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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.

The name placard in your cube might not say anything about sales, but the truth is that everyone, employed as such or not, is a salesperson at some point every single day. In the traditional sense, this could mean something like pitching your company’s solutions to a client. In the less-traditional sense, it could mean convincing your child to eat their vegetables. Yet for those two drastically different examples and everything in between, there is a constant for successful sellers: unveiling the “Why.”

Spending time and energy making prospects understand why you do what you do instead of exactly what it is you do or how you do it is not a new concept. But I’m a firm believer that proven concepts, no matter how old and frequently referenced they are, can’t be repeated enough. This idea has recently and fervently been popularized by marketer, author, and thinker extraordinaire Simon Sinek via his 2009 book, Start With Why. You can learn about him here on Wikipedia or here on his site. To begin, let me suggest that you watch Sinek’s TED talk on Starting With Why here on YouTube before reading any further. I’ll let him take care of the bulk of explaining the basics, and then will offer some ideas of my own to back this up in the real world and explore the best ways to start thinking this way and apply it to your business.

First, a little on me. After all, if I were to practice what Sinek preaches, it would follow that I explain why it is I’m writing this piece so that you, the reader, not only have a good reason to pay attention but also understand what drives me on a deeper level. So, who am I? I’m an entrepreneur in the music space. I do freelance work in the realms of copywriting, business development, and marketing for artists and industry / music-tech folks, but my main project is doing all of the above for a project I’ve been on the team for since day one called Presskit.to. In short, Presskit.to builds digital portfolios that artists of all kinds can use to represent themselves professionally when pitching their projects to gatekeepers like label reps, casting directors, managers, the press, etc. This core technology is also applicable to larger entertainment industry businesses and fine arts education institutions in enterprise formats, and solves a variety of the problems they’re facing.

Not interesting? I don’t blame you for thinking so, if you did. That’s because I just gave you a bland overview of what we do, instead of why we do it. What if, instead, I told you that myself and everyone I work with is an artist of some sort and believes that the most important thing you can do in life is create; that our technology exists to make creators’ careers more easily sustainable. Or, another approach, that we think the world is a better place when artists can make more art, and that because our technology was built to help artists win more business, we’re trying our best to do our part. Only you can be the judge, but I think that sort of pitch is more compelling. It touches on the emotions responsible for decision making that Sinek outlines in his Ted Talk, rather than the practical language-based reasons like pricing, technicalities, how everything works to accomplish given goals, etc. These things are on the outside of the golden circle Sinek shows us for a reason – they only really matter if you’ve aligned your beliefs with a client’s first. Otherwise these kind of tidbits are gobbledygook, and mind-numbingly boring gobbledygook at that.

Unless you have a great product, service or idea for which people are willing to wait, chances are highly likely that these potential clients will leave your website should your response time take too long to their incoming requests.  Ignore your application’s performance and you are more likely to be dumped by your users sooner than expected.

To improve the performance of an ASP.Net application you need to optimize your front-end UI (user interface) code as well as the back-end database. You can also think of the following tips as a brief best practices guide for the ASP.net performance optimization. So, whether you are a developer, UI designer or member of the deployment team, the following tips may help you. No matter what’s your role in the project or what you do to boost performance of your application, always remember that your goal should be to:

·          Minimize the amount of data you sent across the network.

·          Reduce the number of server requests.

Here you go (in no particular order)

At Database level

The innovators in technology have long paved the way for greater social advancement. No one can dispute the fact that the impact of Bill Gates and Microsoft will be far reaching for many years to come. The question is whether or not Microsoft will be able to adapt and thrive in emerging markets. The fact that Microsoft enjoys four decades of establishment also makes it difficult to make major changes without alienating the 1.5 billion Windows users.

This was apparent with the release of Windows 8. Windows users had come to expect a certain amount of consistency from their applications. The Metro tile, touch screen interface left a lot to be desired for enough people that Microsoft eventually more thoroughly implemented an older desktop view minus a traditional Start menu.

The app focused Windows 8 was supposed to be a step towards a greater integration of Cloud technology. In recent years, Microsoft lagged behind its competitors in getting established in new technologies. That includes the billions of dollars the emerging mobile market offered and Cloud computing.

Amazon was the first powerhouse to really establish themselves in the Cloud technology market. Google, Microsoft, and smaller parties are all playing catch up to take a piece of the Cloud pie. More and more businesses are embracing Cloud technology as a way to minimize their equipment and software expenses. While it does take a bit for older businesses to get onboard with such a change, start ups are looking at Cloud computing as an essential part of their business.

But what does that mean for Microsoft? Decisions were made to help update the four decade old Microsoft to the "always on" world we currently live in. Instead of operating in project "silos", different departments were brought together under more generalized headings where they could work closer with one another. Electronic delivery of software, including through Cloud tech, puts Microsoft in the position of needing to meet a pace that is very different from Gates’ early days.

The seriousness of their desire to compete with the likes of Amazon is their pricing matching on Cloud infrastructure services. Microsoft is not a company that has traditionally offered price cuts to compete with others. The fact that they have greatly reduced rates on getting infrastructure set up paves the way for more business users of their Cloud-based apps like Microsoft Office. Inexpensive solutions and free applications open the doors for Microsoft to initiate more sales of other products to their clients.

Former CEO Steve Ballmer recognized there was a need for Microsoft to change directions to remain competitive. In February 2014, he stepped down as CEO stating that the CEO needed to be there through all stages of Microsoft's transition in these more competitive markets. And the former role of his chosen successor, Mr. Satya Nadella? Head of Microsoft's Cloud services division.

Microsoft may not always catch the initial burst of a new development in their space; but they regularly adapt and drive forward. The leadership of Microsoft is clearly thinking forward in what they want to accomplish as sales of PCs have stayed on a continuous decline. It should come as no surprise that Microsoft will embrace this new direction and push towards a greater market share against the likes of Amazon and Google.

 

Related:

Who Are the Main Players in Big Data?

Is Cloud Computing Safe for Your Business?

Is The Grass Greener in Mobile App Development?

Tech Life in Colorado

CNBC's list of "Top States for Business for 2010" has recognized Colorado as the third best state in the nation for business. Colorado is also the home to a bunch of federal facilities such as NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command, United States Air Force Academy, Schriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, and Fort Carson. On top of the beautiful mountainous scenery and sunny weather, tech life has been brewing steadily in the last decade in Denver and Boulder.
Where is the information? Where is the data? Lost in the #@%!&database! Joe Celko
other Learning Options
Software developers near Broomfield 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 Colorado that offer opportunities for Crystal Reports developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Level 3 Communications, Inc Broomfield Telecommunications Telecommunications Other
Liberty Global, Inc. Englewood Telecommunications Video and Teleconferencing
Liberty Media Corporation Englewood Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
Western Union Company Englewood Financial Services Financial Services Other
Ball Corporation Broomfield Manufacturing Metals Manufacturing
Pilgrim's Pride Corporation Greeley Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
Molson Coors Brewing Company Denver Manufacturing Alcoholic Beverages
DISH Network Corporation Englewood Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
Arrow Electronics, Inc. Englewood Computers and Electronics Networking Equipment and Systems
DaVita, Inc. Denver Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Outpatient Care Centers
Blockbuster LLC Englewood Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
CH2M HILL Englewood Energy and Utilities Alternative Energy Sources
Newmont Mining Corporation Greenwood Vlg Agriculture and Mining Mining and Quarrying

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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 Colorado 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 Crystal Reports programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Crystal Reports experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Crystal Reports 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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