MIS 220/MIS 330: Mid-Semester Update

With the semester swiftly approaching its midpoint, I have been assigned the duty of detailing my experiences in MIS 220 and 330 thus far. Ordinarily, describing two college courses in a single blog post would seem a herculean task, and without precise planning and purposeful penning their distinct curriculums would quickly coalesce into a convoluted mess. Luckily for me, MIS 220 and 330 are two sides of the same coin: technologically different, ideologically similar.

At their core, MIS 220 and 330 are all about utilizing information technology to accurately model the physical world. In MIS 220, this concept manifests itself in the introduction of object-oriented programming. Transitioning from last semester’s obstinate C++ programming language to its more lenient, forgiving offspring C#, students are taught to engineer software that resembles the real world through the deliberate creation of classes and objects as opposed to the bloated “main functions” of yesteryear. Similarly, in MIS 330, we have also been concerned with crafting the corporeal from the digital, albeit with a different medium. Whereas in MIS 220 we create classes and objects from commands to a CPU, thus far in MIS 330 we have put pen to paper, sketching ERDs that layout the entities, relationships, and attributes of a given system. Recently, however, we have traded in our drawing supplies for a DBMS, beginning our transition from the logical design of a database to the actual physical implementation.

The MIS 220 and 330 course combination is an exciting time for the prospective University of Alabama MIS major. For maybe the first time in their college career, they are in a pair of classes that build on one another, where the concepts intertwine, the professors harmonize, and the student reaps the benefits. Perhaps the most beautiful thing about the course duality comes when the student makes that connection, like when they realize mid-lecture that the classes and objects are nearly synonymous with, respectively, the entity types and entity instances described in the class before. It is this kind of curricular synergy that makes the University of Alabama MIS Program so effective in producing proficient IT professionals.

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