Frequently Asked Questions

Choice of course

I have never done any programming. What course should I attend?
The Introduction to Programming Course is designed for people without any programming experience. It will provide you with the background that you need before you attend any other programming course. After you have completed that course, you will then be able to decide what programming language you want to learn, and attend the appropriate course. The lecturer on the Introduction to Programming course can advise you in this regard. If you are interested in web development, you should attend the HTML5 and CSS course. This course does not require previous programming experience.
I want to be a C# / Java / C / C++ / Visual Basic programmer, but I have never done any programming. Can I attend the C# / Java / C / C++ / Visual Basic Programming course?
No. The Standard C, Java, C# and Visual Basic Programming courses are intended for people who already have a programming background in some other language. The correct course for you to attend is the Introduction to Programming Course.
I want to be a web developer. What course should I attend?
You should attend the HTML 5 and CSS Course first.
Which is the best programming language to learn and use?
To answer that, think about the answer to this question: Which car is the best? It all depends on what you want to do with it.
I don't want to waste my money on a basic or introductory course. Can I attend the Advanced course immediately?
No. Please read the importance of prerequisites. If you don't have the appropriate background and experience, you will soon be left behind on an advanced course. Then you really will feel that you have wasted your money, because you will not have been able to benefit from the course at all. It is also unfair to other delegates who have appropriate experience. We reserve the right to ask someone who does not meet the prerequisites to leave the course and attend the correct course instead.
How do I know when I am ready for the next course?
A rough guideline would be to read the prerequisites of the next course you want to attend, and make sure that you conform to them. For example, the prerequisites for the Advanced Java Programming Course are to have attended our Java Programming course (or equivalent) and have 6 months Java programming experience. So if you've only worked with Java for a few weeks and/or never attended a course or read a book on Java, you won't have enough experience to attend the Advanced Java course. Another rule of thumb would be to redo all the exercises of the first course you attended, and if you can do them relatively easily without having to Google for the answers, then you're probably ready for a more advanced course.
I am self-taught with C/C#/Java. Can I attend the Advanced course?
As a general rule, no. Please see the previous question.
I want to learn C++, but I don't know C. Is it really necessary to attend the C course first?
Yes. The C++ language is built on the C language, and it is essential for you to have a good C background before attending our Standard C++ course. Please read the importance of prerequisites.
I used to code in old ASP, can I do ASP.NET immediately?
No. ASP is an interpreted scripting language using VBScript and/or JavaScript, whereas ASP.NET is the web version of a compiled object-oriented language (Visual Basic, C#, J#, C++.NET). ASP.NET improves the classic ASP, and adds a lot of new features. You would have to learn one of the new object oriented languages like VB.NET or C# before you could use ASP.NET effectively.
I used to code in old VB. Do I need to attend VB.NET before doing ASP.NET?
Yes. The original Visual Basic was radically different to the newest versions. Old VB (i.e. versions up to version 6) used a largely procedural approach to program design, whereas the newest versions supported by the .NET platform are fully object-oriented, and use an entirely different approach to program design. They are totally different languages in essence. So not much of what you know about VB 4, 5 or 6 will help you with VB.NET or with ASP.NET.
What is the difference between Java and JavaScript?
Java is a general purpose, strongly-typed, compiled object-oriented application programming language, and is used for writing a wide variety of software applications. JavaScript is an embedded, interpreted, weakly-typed scripting language specifically used for developing code that runs within web pages running in a browser.
Which course should I do first? Java or OOAD?
It's a little bit like asking which came first: the chicken or the egg? To be able to develop real-world programs in Java (or C++, C#, or any object-oriented language), you need to know object-oriented design principles and how to think in terms of the objects involved. To be able to really understand object-oriented design principles, it's much easier to have a good understanding of an object-oriented language to visualise the objects and their interactions. With that said, it's probably better to attend an OOAD course before an OO programming language course such as Java, C++ or C#.
I want to write code inside Excel. Should I attend the Visual Basic Course?
No. Excel uses a built-in scripting language called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). It is quite different, and is based on the old version of Visual Basic. You will not benefit from attending the VB.NET Programming course.

Certification, Exams and Accreditation

Will I have to write a test or an exam at the end of the course?
No, there is no test on completion of the course.
Will I receive a certificate at the end of the course?
Yes, if you attend all the days of the course and participate in the practical exercises, you will receive an attendance certificate.
What is the difference between an attendance certificate and a competency certificate?
As its name indicates, an attendance certificate confirms that you have attended a particular course. A competency certificate is only issued after a person has successfully completed a competency assessment or examination.
Is Incus Data an approved/accredited training vendor?
Yes. Incus Data is a MICT-approved training institution. You can read more about our SETA Accreditation.
What is the NQF level of a particular course?
This is very difficult to answer, as in most cases there are no unit standards that are relevant for our courses. Most of the courses are between NQF5 and NQF7.
Will the Java Programming course prepare me for the Oracle Java certification?
Yes, the Java Programming course will cover a lot of the material that you need to know for the Oracle certification exam. In order to pass the examination, however, you will also need to study and practice your Java coding.
What are my certification options?
Please speak to your lecturer or contact us. There is no single answer, as it depends on the technology. For some courses, like the HTML5 and CSS Course and the Introduction to Programming Course, you can elect to do a MICT Assessment. For others, there may be a well-recognised form of certification available from the vendor (such as Oracle certification for Java). We are in the process of setting up our own assessments, based on our course content.

