XML Training Classes in Montgomery, Alabama

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What are the three most important things non-programmers should know about programming?
 
Written by Brian Knapp, credit and reprint CodeCareerGenius
 
 
Since you asked for the three most important things that non-programmers should know about, and I’ve spent most of my career working with more non-programmers than programmers, I have a few interesting things that would help.
 
Number One - It Is Impossible To Accurately Estimate Software Projects
 
No matter what is tried. No matter what tool, agile approach, or magic fairy dust people try to apply to creating software… accurately predicting software project timelines is basically impossible.
 
There are many good reasons for this. Usually, requirements and feature ideas change on a daily/weekly basis. Often it is impossible to know what needs to be done without actually digging into the code itself. Debugging and QA can take an extraordinary amount of time.
 
And worst of all…
 
Project Managers are always pushing for shorter timelines. They largely have no respect for reality. So, at some point they are given estimates just to make them feel better about planning.
 
No matter how much planning and estimation you do, it will be wrong. At best it will be directionally correct +/- 300% of what you estimated. So, a one year project could actually take anywhere between 0 and 5 years, maybe even 10 years.
 
If you think I’m joking, look at how many major ERP projects that go over time and over budget by many years and many hundreds of millions of dollars. Look at the F-35 fighter jet software issues.
 
Or in the small, you can find many cases where a “simple bug fix” can take days when you thought it was hours.
 
All estimates are lies made up to make everyone feel better. I’ve never met a developer or manager who could accurately estimate software projects even as well as the local weatherman(or woman) predicts the weather.
 
Number Two - Productivity Is Unevenly Distributed
 
What if I told you that in the average eight hour work day the majority of the work will get done in a 30 minute timeframe? Sound crazy?
 
Well, for most programmers there is a 30–90 minute window where you are extraordinarily productive. We call this the flow state.
 
Being in the flow state is wonderful and amazing. It often is where the “magic” of building software happens.
 
Getting into flow can be difficult. It’s akin to meditation in that you have to have a period of uninterrupted focus of say 30 minutes to “get in” the flow, but a tiny interruption can pull you right out.
 
Now consider the modern workplace environment. Programmers work in open office environments where they are invited to distract each other constantly.
 
Most people need a 1–2 hour uninterrupted block to get 30–90 minutes of flow.
 
Take the 8 hour day and break it in half with a lunch break, and then pile in a few meetings and all of a sudden you are lucky to get one decent flow state session in place.
 
That is why I say that most of the work that gets done happens in a 30 minute timeframe. The other 7–8 hours are spent being distracted, answering email, going to meetings, hanging around the water cooler, going to the bathroom, and trying to remember what you were working on before all these distractions.
 
Ironically, writers, musicians, and other creative professionals have their own version of this problem and largely work alone and away from other people when they are creating new things.
 
Someday the programming world might catch on, but I doubt it.
 
Even if this became obvious, it doesn’t sit well with most companies to think that programmers would be paid for an 8 hour day and only be cranking out code for a few hours on a good day. Some corporate middle manager would probably get the bright idea to have mandatory flow state training where a guru came in and then there would be a corporate policy from a pointy haired boss mandating that programmers are now required to spend 8 hours a day in flow state and they must fill out forms to track their time and notify their superiors of their flow state activities, otherwise there would be more meetings about the current flow state reports not being filed correctly and that programmers were spending too much time “zoning out” instead of being in flow.
 
Thus, programmers would spent 7–8 hours a day pretending to be in flow state, reporting on their progress, and getting all their work done in 30 minutes of accidental flow state somewhere in the middle of all that flow state reporting.
 
If you think I’m joking about this, I’m not. I promise you this is what would happen to any company of more than 2 employees. (Even the ones run by programmers.)
 
Number Three - It Will Cost 10x What You Think
 
Being a programmer, I get a lot of non-programmers telling me about their brilliant app ideas. Usually they want me to build something for free and are so generous as to pay me up to 5% of the profits for doing 100% of the work.
 
Their ideas are just that good.
 
Now, I gently tell them that I’m not interested in building anything for free.
 
