Blaze Advisor Training Classes in Bellingham, Washington

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With stiff penalties for being caught and the whiff of secretive underground or even nefarious acts, computer hacking can be seen as a somewhat dubious pursuit. Not all hackers operate with the motive of emptying your Paypal account, however; there are many hackers who utilize their skills to aid companies in locating security flaws ("penetration testing") or engage in hacking with the goal of becoming cyber-freedom-fighters that champion simple human freedoms, such as the right to free speech.

Computer hacking is as much an art as it is a skill. At its simplest distillation, hacking is the systematic search for chinks in programming armor. While advanced problem-solving, intuition and sophisticated understanding of programming languages are a distinct advantage, there does exist a number of push-button programs that computing wizards have written allowing those less sophisticated in the art of hacking to break into remote computers in a variety of ways. Because of this new ubiquity, today's hackers no longer need to be a programming Wunderkind; they simply need to know where to download software and be able to turn on a computer. It really is that simple and the implications can be disturbing.

Phishing, Push-Button Programs and Brute Force Tactics

There's no need to crack a company's firewall if you have direct physical access to their computers. One aspect of hacking is the impersonation of an employee or service worker with the goal of gaining access to a company's database, where the hacker can then unleash whatever havoc he or she has planned into the system. Another is to engage in simple phishing techniques, such as impersonating an employee who forgot their password and needs help logging into the system.

Because such impersonations often fail thanks to companies becoming more security-conscious, taking over operations of a computer remotely is often the preferred method of gaining access. Such attempts can be facilitated in a variety of ways. One is the brute-force method, in which a program such as SQLmap, Nmap or Burpsuite is used; running one of these programs is analogous to trying every doorknob in a neighborhood to see which house is unlocked. Using a variety of different parameters, these programs can find access to a vulnerable computer or network in less than a minute.

Hackers can also attempt to gain access with a program like Metasploit. With literally a few clicks of a mouse, access to a remote and vulnerable computer can be achieved by a relative newbie. With a related hacking aid, called Meterpreter, a backdoor is created that allows access into an operating system. It does not install itself onto the remote computer, running instead using the computer's memory; in fact, Meterpreter can hide itself inside the operations of a perfectly valid program, so it cannot be detected even by sophisticated programmers. Once engaged, it allows a remote user carte blanche access to the system in question.

Where to Learn the Art of Hacking

Of course, for those who wish to learn the actual skills rather than download someone else's hack, there are a number of practice sites that pose an increasingly difficult set of challenges intended to train neophytes in the art of hacking. For example, Hack This Site starts beginners with the goal of cracking simple flaws in coding scripts or software such as HTML, Unix, Javascript and Apache. Their structured series of tests increase in complexity, incorporating real-word scenarios and even old-fashioned "phone phreaking" challenges that recall the bygone golden age of hacking skills displayed by Matthew Broderick in "WarGames."

Using just these simple tools and free practice sites, beginners have a powerful array of hacking resources just a simple mouse click away.

In programming, memory leaks are a common issue, and it occurs when a computer uses memory but does not give it back to the operating system. Experienced programmers have the ability to diagnose a leak based on the symptoms. Some believe every undesired increase in memory usage is a memory leak, but this is not an accurate representation of a leak. Certain leaks only run for a short time and are virtually undetectable.

Memory Leak Consequences

Applications that suffer severe memory leaks will eventually exceed the memory resulting in a severe slowdown or a termination of the application.

How to Protect Code from Memory Leaks?

Preventing memory leaks in the first place is more convenient than trying to locate the leak later. To do this, you can use defensive programming techniques such as smart pointers for C++.  A smart pointer is safer than a raw pointer because it provides augmented behavior that raw pointers do not have. This includes garbage collection and checking for nulls.

If you are going to use a raw pointer, avoid operations that are dangerous for specific contexts. This means pointer arithmetic and pointer copying. Smart pointers use a reference count for the object being referred to. Once the reference count reaches zero, the excess goes into garbage collection. The most commonly used smart pointer is shared_ptr from the TR1 extensions of the C++ standard library.

Static Analysis

The second approach to memory leaks is referred to as static analysis and attempts to detect errors in your source-code. CodeSonar is one of the effective tools for detection. It provides checkers for the Power of Ten coding rules, and it is especially competent at procedural analysis. However, some might find it lagging for bigger code bases.

How to Handle a Memory Leak

For some memory leaks, the only solution is to read through the code to find and correct the error. Another one of the common approaches to C++ is to use RAII, which an acronym for Resource Acquisition Is Initialization. This approach means associating scoped objects using the acquired resources, which automatically releases the resources when the objects are no longer within scope. RAII has the advantage of knowing when objects exist and when they do not. This gives it a distinct advantage over garbage collection. Regardless, RAII is not always recommended because some situations require ordinary pointers to manage raw memory and increase performance. Use it with caution.