Course Schedules, Dates and Times

What time does the course start and end?
The course times are from 08:30 to 16:30, Monday to Friday. We will start the course on time, so please be punctual.
The date on the course schedule doesn't suit me. Can you change it?
If you have a group of 5 or more people, we will generally be able to schedule a date that suits you. Even if you don't have enough people, you should always contact us to find out about scheduling, because we may be able to accommodate you - there may be other people who would also like a different date.
What does it mean if the course is marked "on request" on the schedule?
It means that there is not enough demand for us to schedule the course regularly, but that we will schedule it if there are enough people interested. Please contact us and inform us of your interest. There may be other people who are interested in the same course, and then it may be possible to schedule the course.
What happens if I need to postpone my course after I have enrolled?
You need to inform us, so that we can arrange a new date for you. If you let us know timeously, there will not be a charge. If you inform us at a very late stage, however, we may charge you a small postponement fee to cover the costs already incurred.
What happens if I need to cancel my attendance after I have enrolled?
You need to inform us as soon as possible. If you let us know in time, there will not be a charge. If you inform us at a very late stage, however, you may still be liable for the full cost of the course.
I previously booked training at another company and the course was postponed. What are the chances that you will postpone the course I want to attend?
If we have three or more people booked for a course, we will never postpone it (other than for an emergency e.g. if the lecturer has to undergo an unscheduled operation). We try to avoid postponing courses, but sometimes it happens. Unlike other training companies, however, we will rather give a course for three delegates than postpone it.
What happens if I cannot attend part of the course, or get sick on the course?
If you started attending the course, but then got sick or had to be recalled to work for an emergency, we will arrange for you to attend the days that you have missed on a later course at no additional charge.
Do you have part-time or after-hours courses or weekend courses?
No: all of our courses are presented as full-time courses (Monday to Friday, 08:30 to 16:30). From experience we have found that delegates attending a course after a whole day at work and/or over weekends after a hard week at the office are too tired and inattentive, and do not get the full benefit of the training. Under certain circumstances, we will run an after-hours or part-time course, but we will require a minimum of six (6) delegates.

Inhouse and Customised Courses

Do you give courses in other cities?
Yes, we do give courses in other cities, but only as inhouse courses. If you have five people or more at your company who want to attend a course, we will present the course at your venue in your town/city. There will be travel and accommodation costs for such training, and you will need to provide a suitable training venue. Please contact us for more information and a quote.
Do you offer training on our premises?
Yes. See the previous answer. A minimum number of five delegates is required for a customised course. Please contact us for more information and a quote.
Can you change the course contents to suit us?
Yes. we specialise in customising courses to suit our clients. A minimum number of five delegates is required for a customised course, and the course can be presented either on your premises or at our training venue. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
What are the venue requirements if we want the course presented on our premises?
You need to provide a suitable training venue with a computer and internet access for each delegate. There should be a whiteboard and internet access for the lecturer. You are also responsible for meals and refreshments for the delegates and lecturer.
Isn't it better to have the training at our own premises?
No. We generally discourage inhouse training, for a number of reasons:
  • Delegates are often called out of the training for production or support problems. This is disruptive, and unfair to the delegate. It is not possible to repeat the content every time this happens.
  • The facilities are often unsuitable for training e.g. there may not be enough space, or it may be too noisy.
  • There are sometimes difficulties in installing the appropriate software, which can waste time.
Can you present a course just for our company, but on your premises?
Yes, provided you have at least 5 delegates. Please contact us for more information and a quote.

Tools, Editors and Compilers

What software is used on the courses?
We endeavour to always use free and open source software, so that you can take a copy of the software and try out the exercises at home.
Will you provide me with software that I can use at home or after the course?
See the previous answer.
What if I use a different editor / compiler? Will the course still be relevant?
We are not in the business of selling or promoting commercial products. We endeavour at all times to present all our courses entirely independently of the tools we use, whether they be editors, compilers or IDEs (integrated development environments). Each lecturer may have a personal favourite, but all the course information will be relevant regardless of the tools you use.
What IDE do we use on the course? Which IDE do you recommend?
See the previous answer. Generally we do not recommend the usage of an IDE for training purposes, because it hides a lot of the technical details which we feel would be far more beneficial for a programmer to master, or at least be aware of. Obviously in a production environment, an IDE is useful as it has the potential to make you more productive (especially if you're a slow typist!). For Java, the popular choices are Eclipse, Netbeans and IntelliJ IDEA (commercial and community editions). For C++/C#/VB, the obvious choices are Visual Studio (commercial), Visual Studio Community and Visual Studio Express. For C/C++ the GNU compiler and associated tools are recommended.
What do you mean by compiler-independent?
Compiler independent means that the specifics of the language taught (C, C++, Java, amongst others) will be able to be compiled on any compiler for that language. We try to avoid compiler-specific features, and when they do occur, we are careful to draw your attention to them.
What do you mean by platform-independent?
Platform independent means that you can run a particular application on any operating system without having to recompile the program.
I've heard that some of your courses require that I use the command line. Why should I need to use the command line?
The console/command line is a very powerful mechanism to manipulate, list, execute, and run your programs and files. There are situations where you may not have access to your normal GUI IDE, so it is important to be able to use the command line.
What tool do you use on the HTML5 and CSS Course?
The purpose of this course is to teach you web development skills without reliance on a GUI HTML editor such as Dreamweaver. We use a simple text editor and a variety of browsers.

