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Wondering why Cisco is teaching network engineers Python in addition to their core expertise?
 
Yes, arguably there are many other tools available to use to automate the network without writing any code. It is also true that when code is absolutely necessary, in most companies software developers will write the code for the network engineers. However, networks are getting progressively more sophisticated and the ability for network engineers to keep up with the rate of change, scale of networks, and processing of requirements is becoming more of a challenge with traditional methodologies. 
 
Does that mean that all network engineers have to become programmers in the future? Not completely, but having certain tools in your tool belt may be the deciding factor in new or greater career opportunities. The fact is that current changes in the industry will require Cisco engineers to become proficient in programming, and the most common programming language for this new environment is the Python programming language. Already there are more opportunities for those who can understand programming and can also apply it to traditional networking practices. 
 
Cisco’s current job boards include a search for a Sr. Network Test Engineer and for several Network Consulting Engineers, each with  "competitive knowledge" desired Python and Perl skills. Without a doubt, the most efficient network engineers in the future will be the ones who will be able to script their automated network-related tasks, create their own services directly in the network, and continuously modify their scripts. 
 
Whether you are forced to attend or are genuinely interested in workshops or courses that cover the importance of learning topics related to programmable networks such as Python, the learning curve at the very least will provide you with an understanding of Python scripts and the ability to be able to use them instead of the CLI commands and the copy and paste options commonly used.  Those that plan to cling to their CLI will soon find themselves obsolete.
 
As with anything new, learning a programming language and using new APIs for automation will require engineers to learn and master the skills before deploying widely across their network. The burning question is where to start and which steps to take next? 
 
In How Do I Get Started Learning Network Programmability?  Hank Preston – on the Cisco blog page suggest a three phase approach to diving into network programmability.
 
“Phase 1: Programming Basics
In this first phase you need to build a basic foundation in the programmability skills, topics, and technologies that will be instrumental in being successful in this journey.  This includes learning basic programming skills like variables, operations, conditionals, loops, etc.  And there really is no better language for network engineers to leverage today than Python.  Along with Python, you should explore APIs (particularly REST APIs), data formats like JSON, XML, and YAML. And if you don’t have one already, sign up for a GitHub account and learn how to clone, pull, and push to repos.
 
Phase 2: Platform Topics
Once you have the programming fundamentals squared away (or at least working on squaring them away) the time comes to explore the new platforms of Linux, Docker, and “the Cloud.”  As applications are moving from x86 virtualization to micro services, and now serverless, the networks you build will be extending into these new areas and outside of traditional physical network boxes.  And before you can intelligently design or engineer the networks for those environments, you need to understand how they basically work.  The goal isn’t to become a big bushy beard wearing Unix admin, but rather to become comfortable working in these areas.
 
Phase 3: Networking for Today and Tomorrow
Now you are ready to explore the details of networking in these new environments.  In phase three you will dive deep into Linux, container/Docker, cloud, and micro service networking.  You have built the foundation of knowledge needed to take a hard look at how networking works inside these new environments.  Explore all the new technologies, software, and strategies for implementing and segmenting critical applications in the “cloud native” age and add value to the application projects.”
 
Community resources: 
GitHub’s, PYPL Popularity of Programming Language lists Python as having grown 13.2% in demand in the last 5 years. 
Python in the  June 2018 TIOBE Index ranks as the fourth most popular language behind Java, C and C++. 
 
Despite the learning curve, having Python in your tool belt is without a question a must have tool.

Programmers often tend to be sedentary people. Sitting in a chair and pressing keys, testing code, and planning out one logical step-wise strategy after another to get the computer to process data the way you want it to is just what life as a programmer is all about. But, is being too sedentary hindering a programmers max potential? In other words, will getting up, moving around, and getting the blood pumping make us better programmers? To answer this question more efficiently, we will need to consider the impact of exercise on various aspects of programming.

