Teacher Spotlight- John Lamertinaprogram spotlight- Dec. 2018

Continuing after our last spotlight, with the theme of instructor changes at CPAVTS, we wanted to check in with our new computer programming teacher, Mr. Lamertina, to see how things have been in his classroom so far this school year.

What is the most significant new or different aspect to your program this year?

“Our 2nd year students are learning advanced Python, Java, Data Structures, and Algorithms and our 1st years are learning Python, and selected topics in Discrete Mathematics.”


What are some of the more common career pathways your students take when they leave CPAVTS?

“The most common career paths for Computer Programming graduates include entry-level programming, application testing, and web development. Many students also continue their education with advanced placement at a Four year university.”


What particular training/unit do employers seek that helps students get their foot in the door?

“Language and application-specific training, or a passing score on major certification exams (such as for Java, Python, or C) can help students land their first job.”


What is some of the recent technology and/or trends in the profession, with which students become familiar?

“According to the TIOBE Index for September 2018, Java, C and Python remain the most popular programming languages.”


What unit/topic do student struggle with the most in your program and why do you think that is?

“Students sometimes struggle with advanced topics, such as recursion, or the mathematics related to algorithmic growth and big O notation. These are tough topics and we try to unfold them slowly with lots of time to practice.


Explain a typical day in your program.

“For each level, a typical day is about 1/3 lecture or discussion and 2/3 hands-on computer practice. I like to rotate around the room to help individual students debug their programs.”



What advice would you give student who have completed your program?

“Keep practicing and learning. In a field that changes as much as ours, you have to continue your education formally or with online classes. Do something you like. Have fun. Get rest!”

How many years have you been at CPAVTS?

“This is my first year at CPAVTS!”


What is your experience before coming to CPAVTS?

“I spent 20 years in industry as a software developer. I followed that up with 18 years as an instructor and assistant professor.”



Student Spotlight-Computer Programming

Summarize what you learn in your program in one sentence.

“We learn to think through and evaluate problems in a whole new way.”

“We learn math code, problem solving and computers.”


What is the hardest part of your program?

“The hardest part of our program is thinking through and figuring out how to solve problems in the most efficient way.”

“Thinking out the problem, and then creating a program to solve it.”

“The math and equations needed to make things work.”


What is the most fun part of your program?

“Creating programs and the feeling of finishing a project after and lot of work.”

“Creating the program and then watching it run.”


What is some recent technology you are learning to use in your program that is specific to your profession?

“Coding languages such as Python.”

“Programming software and creating a class.”


What is your plan for after high school?

“I want to continue my education in program and eventually make it my profession.”

“I would like to become a video game developer.”

“I want to go to college to continue my education in computer programming.”



What is going to be the highlight of the year in your program?

“The highlight will be looking back at the start of this year and seeing all the progress I have made.”

“Finishing this year and getting through all the work successfully.”



What are you the most proud of learning in your program?

“I am most proud of learning how to do something most people don’t have any idea about and is hard to do.”

“Understanding the coding and the hard math equations.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“A typical day begins with the lecture, and then a lot of practice with the newly learned skill.”

“Lecture, work.”


How is your program at CPAVTS different from other classes you have had in the past?

“This program is very hands-on, in the sense of a lesson and then a lot of work on your own problem solving and coding.”

“This is what I want to learn, not something I need to learn.”

“It is a more open class, we are still learning and doing work, but it is more independent work, and room to be creative.”


What advice would you give to a beginning Level 1 student who is just starting the program or to a student who is considering enrolling in the program?

“Pay attention! Do your own work!”

“Stay focused and give yourself some time. The beginning is stressful, but when you get passed the stressful part and start understanding things, it is fun!”

“If it is what you’re interested in, it is not as hard as it looks…it just takes time to master.”