Course Material

What must I bring with me to the course?
A willingness to learn and to work.
What course material will you provide, and is it mine to keep?
We provide either a manual or a text book, a notepad, and a pen. They are yours to keep, so we encourage you to take comprehensive notes during the course.
What language is the course material written in?
English.

Course Environment, Transport and Accommodation

Is there safe parking for my car?
Yes: we have safe off-street parking, which is behind a solid wooden gate that is monitored by camera.
Is there public transport that will get me to the venue?
There is a taxi rank about a kilometre from the venue. There is also a Putco bus stop 100 metres from the taxi rank.
Can I use the Gautrain to get to the training venue?
Yes. You must take the Gautrain to Centurion, and then catch the C3 Wierda Park bus. Climb off at the C3-9 stop at the corner of Ruimte Road and Willem Botha. This is the half-way or turnabout point on the bus route, and is about a kilometre from the venue. We can collect you from the bus stop within certain times before the course starts if you call us. Note that we cannot collect you from the Gautrain station.
Can I download files from the web and/or access Facebook/email while on course?
There is free full-time internet access in each classroom at our venue. We reserve the right to reduce and/or restrict internet access if we feel that it being abused, or if it is distracting delegates from paying attention to the course.
Does the course price include any meals or refreshments?
The course price includes a main meal at lunch time (usually a meat or chicken dish, starch, vegetables and salad). Tea and coffee are served throughout the day, accompanied by biscuits and rusks.
I have special dietary requirements - can you cater for me?
We can cater for a small range of special diets - vegetarians and restricted meat. Please contact us to make special arrangements if you are strict halaal or kosher.
I'm from out of town. Can you provide accommodation?
We do not provide accommodation, but there are a number of bed and breakfast establishments in the area, and we will happily recommend the ones that have been used by previous delegates who have rated them well.
I am not from South Africa. Can you assist me with travel and accommodation arrangements?
Generally you are resposible to make and pay for all your own travel and accommodation arrangements. We can provide you with contact details of places to stay in the area, and most of them will assist in providing transport to and from the airport, and to and from the course venue.

Prices, Discounts and Payment

Is there a discount if we make a group booking?
Yes, there are discounts available for group bookings, as well as training packages that will help you get the most training for your budget.
Do you provide financing?
No, unfortunately we do not. But we do sometimes have special discounts for students and people who are unemployed, so please contact us to discuss your situation.

Employment and Recruitment

Will attending a course guarantee me a job?
No. Our courses teach you the fundamentals that you need, and give you the opportunity to practise what you learn, but generally you will need more experience than can be provided in 5 days to secure a job.
Will Incus Data help me to find a job after the course?
No, we are not a recruitment agency. We are on occasion approached by recruitment agencies that are looking for information as to people who have attended a particular course, but it would be unethical for us to disclose that information. Most of our clients are companies, and it would be wrong to pass on information about their staff to outside companies. If you are unemployed and looking for a job, however, let us know: if we are approached by someone looking for your skill set, we can inform you.
Can you provide our company with details of delegates for us to interview for jobs?
No. Most of our clients are companies, and it would be unethical for us to disclose information about their programmers. You may provide us with your requirements, and if we are aware of unemployed programmers with the appropriate skills set, we will send them your contact details.
Can you help us evaluate the skills of a job applicant?
Yes. Please contact us to discuss the type of assessment you require.

Other Questions

As a manager, it is often difficult for me to determine the skill levels of my programmers. Can you assist with this?
Yes. We can assist you in two ways:
  • We can provide you, the manager, with feedback about the progress of a delegate on a course. The lecturer is in a unique position to assess the ability of a delegate to learn and apply new skills, which can help you determine the best way to utilise your staff. Please note that this information is strictly confidential. We recommend that you contact us prior to the course, so that we can ensure that the feedback is appropriate to your needs.
  • We can conduct short evaluations of your staff to determine whether they have the necessary skills levels to attend a specific course.
Are the lecturers available for consultation?
Yes. All our lecturers are available for consultation, and are on occasion requested to assist e.g. in setting up coding standards or with actual development.
What happens if I have a problem with my code after I have attended a course?
Delegates are welcome to e-mail the lecturers with questions. The lecturers will, however, expect you to have at least tried to solve the problem on your own. We will not do your work for you (unless you are prepared to pay our consultation fee!). Please ensure that you include the code with which you are struggling to make it easier for the lecturer to identify the problem. If you cannot remember your lecturer's e-mail address, you can send your query to info@incusdata.com.

If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to e-mail us at info@incusdata.com.