Photo: Nima Tahriri, Programming instructor at Herzing College Montreal
If you're considering programming training, you might be a bit overwhelmed with all the courses and programs out there.
There are hundreds of bootcamps, diplomas, certificates, and degrees in software development and programming.
Options seem to swing from short crash-courses to 4-year university degrees - with not much in the middle.
Several years ago, Herzing College Montreal launched an alternative. It's a 15-month programming course that delivers comprehensive training in just over one year of study.
This week we interviewed the instructor, Nima Tahriri, an experienced programmer who studied coding in university and actually took Herzing's course back in 2018.
Nima explains why this training is so unique, what to expect in class, career options, and more.
Meet the teacher, explore the course, and see if programming is right for you.
Q: Nima, can you tell us about your education and professional experience in programming?
Nima: I have been an educator since 1994 in different industries, but programming has always fascinated me. I studied coding at Dawson College and UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal).
It was at Herzing, a few years ago, that I really got into it and completed the Programming training I am teaching now.
I started at Herzing College as a teaching assistant, and began teaching the course full time last year.
Q: What is unique about the Programming training Herzing offers?
Nima: First of all, it's a unique accelerated Programming course, which means students earn their diploma in just 15 months. The training includes a 14-week internship where students get real world programming experience.
Secondly, the interpersonal relationship we have between students and staff is quite special. Every one works hard to help the students succeed.
Both my teaching assistant and I are Herzing graduates, so we've been in their shoes. We have a great appreciation for the difficulties they may face (especially with Covid) and try to offer all the support we can.
Q: What exactly does a Programmer do? What are the main responsibilities?
Nima: The beauty of this program is how broad its possibilities are. A programmer may work as a developer, in software or application maintenance/support, as a tester, database or application analyst, or even as web support.
We currently have graduates working in a wide variety of industries, including law firms, application and game development, web design, etc.
Q: What are the most valuable programming skills students learn in your class?
Nima: We study application development with Java and Visual Basic .Net, Android, Web development and design in HTML & PHP, using CSS for design, and Databases in SQL.
We mostly use PC’s but we also provide tablets to all the students so that we can practice Android application development.
It is a dense program and covers a lot of programming skills, but you have a great variety of opportunities available upon completion.
Q: What kinds of programming assignments do students do in your class?
Nima: There are many hands-on assignments. For example, students design complex websites they can upload to Herzing’s live servers, using domains we provide, complete with authentications, login, and administrator dashboard.
We also create android applications that one can install on any android device. We create Calculators, same as you may find in Windows. We also design simple games.
Q: What's the toughest part of the Programming training?
Nima: Our Programming training is intensive. This is a fast-paced program and it is not enough to sit in class for 5 hours a day. Students need to work hard on their own to succeed in the course.
As with anything in life, the skills may come easier to some than others. But no matter where you're starting from, with hard work, it is possible to do very well in this training.
Take for example a student we had last year. She had great difficulty at the beginning of the program, but she followed our advice, worked hard, and kept with it.
She ended up finishing at the top of her class as an honour student!
So it really depends on how hard you're willing to work.
Q: Where can Herzing's Programming graduates get hired?
Nima: Once the students complete the program, they typically discover an affinity for specific programming languages or type of work. This dictates the jobs they go after.
For example, some may fall in love with Java programming, while others prefer back-end Web development.
The possibilities in this field are vast. Our graduates get hired in web development and application design, Java programming, etc.
Q: What do students gain from the internship? Why is it so important?
Nima: The most important benefit of the internship is getting to work with a team in a real programming work environment.
Students get to put their classroom knowledge into practice and learn new skills. They often tell me how fulfilling it is to participate in a live, real-world project.
To be honest, no programming course can teach you everything. Each student must explore their own particular interests and develop those skills over time in the workplace.
An internship is a great way to do this, getting hands-on experience with experts in the field.
Q: Is Montreal a good place to start a programming career?
Nima: Montreal is a great place to become a programmer. First, you get to study at the best programming college in Canada - Herzing College.
Plus, Montreal is one of the main hubs of software development, game and web design in Canada.
It is also a fantastic place to live. When you consider the cost of living plus quality of life, it more than justifies the salary difference compared to other cities like Toronto or Calgary.
Q: What qualities are required to become a successful programmer? How does someone know they're a good fit for this career?
Nima: You need to be logical, analytical, patient and a good problem solver. Programming is a way of thinking. It has nothing to do with how smart you are.
It's about being able to dissect a problem and solve it as you would a complex puzzle.
At Herzing, we administer an aptitude test that tells students if they're a good fit for programming training.
Your first step is to speak with an admissions advisor, who can help you determine if programming is the right match for you.
Learn More about Programming Training at Herzing College
Herzing College Montreal offers a 15-month Programmer Analyst diploma program. Training includes a 14-week internship.
Graduates of this program are qualified to become programmer analysts, full-stack web developers, application programmers, and software developers.
Interested in learning more about training and careers?
Click below to explore the Programmer course and chat live with an Admission Advisor today. We're here to help!