teaches how to plan for an information system from start to end. There are a lot business requirement to be taken into consideration. IT requirement is no the major issue in the real world as it seems but they are inter-dependent somehow. There are a lot of theories to understand business objectives and match these with IT objectives. The main goal is to have an information system that caters to what the business wants and with the effective information technology. Good too many theories t o remember, that’s why I did badly. (Excuses, i know…hehe)
Semester 2 2009/2010
1. Advanced Topics in Programming (WXGA6106)
This subject is the most feared among many. Many just didn’t want to take Computer Science major just because of this programming course. Apparently, Master in Software Engineering has no programming course which is weird to me. Isn’t software engineering main goal is to produce software hence programming is a must? Damn! I have been duped! Hehe! With C++ as the base, we are taught almost everything about programming. Not the step-by-step in using C++ to write a program but the advanced theories about programming. The abstract data type, queue, stack, recursion, linked list, etc. Some I have learnt during undergrad but the most difficult part is evaluating algorithm efficiency where all the complex functions and algebra come in. It’s also the only course that assignments are given every week. I seriously hope I can pass this paper. Praying hard actually!
2. Object-oriented Techniques (WXGC6102)
Unified Modeling Language (UML) was something new during my undergrad. It was the hype in analysis and design stages of software engineering that time. I was surprised that many of my course mates had actually never learnt about UML before. I guess many have heard about object-oriented but not many know how to apply UML in their modeling. It’s kind of a refresher course for me but I did learn a few things new and in more details. Visual Paradigm is the new modeling tool for me that I found it quite user-friendly and efficient. I used to use Rational Rose for UML during undergrad. One thing I will remember always in this course is there’s no right or wrong model as different people see things differently and model them differently. But good and efficient design can be inspired from a good model.
1. Information System Development Practices (WMGA6315)
At first, I thought this course will be a duplication from what I learnt in Information System Planning (ISP) last semester and I actually thought not to take this. However, as it was fated, I had to take it this semester as there was no other available elective. It was a blessing in disguise. It turned out to be the best course I have ever taken. Comparative to ISP, this course is much more interesting and more practical. Of course, I can never run away from all the theories but the lecturer made it so easy for us. I like this lecturer so much. It’s so true that the right teacher can seriously motivate you and lead you to succeed. I hope I can really succeed in securing another flying colors in this paper. Hehe! From this course too I learn more about researching for my paper and I have better idea now for my dissertation topic. My interest in information science especially social computing has been piqued.
I still have 1 core subject which is the research foundation course and 1 elective subject which I hope they are going to offer next semester, Knowledge Management: Tools and Techniques. I have a dissertation to start too but I’m still deciding when but first I have to secure a supervisor with my research proposal. I plan to prepare it after the exam during my 2 months break before the next semester begins. More on that later…