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At first, I thought I couldn’t make it, considering the tasks of switching from Windows Development platform using Visual Foxpro to Web Development platform using C# (C Sharp) which was relatively new to me...

Akilu Yakubu Umar (Nigeria), MCPD: Web Developer 30 May to 22 Jun 2008

At first, I thought I couldn’t make it, considering the tasks of switching from Windows Development platform using Visual Foxpro to Web Development platform using C# (C Sharp) which was relatively new to me. All these are to be accomplished within a period of 25 days, after which I was expected to prepare and write the Microsoft Certification Exams at intervals. Before leaving Nigeria, I sought the advice of the school on the choice of the language (i.e. either VB.NET, because I am a bit familiar with Visual Basic, or C#). The school advised and encouraged me to take C#. They, however, warned that I MUST WORK EXTRA HARD! They also added that I should decide which of the languages to go for and MUST communicate my choice to them early enough so that they can plan and make adequate arrangement for me, otherwise any attempt to switch language thereafter will attract a fine. I couldn’t communicate my choice to them due to the dilemma. I would have gone for VB.NET but, for their advice, I had to give it a second thought.

On arrival at Koenig-Solutions, my Instructor knew my deficiencies in the language (C#). So the she gave me some materials to go through. With strong determination and desire to succeed, I 'burnt candles' in my hotel room and, within the first week, I was able to conquer the basics of C# language. Gradually, I became more at home with the language. In fact, I found C# to be friendlier than the VB.NET.

The Course, MCDP:Web Developer, was really fun and exciting. My Instructor, actually exhibited strong technical capabilities and skills. She was also highly friendly. She took my problems personal. For instance, she constantly reminded me to place my lunch orders and sometimes she even joined me in selecting the food options. I couldn't resist confessing to her that she is wonderful. Within few weeks we established a solid trainer-trainee relationship as if we've been together for years. She was always available and willing to address my problems. With that excellent support from her, I didn't have any problem with the course.

The few problems I encountered are:

  1. The choice of food. I simply couldn’t adapt to Indian dishes. Everything I saw around me is mere junk. The only options I found that are close to my African Dishes are Potatoes and Rice – but these, in most cases are contaminated with other unfriendly sausages and renamed as Aloo Palak, Aloo Gobhi, Aloo Mutter, Alooooooooooos….. or Mutter Pulao, Veg Pulao, Khicadi Dahi, etc. For incoming students, if you are from Africa and from a normal setup as I am, then be prepared for a weight lose as you would definitely miss the likes of Pounded Yam and Egusi Soup, Yam Portage, Amala, Eba, Fufu, White Soup, Okro Soup, etc. I overheard a student from USA said he has lost more than 15kg within two months of his stay in Delhi! Before the end of the Course, one Dr. Renuka Chhabra had to place me on ORT (Oral Rehydration Theraphy).

  2. The Unforeseen. To be precise, for more than a week of my stay in Delhi, I had ill-health as a result of an infection from a haircut in a Barbing Saloon at the basement of my Hotel. I almost lost concentration as a result. Unfortunately, no one was available to assist me, not even the School. I am sure the best the school could have done would be to arrange for the treatment, but at my expense. I spent close to Rs3000 on treatment which I never envisaged. Incoming students should take note of unforeseen circumstances like that.

    I suggest that Koenig should include at least $200 on the Course Fee (which is optional and refundable) for the unforeseen. If they can build cost of transportation, meal and accommodation to the fee, I see no reason why they should not include medicals and miscellaneous!
Above all, the Course has been successful. I thank God for making it possible. I thank the entire staff of Koenig for their supports and their efforts at ensuring that I become Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD).

Thank you.