The Most Serious Leaks

Urgency of a leak depends on the situation, and where the leak has occurred in the operating system. Additionally, it becomes more urgent if the leak occurs where the memory is limited such as in embedded systems and portable devices.

To protect code from memory leaks, people have to stay vigilant and avoid codes that could result in a leak. Memory leaks continue until someone turns the system off, which makes the memory available again, but the slow process of a leak can eventually prejudice a machine that normally runs correctly.

 

Related:

The Five Principles of Performance

In Demand IT Skills

What is computer crime? Computer crime, often called “cyber crime” is any type of illegal activity that takes place on a computer with a network. Oftentimes, when you think of computer crime, you might picture a home user downloading a virus that wipes out his hard drive or spyware that hijacks her system for the purposes of spying. 

Computer crimes can also affect businesses too and they do, sometimes with devastating results. For example, in 2012, the IRS paid a whopping 5.2 billion dollars in tax refunds to identity thieves!

Protect your business and improve your bottom line by staying one step ahead of the cybercriminals.

5 Common Computer Crimes

When it comes to running a start up, leaders need to make sure that their key players are motivated. This has been seen with many companies. Back in the 1970's it was found with the inspiration and diligence of the late Daniel Nigro when he formed Kleer-Fax. More recently it was seen in David Khasidy, the founder and recently retired president of SunRay Power Management, the most dynamic green energy leader in the US today.

The question is, what is it that great leaders like David Khasidy and Daniel Nigro do that make the difference? How do the most vulnerable companies (start ups) break the mold and become a part of our everyday lives?

It starts with their mission and vision.

Create a Strong Mission and Vision

There are many reasons why start ups fail. For one, they usually lack the capital to last through the lean times. Secondly, they often don't have the tolerance for setbacks that occur. Lastly, they do not have a long-term plan, also called a mission.

When a business has a strong mission, the team knows it and their focus toward their work and service to others within and without the company reflects that. To complement that, the shorter term vision of the company needs to be present as well.

This can even be seen in sole proprietorships with no employees, such as when Brian Pascale started his law practice. His vision was to find justice for his clients while his mission was to build upon a career that had already set precedents in the area of tort law.

As his practice has grown, new staff members can sense the vision and mission he exudes.

Encourage Ownership of Projects and Processes

Start ups need to inspire and motivate their employees because they need to know that they are not only a part of something important, but that their contributions mean something.

What won't happen if they are not there? What contribution do they make, and what are the consequences of them not fulfilling their part of the work?

By encouraging ownership in projects, team members can find that the work they are doing is not only important for the organization, but that they are going to be a big part of what makes it happen. The alternative is that they feel replaceable.

Offer Incentives That Keep the Company Competitive

When team members embrace the mission and vision of the company, and then take ownership for the company's success, they are going to need to be justly rewarded.

This could include flexible schedules (for those who don't need a stringent one), use of an account at a nearby takeout place, or even the potential for ownership as a result of a vesting program.

The incentive everyone is looking for more immediately, though, is cash. When the company takes in more revenue as a result of the efforts of those on the team, rewarding them can go a long way not only in making them feel appreciated, but in encouraging them to bring in more business.

Members of a start up team are usually very talented, and commonly underpaid. However, if they believe they are going somewhere, it will make a big difference.

 

Related:

Good non-programmer jobs for people with software developer experience

Tech Life in Washington

Not only is Washington a major player in the manufacturing industries such as aircraft and missiles, shipbuilding, lumber, food processing, metals and metal products, chemicals, and machinery, it?s the home of Microsoft Corporation and Bill Gates, chairman and former CEO of Microsoft. Other Washington state billionaires include Paul Allen (Microsoft), Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Craig McCaw (McCaw Cellular Communications), James Jannard (Oakley), Howard Schultz (Starbucks), and Charles Simonyi (Microsoft).
Inheritance is surely a good answer but who knows the questions? Michel Gauthier
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Software developers near Bellingham 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 Washington that offer opportunities for Blaze Advisor developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Symetra Financial Corporation Bellevue Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Alaska Air Group, Inc. Seattle Travel, Recreation and Leisure Passenger Airlines
Expedia, Inc. Bellevue Travel, Recreation and Leisure Travel Agents & Services
Itron, Inc. Liberty Lake Computers and Electronics Instruments and Controls
PACCAR Inc. Bellevue Manufacturing Automobiles, Boats and Motor Vehicles
Puget Sound Energy Inc Bellevue Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. Seattle Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
Costco Wholesale Corporation Issaquah Retail Grocery and Specialty Food Stores
Starbucks Corporation Seattle Retail Restaurants and Bars
Nordstrom, Inc. Seattle Retail Department Stores
Weyerhaeuser Company Federal Way Manufacturing Paper and Paper Products
Microsoft Corporation Redmond Software and Internet Software
Amazon.com, Inc. Seattle Retail Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book, and Music Stores

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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 Washington 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 Blaze Advisor programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Blaze Advisor experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Blaze Advisor 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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