This course has taken me from the very basic concepts of computer systems and design, up through the different types of operating systems, system application software, types of networks their parts, and their basic configuration. It has explained how the internet, intranets, extra-nets, VPNs, and the World Wide Web all relate to each other and how they each have their specific functions in the transfer and security of information.
This course has given me an introductory understanding of information technology and how information and technology are changing the way business is conducted and the world interacts with each other. The course has taken me through the workings of the World Wide Web, communications, cyberspace, the function of networks, and how they are put together. The safeguards and security risks that are ever present due to all sorts of criminal activity focused on exploitation of information for financial gain. I have learned about databases and the challenges of the digital age and how your personal life isn’t so personal once it is linked to the world. I have learned about Artificial Intelligence and the very fascinating advances that are taking place in this field of computers and programming. I have learned about the steps to building systems and applications and the different steps to software development and the programming languages used to create these programs. It has been a very enlightening overview of a complex and interesting subject.
I have learned many things about computers, networks, and communication. When I first started this course I had a very basic understanding of how computers and programs worked, but now I have a much better understanding of how computers are put together, how they communicate with each other and the many advances in technology that have brought us to where we are in information technology and communication.
I have learned about social networking and the many pros and cons of sharing information on social networking sites. Once you share information it is available to anyone, even if you think it is only for private viewing. Only display stuff you don’t mind the rest of the world knowing about. There are many services and programs that are designed to data mine information from the web, and social networking sites, about people for retail or business use, military and national security use, and for criminal use. I have learned about data mining and warehousing and how these tools are being used in business to discover everything from people’s personal habits for increasing company profits, to possible criminal activity. I have learned that there are many threats to personal, public, and financial information. As long as there is information that can be exploited for financial gain there will always be people willing to try to get at that information to steal it, exploit it, or damage it for such gain. Data and system security is a very real problem and it costs the public, institutions, and government, billions of dollars annually to protect systems and make information safe from attack.
One of the coolest things I have learned about is how progress is being made in AI and the different fields of focus that make up AI. The progress and development of systems that are getting smarter, more complex, and able to function closer and closer to human abilities is amazing to me. This area concerns the focus of expert systems, natural language processing, intelligent agents, pattern recognition, fuzzy logic, virtual reality, robotics and artificial life. There is so much in each one of these areas that fascinates me, and I see all of them coming together to create something amazing in the future. The six phases of the process of the life cycle of software development is interesting to me and it makes so much logical sense. Programming and its steps along with the different types of computer languages are fascinating. It is amazing that through programming language an idea can become a reality and a functioning system or program that benefits many.