At that point they get angry, but a few ask how much it will cost. I give them a reasonable (and very incorrect) estimate of what it would cost to create the incredibly simple version of their app idea.
 
Let’s say it’s some number like $25,000.
 
They look at me like I’m a lunatic, and so I explain how much it costs to hire a contract programmer and how long it will actually take. For example’s sake let’s say it is $100/hr for 250 hours.
 
To be clear, these are made up numbers and bad estimates (See Number One for details…)
 
In actuality, to build the actual thing they want might cost $250,000, or even $2,500,000 when it’s all said and done.
 
Building software can be incredibly complex and expensive. What most people can’t wrap their head around is the fact that a company like Google, Apple, or Microsoft has spent BILLIONS of dollars to create something that looks so simple to the end user.
 
Somehow, the assumption is that something that looks simple is cheap and fast to build.
 
Building something simple and easy for the end user is time consuming and expensive. Most people just can’t do it.
 
So, the average person with a brilliant app idea thinks it will cost a few hundred or maybe a few thousand dollars to make and it will be done in a weekend is so off the mark it’s not worth considering their ideas.
 
And programmers are too eager to play along with these bad ideas (by making bad estimates and under charging for their time) that this notion is perpetuated to the average non-programmer.
 
So, a good rule of thumb is that software will cost 10 times as much as you think and take 10 times as long to finish.
 
And that leads to a bonus point…
 
BONUS - Software Is Never Done
 
Programmers never complete a software project, they only stop working on it. Software is never done.
 
I’ve worked at many software companies and I’ve never seen a software project “completed”.
 
Sure, software gets released and used. But, it is always changing, being updated, bugs get fixed, and there are always new customer requests for features.
 
Look at your favorite software and you’ll quickly realize how true this is. Facebook, Instagram, Google Search, Google Maps, GMail, iOS, Android, Windows, and now even most video games are never done.
 
There are small armies of developers just trying to keep all the software you use every day stable and bug free. Add on the fact that there are always feature requests, small changes, and new platforms to deal with, it’s a treadmill.
 
So, the only way out of the game is to stop working on software. At that point, the software begins to decay until it is no longer secure or supported.
 
Think about old Windows 3.1 software or maybe old Nintendo Cartridge video games. The current computers and video game consoles don’t even attempt to run that software anymore.
 
You can’t put an old video game in your new Nintendo Switch and have it “just work”. That is what happens when you think software is done.
 
When programmers stop working on software the software starts to die. The code itself is probably fine, but all the other software keeps moving forward until your software is no longer compatible with the current technology.
 
So, those are the four most important things that non-programmers should know about programming. I know you asked for only three, so I hope the bonus was valuable to you as well.

When you think about the black market, I’m sure the majority of you will think of prohibition days.  When alcohol was made illegal, it did two things: It made the bad guys more money, and it put the average joe in a dangerous position while trying to acquire it.  Bring in the 21stcentury. Sure, there still is a black market… but come on, who is afraid of mobsters anymore? Today, we have a gaming black market. It has been around for years, but will it survive? With more and more games moving towards auction houses, could game companies “tame” the gaming black market?

In the old days of gaming on the internet, we spent most of our online time playing hearts, spades… whatever we could do while connected to the internet. As the years went by, better and better games came about. Then, suddenly, interactive multiplayer games came into the picture. These interactive games, mainly MMORPGS, allowed for characters to pick up and keep randomly generated objects known as “loot”. This evolution of gaming created the black market.

In the eyes of the software companies, the game is only being leased/rented by the end user. You don’t actually have any rights to the game. This is where the market becomes black.  The software companies don’t want you making money of “virtual” goods that are housed on the software or servers of the game you are playing on.  The software companies, at this point, started to get smarter.

Where there is a demand…

The interpreted programming language Python has surged in popularity in recent years. Long beloved by system administrators and others who had good use for the way it made routine tasks easy to automate, it has gained traction in other sectors as well. In particular, it has become one of the most-used tools in the discipline of numerical computing and analysis. Being put to use for such heavy lifting has endowed the language with a great selection of powerful libraries and other tools that make it even more flexible. One upshot of this development has been that sophisticated business analysts have also come to see the language as a valuable tool for those own data analysis needs.

