Frequently asked questions for participants

What is the duration of the course?

The course lasts for 4 months, the classes are held 2 times a week in the evenings (normally from 19:00 to 20:00). Total recommended time that each participant is expected to spend on the studies (watching videos, working on practical tasks, reading the documents, off-line classes) is 150 hours.

What is the program of the course?

The course is based on the program of Harvard University on basics of programming – CS50. This is internationally recognized course for the beginners and it is considered as one on the best courses of fundamentals of computer science. During this course the students will study the basics of the following programming languages: C, Python/PHP, JavaScript, HTML/CSS.

How are the students selected for the program?

Selection of students is done in 2 stages: a questionnaire and a test task. On the questionnaire stage candidates with intermediate or higher level of English are chosen. During the test task stage those who do the task better get privileged.

How to register and start learning?

The first step is to register on the page http://brainbasket.org/en/tn-moldova.

The second step is to perform a test task, which is accessible through a link after the registration form.

Those who complete the task (writing the program on Scratch) most complexly and interestingly (i.e. the program has an idea, contains many scripts, works correctly) will have an advantage for admission to the group.

What will the course graduate know?

The course pays most attention to the C programming language, which is used to explain Storage organization, Binary data formats (image processing, Magic Numbers), Coding, Basic data structures (HashMap, Trie) and General algorithms: Sorting (Bubble, Insertion, Selection, Merge), Search (Binary Search).

Significant part of the course is dedicated to Web. Students get basic skills of working with relational databases and basic SQL language constructions. They use Flask (Python) on the Back-end, HTML / CSS and the Bootstrap framework on Front-end. The emphasis is made on JavaScript, jQuery and AJAX technologies.

The Information security (Cookies / Session, Hashed passwords) is also considered.

There is a brief overview of artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing, problem solving using Search Tree, Evaluation Function, MiniMax.

Linux operating system is used throughout the course. The tools make, clang and valgrind are studied.

What is a blended learning model?

It is one of the most efficient models of learning, which combines the advantages of face-to- face and online learning. Students study theoretical material on their own and meet regularly in small groups with an experienced IT specialist, their mentor, who helps to resolve complex problems and to work on practical tasks.

What is the language of the course?

All video lectures and assignments are in English. Classes in groups are held in Romanian, English or Russian (depending on a mentor).

What is the cost of course?

This course is completely free of charge for the participants.

Does the course require prior technical knowledge or knowledge of the English language?

Participation in the program does not require prior technical knowledge and skills (although they are an advantage). However, the candidate should have upper-intermediate English-language proficiency (since most of the materials are in English).

What happens to those who skip classes?

Mentor has the right to expel a student who skips classes without any good reason, does not perform homework, is academically unsuccessful or breaks discipline.

How and how often does communication between the mentor and the group take place?

The mentor determines the way of communication by himself and informs his students about the format of communication (for example, questions can accumulate throughout the day and the answers can be given in the evening, or “reception hours” can be appointed, when questions can be asked and they are immediately answered). In order to help solving organizational issues, the mentor can appoint a group leader from the participants.

What does the person get upon completion of this program?

There are 2 ways of the course completion – attending and passing. The status “attended the course” is given to a graduate who has successfully completed at least 50% of homework assignments; the status “passed the course” is given to a person who has successfully performed 90% of homework and made the final project.

What should the graduate do after this course?

Upon completion of the course alumni receive a link to the “Graduate’s Guide” which provides information about other free online courses, a video-course on job search, free access to online English courses.

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