We asked Ismail what is programming, he told us, “All computers do is what they are told to do. Computers just follow instructions, whatever those instructions are. Programming is just writing instructions for a computer to follow.”
Ismail said because computers don’t need food or drink, just electricity, they never get tired and they never complain. Whatever you tell them to do, they will attempt it as fast as they possibly can.
“The trouble is that computers are stupid; they have no common sense.” Said Ismail, “If you tell them to delete everything on a hard drive, then they will do that without question, even if it stops them from working properly. The programmer must write good instructions so the computer always does the right thing in all situations.”
Programming is taught at schools, but out of schools it is not so easy for people to learn it even with the online resources we have today. Ismail said “Yes, there are plenty of tutorials/courses online, but learning things in a group of like-mind individuals, being guided by someone who has been in the same situation and has the knowledge to help overcome difficulties really helps.
“There are people who have heard of programming and just see it as a mystery, not knowing what it is or what it involves (it is definitely NOT what it looks like in movies and on TV).
“Maybe you want to just see what it’s all about, maybe you just want to get a better understanding of the machines we carry in our pockets and use every day. Maybe you want to explore a potentially new career path. Maybe you want to have something extra to put on your CV. Maybe you want to be able to use your computer better and do more things with it. All these are perfectly good reasons to attend this course.”
This course will teach the basics of a programming language called Python. This language is very good for beginners to learn, and is also one of the most popular ones in the industry. “First, I intend to cover a couple of the basics of the language. Then, there are a couple of different tasks that students can choose to do, from writing programs that control the keyboard and mouse to programs that work with Excel spreadsheets.” Ismail added.
This is a taster course that is planned to be delivered over 2 months. Ismail said the world of programming is very large and moves quite fast, so there is plenty more that one can learn afterwards if one wants to.
If you already know how to program, this course isn’t aimed at you. If you have recently learned programming and want to refresh your knowledge, feel free to come along. Places are limited, so book early.
The course will take place on Wednesday evenings from 7pm – 8:30 at the Al-Hikmah Centre. Start date is Wednesday 31 October and you can register your interest by calling the Al-Hikmah Centre on 01924 500555 or email [email protected]