Greatly appreciated for its simplicity and elegance of syntax, Python makes an excellent first programming language for previously non-technical people. Many business analysts, in fact, have had success growing their skill sets in this way thanks to the language's tractability. Long beloved by specialized data scientists, the iPython interactive computing environment has also attracted great attention within the business analyst’s community. Its instant feedback and visualization options have made it easy for many analysts to become skilled Python programmers while doing valuable work along the way.

Using iPython and appropriate notebooks for it, for example, business analysts can easily make interactive use of such tools as cohort analysis and pivot tables. iPython makes it easy to benefit from real-time, interactive researches which produce immediately visible results, including charts and graphs suitable for use in other contexts. Through becoming familiar with this powerful interactive application, business analysts are also exposing themselves in a natural and productive way to the Python programming language itself.

Gaining proficiency with this language opens up further possibilities. While interactive analytic techniques are of great use to many business analysts, being able to create fully functioning, independent programs is of similar value. Becoming comfortable with Python allows analysts to tackle and plumb even larger data sets than would be possible through an interactive approach, as results can be allowed to accumulate over hours and days of processing time.

This ability can sometime allow business analysts to address the so-called "Big Data" questions that can otherwise seem the sole province of specialized data scientists. More important than this higher level of independence, perhaps, is the fact that this increased facility with data analysis and handling allows analysts to communicate more effectively with such stakeholders. Through learning a programming language which allows them to begin making independent inroads into such areas, business analysts gain a better perspective on these specialized domains, and this allows them to function as even more effective intermediaries.

 

Related:

Who Are the Main Players in Big Data?

In Python, the following list is considered False:

 

False, None, 0, 0.0, "",'',(),{},[]

 

Tech Life in Alabama

Software developers throughout Alabama, particularly in Birmingham have connections to Fortune 1000 companies in their backyard. Protective Life Corp., Health South Corp., are just a couple of the big players in town. Alabama also sports several Air Force Bases such as Maxwell, Abston Air National Guard Station in Montgomery, and Birmingham Air National Guard Base.
If you lie to the computer, it will get you. Peter Farrar
other Learning Options
Software developers near Montgomery have ample opportunities to meet like minded techie individuals, collaborate and expend their career choices by participating in Meet-Up Groups. The following is a list of Technology Groups in the area.
Fortune 500 and 1000 companies in Alabama that offer opportunities for XML developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Protective Life Corporation Birmingham Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
HealthSouth Corporation Birmingham Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
Vulcan Materials Company Birmingham Agriculture and Mining Mining and Quarrying
Regions Financial Corporation Birmingham Financial Services Banks

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the hartmann software group advantage
A successful career as a software developer or other IT professional requires a solid understanding of software development processes, design patterns, enterprise application architectures, web services, security, networking and much more. The progression from novice to expert can be a daunting endeavor; this is especially true when traversing the learning curve without expert guidance. A common experience is that too much time and money is wasted on a career plan or application due to misinformation.

The Hartmann Software Group understands these issues and addresses them and others during any training engagement. Although no IT educational institution can guarantee career or application development success, HSG can get you closer to your goals at a far faster rate than self paced learning and, arguably, than the competition. Here are the reasons why we are so successful at teaching:

  • Learn from the experts.
    1. We have provided software development and other IT related training to many major corporations in Alabama since 2002.
    2. Our educators have years of consulting and training experience; moreover, we require each trainer to have cross-discipline expertise i.e. be Java and .NET experts so that you get a broad understanding of how industry wide experts work and think.
  • Discover tips and tricks about XML programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized XML experts
  • Get up to speed with vital XML programming tools
  • Save on travel expenses by learning right from your desk or home office. Enroll in an online instructor led class. Nearly all of our classes are offered in this way.
  • Prepare to hit the ground running for a new job or a new position
  • See the big picture and have the instructor fill in the gaps
  • We teach with sophisticated learning tools and provide excellent supporting course material
  • Books and course material are provided in advance
  • Get a book of your choice from the HSG Store as a gift from us when you register for a class
  • Gain a lot of practical skills in a short amount of time
  • We teach what we know…software
  • We care…
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