Alertness And Focus

It is no surprise that working up a sweat makes the mind wake up and become more alert. As the blood starts pumping, the body physically reacts in ways that helps the mind to better focus. And improving our focus might make us better programmers in the sense that we are more able to wrap our mind around a problem and deal with it more efficiently than if we feel sluggish and not so alert. However, improving one's focus with exercise can be augmented by taking such vitamins as B6, Coleen, and eating more saturated fats rather than so many sugars. Exercise alone may be a good start, but it is important to realize that the impact of exercise on overall focus can be enhanced when combined with other dietary practices. However, it never hurts to begin a day of programming with fifteen minutes of rigorous workout to give the mind a little extra push.

Increase In Intellect

Does exercise cause a programmer to become a smarter programmer? This is perhaps a trickier question. In some sense, it might seem as if exercise makes us more intelligent. But, this may be more because our focus is sharper than because of any increase in actual knowledge. For example, if you don't know how to program in Python, it is highly doubtful that exercising harder will all of a sudden transfer such insights directly to your brain. However, exercise might have another indirect impact on a programmer’s intellect that will help them to become a better programmer. The more a person exercises, the more stamina and energy they will tend to have, as compared to programmers who never exercise all that much. That additional energy and stamina might help a programmer to be able to push themselves to learn things more efficiently, simply because they aren't getting tired as much as they study new languages or coding techniques. If you have more energy and stamina throughout the day, you will likely be more productive as a programmer as well. Greater productivity can often make one program better simply because they actually push themselves to finish projects. Other programmers who do not exercise on a regular basis may simply lack the energy, stamina, and motivation to follow through and bring their programming projects to completion.

Memory

The ability to remember things and recall them quickly is key to being an efficient programmer. Getting up and getting real exercise may be central to making sure that one does not lose control of these cognitive abilities. According to the New York Times, article, Getting a Brain Boost Through Exercise, recent research studies on mice and humans have shown that, in both cases, exercise does in fact appear to promote better memory function as well as other cognitive factors like spacial sense. (1) Consequently, if a person intends to be a programmer for a long time and wants their mind to be able to remember things and recall them more easily, then exercise may need to become an essential part of such a programmer's daily routine.

As much as one might want to resist the need for exercise and be sedentary programmers, the simple fact is that exercise very well could improve our ability to program in numerous ways. More importantly, exercise is critical to improving and maintaining good health overall. Even if a person does not have much time to get up and move around during the day, there are exercises that one can do while sitting, which would be better to do than no exercise at all.

 

What are a few unique pieces of career advice that nobody ever mentions?

What Options do Freelance Consultants Have with Large Corporations

Anonymous reprint from Quora (career advice)

Occasionally we come across a unique profound perspective that makes one stop and really listen. The following advice is one such as this.

  1. Small actions compound: Reputation, career trajectory, and how others perceive you in the workplace can come down to a handful of things/moments that seem inconsequential/small at the time but compound. Random Thought: Redwood trees come from small seeds and time. With every action you're planting small seeds and these seeds can grow into something bigger (sometimes unimaginably bigger) over time. Don't let small basic mistakes sabotage your reputation because it only takes a few small snafus for people to lose confidence/trust in your ability to do more important tasks. Trust is a fragile thing and the sooner people can trust you the faster they'll give you more responsibility. Some Examples: Being on time (always) or early (better); spending an extra 10-15 minutes reviewing your work and catching basic mistakes before your boss does; structuring your work so it's easy for others to understand and leverage (good structure/footnotes/formatting); taking on unpleasant schleps/tasks (volunteer for them; don't complain; do it even when there's no apparent benefit to you)  

