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, which does not require previous programming experience.
I want to be a C# / Java / C / C++ programmer, but I have never done any programming. Can I attend the C# / Java / C / C++ Programming course?
No. The Standard C, Java, and C# Programming courses are intended for people who already have a programming background in some other language. The Standard C++ Programming course is only for programmers who have practical C programming experience. 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?
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 required knowledge and experience, you will not understand the lectures, and you will be left behind within a few hours on the first day. 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 required experience and have chosen the right course.

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 a course?
First, read the prerequisites of the course you want to attend, and make sure that you meet them.

For example, the prerequisites for the Advanced Java Programming Course are that you should 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, or you only know what was covered in a few lectures at university, you definitely won't have enough experience to attend the Advanced Java course.

If you have attended an Incus Data course and want to attend the advanced course, test yourself: can you do all the exercises of the first course you attended without help? Then you're probably ready for a more advanced course.

If you are still concerned, please phone us. We can discuss it with you and, if necessary, arrange a pre-course assessment.

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. The contents of our Standard C++ course assume that you know C, and you will struggle with the course if you don't have the right background. Please read the importance of prerequisites.
I want to learn ASP.NET but I have not programmed in C#. Should I attend the ASP.NET course?
No. You cannot develop in ASP.NET without programming in C# (or VB.NET). You should first attend the C# Programming course.
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.
I want to write code on web sites. Should I attend the Java course?
No. People often confuse Java and JavaScript (see the question above). If you are interested in web development, start with the HTML and CSS course. If you already know HTML and have some programming background, then you should attend the JavaScript Programming course.
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. Having said that, if your schedule allows, it's probably slightly more beneficial to attend an OOAD course before an OO programming language course such as Java, C++ or C#.

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. You do have the option to write an assessment exam at a later date.
Will I receive a certificate at the end of the course?
Yes, you will receive an attendance certificate as long as you attend at least 80% of the course and you take part in the practical exercises.
What is the difference between an attendance certificate and a competency certificate?
An attendance certificate confirms that you have attended a particular course.
A competency certificate is only issued after you have successfully completed some form of competency assessment or exam.
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 most of our courses. Most of the courses are between NQF5 and NQF7.
I am interested in some kind of assessment or certification. What are my options?
There are a number of options available, but it depends on the course and 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. Although we offer this, we do not recommend it, as we consider the standard is too low.
  • Incus Data assessments are available for all our courses. This is based on the course content, and requires a 75% pass mark.
  • For some technoloiges, there may be a well-recognised form of certification available from the vendor (such as Oracle certification for Java).
Please speak to your lecturer or contact us for more information.
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.

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 Thursday, and 08:30 to about 15:00 on 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?
It is possible. 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 with a smaller group. And 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 in time, there will not be a charge. If you inform us at a very late stage, however, we may charge you a postponement fee to cover the costs already incurred.
What happens if I need to cancel my booking 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. If you do not arrive and you did not cancel your booking, you will 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 small 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 attend the course, but get sick during the course or have 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.

