Back To School

Back to School, courtesy of Terry McCombs

September in Canada means, for a large number of families, back to school – kids heading off to elementary, secondary, and post-secondary classrooms.  While I’m certainly not a kid anymore, I’ve decided to head back to school, in a manner of speaking.

As some of you may know, I’ve been looking for work for a few months now.  It’s been a good opportunity to get things done around the house, as well as work on some side projects I had been meaning to get to for some time.  The next step for me is to work on picking up some new skills, as well as polishing existing ones.

To start with, I’ve signed up for the Test Design course offered by the Association for Software Testing.  The course starts next week, and if it’s anything like their other two classes, I expect to learn a great deal.  Here’s a synopsis of the course:

Test Design is crucial to ensure that the product under test is successfully tested. This is an introductory survey of test design. Any of the techniques presented in the course can be used in a scripted way or an exploratory way. Key aspects of this course include:

  • Define Test Design
  • Explore many techniques (what the technique is) at a superficial level
  • Examine a few techniques at a practical level (how to do it)
  • Discuss ways to mentally organize the collection of techniques
  • Learn concept mapping tools for test planning

This course costs about $200 USD, but it’s worth every penny as far as I’m concerned.  In addition, I’m going to try out a  free course from edEX – Intro to Computer Science and Programming.  edEx is a collaboration between MIT and Harvard, to offer some courses online for free.  They both do this independently as well, so I may try out some other courses as well.

Experimentation Kit for Arduino, courtesy of Adafruit

Finally, I’m looking at doing some independent learning, by ordering an Arduino Experiment Kit from Adafruit.   It comes with a pile of electronic bits and pieces, as well as an Experimenter’s Guide with a few introductory instructions.  I’ve always been curious about electronics, and this seems like as good a place and time to start as any.  The kits are on back-order, so I’m just waiting to hear when they come back in stock.

And now, over to you – what sort of learning experiences have you got coming up?  Anything you’ve been toying with that you haven’t gone for yet?  If so, why not?

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