  2. Rising tide lifts all boats: Fact: You don't become CEO of a multi-billion dollar public company in your 30s based purely on ability/talent. Your career is a boat and it is at the mercy of tides. No matter how talented you are it's a lot harder to break out in a sluggish situation/hierarchy/economy than a go-go environment. Even if you're a superstar at Sluggish Co., your upside trajectory (more often than not) is fractional to what an average/below average employee achieves at Rocket Ship Co. There's a reason Eric Schmidt told Sheryl Sandberg to "Get on a Rocket Ship". I had colleagues accelerate their careers/income/title/responsibility simply because business demand was nose bleed high (go go economy) and they were at the right place at the right time to ride the wave. Contrast that to the 2008 bust where earnings/promotions/careers have been clamped down and people are thankful for having jobs let alone moving up. Yes talent still matters but I think people generally overweight individual talent and underweight economics when evaluating/explaining their career successes. Sheryl Sandberg Quote: When companies are growing quickly and they are having a lot of impact, careers take care of themselves. And when companies aren’t growing quickly or their missions don’t matter as much, that’s when stagnation and politics come in. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.

  3. Seek opportunities where the outcome is success or failure. Nothing in between! You don't become a star doing your job. You become a star making things happen. I was once told early in my career that you learn the most in 1) rapidly growing organizations or 2) failing organizations.  I've been in both kinds of situations and wholeheartedly agree. Repeat. Get on a rocket ship. It'll either blow up or put you in orbit. Either way you'll learn a ton in a short amount of time. Put another way; seek jobs where you can get 5-10 years of work experience in 1-2 years.

  4. Career Tracks & Meritocracies don't exist: Your career is not a linear, clearly defined trajectory.  It will be messy and will move more like a step function.

  5. You will probably have champions and detractors on day 1: One interesting byproduct of the recruiting & hiring process of most organizations is it can create champions & detractors before you even start the job. Some folks might not like how you were brought into the organization (they might have even protested your hiring) and gun for you at every turn while others will give you the benefit of the doubt (even when you don't deserve one) because they stuck their neck out to hire you. We're all susceptible to these biases and few people truly evaluate/treat folks on a blank slate.

  6. You'll only be known for a few things. Make those labels count: People rely on labels as quick filters. Keep this in mind when you pick an industry/company/job role/school because it can serve as an anchor or elevator in the future. It's unfortunate but that's the way it is. You should always be aware of what your "labels" are.

  7. Nurture & protect your network and your network will nurture & protect you: Pay it forward and help people. Your network will be one of the biggest drivers of your success.

Java still has its place in the world of software development, but is it quickly becoming obsolete by the more dynamically enabled Python programming language? The issue is hotly contested by both sides of the debate. Java experts point out that Java is still being developed with more programmer friendly updates. Python users swear that Java can take up to ten times longer to develop. Managers that need to make the best decision for a company need concrete information so that an informed and rational decision can be made.

First, Java is a static typed language while Python is dynamically typed. Static typed languages require that each variable name must be tied to both a type and an object. Dynamically typed languages only require that a variable name only gets bound to an object. Immediately, this puts Python ahead of the game in terms of productivity since a static typed language requires several elements and can make errors in coding more likely.

Python uses a concise language while Java uses verbose language. Concise language, as the name suggests, gets straight to the point without extra words. Removing additional syntax can greatly reduce the amount of time required to program.  A simple call in Java, such as the ever notorious "Hello, World" requires three several lines of coding while Python requires a single sentence. Java requires the use of checked exceptions. If the exceptions are not caught or thrown out then the code fails to compile. In terms of language, Python certainly has surpassed Java in terms of brevity.

Additionally, while Java's string handling capabilities have improved they haven't yet matched the sophistication of Python's. Web applications rely upon fast load times and extraneous code can increase user wait time. Python optimizes code in ways that Java doesn't, and this can make Python a more efficient language. However, Java does run faster than Python and this can be a significant advantage for programmers using Java. When you factor in the need for a compiler for Java applications the speed factor cancels itself out leaving Python and Java at an impasse.

While a programmer will continue to argue for the language that makes it easiest based on the programmer's current level of knowledge, new software compiled with Python takes less time and provides a simplified coding language that reduces the chance for errors. When things go right, Java works well and there are no problems. However, when errors get introduced into the code, it can become extremely time consuming to locate and correct those errors. Python generally uses less code to begin with and makes it easier and more efficient to work with.

