From self-taught to self-confident through SAITMicro programming

Cory Bicknell

Short, skill-focused and stackable — SAIT’s latest offering through the Centre for Continuing Education and Professional Studies is micro-credentials.

Cory Bicknell (AST '14) says studying at SAIT changed his life the first time. A graduate of the Automotive Service Technology program, and currently working in the heavy equipment repair sector, he recently returned to SAIT to explore the possibility of another change. Enroling initially in the SAITMicro Introduction to Python Programming course, he just completed the second course, Programming with Python, to earn his Python Programming Certificate of Completion.

Why SAITMicro? Why now? ⌨️

If you look around at the world right now, everything is leaning toward automation — and you need to know a programming language to get into that. Since a lot of automation involves machines, and I work on machines and also like computers, programming is the route I’m looking at.

What skills were you hoping to build? ⌨️

What I was mainly looking for was self-development. Taking courses shows you have determination and drive, and that you can learn something new.

When I enrolled in Introduction to Python Programming, I was already somewhat self-taught. But I wanted to know if I’m just a backyard programmer or if I have the ability to really do this. That’s one of the good things about these micro courses — you can dip your toe in and see what’s up.

What was the best thing about your SAITMicro course? ⌨️

The best thing about SAIT is the instructors and the experience. My instructors share knowledge, but I also look up to them. I wasn’t a good student in high school. A good instructor changes the experience. When instructors get the class engaged, that’s when you learn the most.

What’s one thing you learned? ⌨️

I learned a lot of bad practices teaching myself and I didn’t have a lot of confidence. At SAIT, I wasn’t intimidated by learning a better way. I definitely gained more confidence in programming through the courses.

I also like learning a new skill. A lot of what you learn is transferable — same skillset, just applied differently.

In 10 words or less, why take a SAITMicro course? ⌨️

Self-development and the experience.

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