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 present in-house courses in other cities. 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?
If you want the training on your premises, you need to provide appropriate facilities.
  • The venue must be suitable for training. There must be enough space for everyone to have a computer and space to write. Please ensure the venue is available for the full duration of the course.
  • Every delegate must have his/her own computer.
  • The relevant software should be installed before the start of the course, to save time. The lecturer can bring the software, but please make sure that the delegates have the necessary administrative rights to install it on their computers.
  • There should be internet access for the delegates as well as the lecturer.
  • There must be a large whiteboard with whiteboard markers.
  • Refreshments must be easily available for the delegates and the lecturer. Valuable time is wasted if people have to move between floors or queue at canteens during breaks. We usually request that lunch is provided for the lecturer.
Is it better to have the training at our own premises?
Although there are some advantages to in-house training, we generally discourage it for the following reasons:
  • Because they are physically on site, employees are often called out of the course. This is disruptive to everyone attending the course, and it is particularly prejudicial to the people called out, as they miss important sections of work and often fall behind. It is not possible to repeat the content every time this happens.
  • Developers are deprived of the benefit of being exposed to other developers with diļ¬€erent approaches and ways of thinking. Diversity enhances creativity.
  • The facilities are often unsuitable for training e.g. there may not be enough space, or it may be too noisy.
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 course, and will I get a copy to use after the course?
We do our best to always use free and open source software, so that you can take a legal copy of the software and practice your programming skills at home. (Remember to bring a USB memory stick to copy the software.)
What if I use a different editor / compiler? Will the course still be relevant?
Yes. We are not in the business of selling or promoting commercial products. We aim to teach the course material in a way that is entirely independent of any tools, whether 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 use of an IDE for learning purposes, because it hides a lot of technical information that you need to be aware of and understand. 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!).

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 independence means that you can run a particular application on any operating system without having to change the code.
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 the Adobe tools. 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. You might want to bring a USB memory stick, so that you can take a (legal) copy of the (free) software home to practice.
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 motorised gate that is monitored by camera.
Can I use the Gautrain to get to the training venue?
Yes. 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 point on the bus route, and the bus will always stop here. This is about 1.7km (15 minutes walk) to the Incus Data venue.

If you arrange in advance, we can fetch you from the bus stop at 08:15. This shuttle service is only available once in the morning. We can also take you to the bus stop at the end of the day. Note that we cannot collect you from the Gautrain station.
Is there public transport that will get me to the venue?
Yes. The closest taxi rank is the Wierda Park taxi rank. The closest bus stop is Wierda Park bus stop (TR032), right next to the Gautrain bus stop. Both the taxi rank and the bus stop are just off Ruimte Road, between Willem Botha Avenue and Chris Hougaard Avenue. It is about 1.7km (15 minutes walk) from there to the Incus Data training venue.

If you arrange in advance, we can fetch you from the bus stop at 08:15. This shuttle service is only available once in the morning, so you must be on time. We can also take you to the bus stop at the end of the day.
Does the course price include any meals or refreshments?
The course price includes a main meal at lunch time. Tea and coffee are served throughout the day, accompanied by a variety of biscuits and rusks. There is usually fresh fruit available as well. Please note that we do not provide breakfast.
I have special dietary requirements - can you cater for me?
We can cater for vegetarians and those who do not eat certain types of meat. Please contact us if you have other special requirements, or 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 guest-houses in the area in various price ranges. We will be happy to provide you with a list of these venues. Although we have no affiliation with any of them, we try to only list those that have been recommended by previous delegates.
I am not from South Africa. Can you assist me with travel and accommodation arrangements?
Generally you are responsible 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, how can I evaluate the skill level of my developers?
Yes. We can assist you in a number of ways:
  • Post-course competency assessments: We recommend that any delegate who attends a course should also complete the competency assessment. This requires both theoretical and practical knowledge, and is a good way to determine if the person has studied and practised what was taught on the course. Since 2016, the assessment is included in the course price if done within 6 months of completing the course; otherwise there is a small fee of R450 excluding VAT.
  • Pre-course competency assessments: We can conduct short evaluations of your staff to determine whether they have the necessary skills levels to attend a specific course.
  • Lecturer evaluation: The lecturer can provide you with feedback about the ability of a delegate to learn and apply new skills, and identify areas for further development. This is not a competency evaluation: it is intended to help you determine the best way to deploy and advance your staff. Please note that this information is strictly confidential. You need to contact us in this regard before your developer attends the course, so that we can ensure that the feedback is appropriate to your needs.
Can I download files from the web and/or access Facebook/email while on course?
There is free internet access at our venue. Please ask your lecturer for the password. We reserve the right to reduce and/or restrict internet access if we feel that it being abused, or if it is distracting from paying attention to the 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.