Ultimately, both languages have their own strengths and weaknesses. For creating simple applications, Python provides a simpler and more effective application. Larger applications can benefit from Java and the verbosity of the code actually makes it more compatible with future versions. Python code has been known to break with new releases. Ultimately, Python works best as a type of connecting language to conduct quick and dirty work that would be too intensive when using Java alone. In this sense, Java is a low-level implementation language. While both languages are continuing to develop, it's unlikely that one language will surpass the other for all programming needs in the near future.

Tech Life in Texas

Austin may be considered the live music capital of the world but the field of technology is becoming the new norm in the The Lone Star State. Home to Dell and Compaq computers, there is a reason why central Texas is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of the south. It?s rated third on the charts of the top computer places in the United States with a social learning and training IT atmosphere. Adding the fact that Austin offers fairly inexpensive living costs for students, software developers may take note as they look to relocate.
Java is C++ without the guns, knives, and clubs.James Gosling, co-inventor of Java
other Learning Options
Software developers near Longview 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 Texas that offer opportunities for Crystal Reports developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Dr Pepper Snapple Group Plano Manufacturing Nonalcoholic Beverages
Western Refining, Inc. El Paso Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Frontier Oil Corporation Dallas Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
ConocoPhillips Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Dell Inc Round Rock Computers and Electronics Computers, Parts and Repair
Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. Houston Transportation and Storage Transportation & Storage Other
GameStop Corp. Grapevine Retail Retail Other
Fluor Corporation Irving Business Services Management Consulting
Kimberly-Clark Corporation Irving Manufacturing Paper and Paper Products
Exxon Mobil Corporation Irving Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Cameron International Corporation Houston Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Celanese Corporation Irving Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
HollyFrontier Corporation Dallas Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Kinder Morgan, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Marathon Oil Corporation Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
United Services Automobile Association San Antonio Financial Services Personal Financial Planning and Private Banking
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Plano Retail Department Stores
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. Dallas Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Atmos Energy Corporation Dallas Energy and Utilities Alternative Energy Sources
National Oilwell Varco Inc. Houston Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Tesoro Corporation San Antonio Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Halliburton Company Houston Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Flowserve Corporation Irving Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
Commercial Metals Company Irving Manufacturing Metals Manufacturing
EOG Resources, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Whole Foods Market, Inc. Austin Retail Grocery and Specialty Food Stores
Waste Management, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Waste Management and Recycling
CenterPoint Energy, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Valero Energy Corporation San Antonio Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
FMC Technologies, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Alternative Energy Sources
Calpine Corporation Houston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Texas Instruments Incorporated Dallas Computers and Electronics Semiconductor and Microchip Manufacturing
SYSCO Corporation Houston Wholesale and Distribution Grocery and Food Wholesalers
BNSF Railway Company Fort Worth Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
Affiliated Computer Services, Incorporated (ACS), a Xerox Company Dallas Software and Internet E-commerce and Internet Businesses
Tenet Healthcare Corporation Dallas Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
XTO Energy Inc. Fort Worth Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Group 1 Automotive Houston Retail Automobile Dealers
ATandT Dallas Telecommunications Telephone Service Providers and Carriers
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Spring Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Apache Corporation Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Dean Foods Company Dallas Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
American Airlines Fort Worth Travel, Recreation and Leisure Passenger Airlines
Baker Hughes Incorporated Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Continental Airlines, Inc. Houston Travel, Recreation and Leisure Passenger Airlines
RadioShack Corporation Fort Worth Computers and Electronics Consumer Electronics, Parts and Repair
KBR, Inc. Houston Government International Bodies and Organizations
Spectra Energy Partners, L.P. Houston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Energy Future Holdings Dallas Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Southwest Airlines Corporation Dallas Transportation and Storage Air Couriers and Cargo Services

training details locations, tags and why hsg

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 Texas 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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