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Langara offers new coding course

As part of the computer technology program, the course is available to all skill levels

Langara students are combining computer coding with Lego products to make moving robots. Lindsey Lloyd Photo
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Reported by Lindsey Lloyd

Responding to a demand in the tech industry, Langara College is now offering a program which combines classroom skills with hands-on and team experience.

The program, which is made of three half-semester courses was created by computer technology program coordinator, Raymond Chow and course instructor Jacob Tran to allow students to combine practical programming skills and Lego robotics to foster teamwork and create a non intimidating approach to coding.

Theory and knowledge from computer technology programs helpful

Chow said technology employers find that graduates from computer technology programs have the theory and knowledge of coding development, but lack teamwork skills, which is one of the main reasons he introduced Lego EV3 Robotics kits to the computer technology department.

“You collaborate as a team to make the robots work and converse,” he said.

The Lego robotics kits are attached to the computer so students can program their Lego robots to move and flash lights.

“You get instant gratification, whereas with other programming courses you sit in front of a computer and code for hours and don’t see what the end result is,” Chow said.

Available to all skill levels

The courses are available to anyone and was created to introduce people who are not familiar with computer programming to coding in a nonthreatening and fun environment.

Paul Brassard, owner of the startup BrickClick and technology consulting firm Volition Advisors, said that he understands why there is an emphasis on teamwork in the new course.

“Team is a large part of it,” Brassard said about hiring developers. “I look for people who are motivated on their own and flexible in a team environment.”

Business administration student, Behnam Mahdillou, said he “hit the jackpot” when he found out that the course was being offered.

Mahdillou said his past experience with computer technology programs didn’t apply coding skills outside of computers. He said he is excited to continue the course and hopes to get a job in robotics after he graduates.

The program began in Sept. and the final course will be offered next semester.

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