Great Falls College’s first computer programmer class fills vacancies

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The first class of computer programming students from Great Falls College MSU will cross the stage early and receive their diplomas on Saturday.

In 2016, IT leaders and businesses across the region gathered at Great Falls College MSU to discuss the need for computer programming professionals in our community.

“The demand was clearly there,” said Steve Robinett, director of the computer technology department at Great Falls College MSU.

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The program teaches students the skills to be successful as a computer programmer and also to work as a systems analyst.

One of the graduates of this inaugural class is Jason Valledor, who started in computer programming at Great Falls College MSU after 12 years in the Air Force.

During his career in the Air Force, Valledor deployed four times to Iraq. At the time of his separation from the military, Valledor was a staff sergeant who served as his unit’s security officer and oversaw information security training and was responsible for network access. base of his unit.

In addition to his responsibilities in the army, Valledor has always had a taste for technology. Since he was young he has shown interest and the ability to understand concepts.

Valledor’s childhood and his military work in information security eventually led him to a computer programming degree at Great Falls College MSU.

“From the start of the course, I knew I had found my calling in computer programming,” said Valledor.

Most students who come to Great Falls College MSU and start in computer programming have some understanding of the program but bring little or no experience. Those who excel are the students eager to learn and develop new skills and to adapt well to constantly changing technology.

In addition to teaching the technical aspects of computer programming, Robinett also stresses the importance of teaching the human factor. The class works together to identify both the good and the bad in programming and web design.

“It’s extremely important for students to recognize the trends, the flow, the ease of use and what works and what doesn’t,” Robinett said.

During the two-year Computer Programming Diploma, students learn to design functional web pages using HTML, CSS, and Javascript. They also learn to understand and write programming languages ​​such as Python, Java, and PHP. To tie it all together, students also learn to work with relational databases like Oracle and MySQL which store and retrieve data.

To be successful as a programmer, students must be comfortable creating and implementing web portals that make it easy for the end user to use.

In addition to classroom learning, Valledor continued his on-the-job learning through an internship with DA Davidson companies.

During his internship, Valledor worked in support of network security, conducted malware scans and spam filtering.

“The internship gave me incredible insight into the operational side of my computer programming degree,” said Valledor.

When asked how the computer programming program would help him move forward, Valledor said that “technology changes almost every day. Through this program, I have acquired many technical skills that I need for my next step.

When Valledor and his classmates cross the stage on May 5, they will become the first to earn an associate degree in applied science in computer programming.

Saturday will be particularly special for Robinett, who has been on the program from the start.

“After two years of hard work, we can celebrate the first batch of computer programming students,” Robinett said.

The start will be at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 5 at the McLaughlin Center at the University of Providence, located one block north of Great Falls College MSU at 1301 20th Street S.

For more information on computer programming or to apply for the program, contact the Great Falls College MSU admissions office by visiting admissions.gfcmsu.edu, or call 406-268.3700.


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