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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.

Due to the advancements in technology, teens and adults alike can now partake in virtual worlds thanks to video games. Video games are enjoyed as a hobby all over the globe, but some gamers have made it their career with help from the ever-growing e-sport community. This is an inside look at the professional level of gaming from an ex-MLG participant, and what I remember going through when starting to play video games at an elite level.

One of the premiere and most popular leagues within the United States happens to be Major League Gaming or MLG for short. This is a league that usually involves more of the most recent games out, and they create circuits for each major title and its subsequent releases. Two of the most major game circuits within the MLG league were the Halo series and the Call of Duty series, both which happened to be first person shooters (FPS). There were a potential hundred or so teams within each circuit, but much like other competitions, the circuits were ran with winner’s brackets and losers brackets. This means that out of all the teams that would show up to MLG events, about the top eight of each bracket would really be known as the "elite" players. I personally played in the Gears of War circuit at venues like MLG Raleigh and MLG Toronto, and we had very few teams compared to Call of Duty and Halo. The amount of participants at each event usually varies in each circuit based on the popularity of the game being played.

When you win tournaments, the payouts are split between the team members. This means that looking at playing in the MLG for a life career is an ill-advised move. The cost to get to events and buy team passes usually negates the prizes you win most of the time, considering by the time that the prize money is split you are left with about $800 in a popular circuit (Like Call of Duty). The payouts are usually only high in special and certain occasions, one for example being the million dollar showdown that Infinity Ward hosted for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 a couple years back. The way that players that make professional gaming their career get the big money now is by being sponsored by the big companies that back the league like Red Bull and Hot Pockets. MLG players like "Walshy" and "FeaR Moho" were sponsored early on in the league and were able to make a living off of the games they played. I would imagine them getting around $60K in a good year off of sponsors alone. I would go even as far as to say that if you do not have a sponsor in e-sports, you will not be financially successful in the career.

Being an MLG gamer requires passion and understanding for the games. If you just want to make money, then you are better off working at McDonalds.

 

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Technology has continued to evolve in ways that few would have been able to imagine. This has allowed electronics to become smarter, more connected and far more useful.

With the Internet of Things (IoT), they're allowing more than just computers to become connected to the Internet. This aims to make the life of the average person easier, better and more care-free.

Let's examine why the Internet of Things has become such a powerful idea that an estimated one out of every five developers currently works on an IoT project.


What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things hinges on one seemingly simple concept: electronics can be embedded in machines, clothing, animals and even people to provide a networked world where the whole is more than just the sum of its parts.

For example, consider how the Internet of Things can influence things like refrigerators. They can be networked directly to the manufacturer for readings that can warn if the refrigerator is about to malfunction. They can even be connected to a grocery shopping service to allow someone to restock them automatically or to notify the owner that the refrigerator is almost out of an item.

The most interesting notion about the Internet of Things is that it's not just a situation where one “thing” connects with a party. They typically communicate with other things, which in turn allows for a network of automated processes to occur.

These processes can simplify and expedite tedious tasks to make everyday life for everyone easier, which is why projects involving the Internet of Things are so popular.


How Prevalent is IoT Development?

An estimated one in five developers are currently developing projects for the Internet of Things. Their chosen languages vary widely because of the flexibility that IoT enjoys.

For example, IoT projects that hinge on interacting with mobile phones tend to have apps written in JavaScript or Java. The back-end code that runs the IoT functionality for machines tends to be written in Assembly, C++,Java,Perl,Pythonor another compiled language for efficiency.

To put the growth of IoT work into perspective, Evans Data Corp. performed research to create predictions about IoT projects in 2014. They stated that 17% of companies would be developing IoT projects.

In this year, that figure's risen to a solid 19%. Given the fact that 44% of developers have stated that they will enter into the IoT scene this year or next, this means that development will only grow in the coming future.


The Future Involving the Internet of Things

Development of IoT-related projects will likely explode in the next few years. The advantages it brings, such as more efficient work in manufacturing environments and the projected 15% savings to the restaurant industry over the next five years, will make it one of the most valuable technological changes in the near future.

Without a comprehensive understanding of the Internet of Things and the skills to lead IoT projects, businesses and developers may find themselves falling behind. Don't let the Internet of Things pass you by.

Another blanket article about the pros and cons of Direct to Consumer (D2C) isn’t needed, I know. By now, we all know the rules for how this model enters a market: its disruption fights any given sector’s established sales model, a fuzzy compromise is temporarily met, and the lean innovator always wins out in the end.

That’s exactly how it played out in the music industry when Apple and record companies created a digital storefront in iTunes to usher music sales into the online era. What now appears to have been a stopgap compromise, iTunes was the standard model for 5-6 years until consumers realized there was no point in purchasing and owning digital media when internet speeds increased and they could listen to it for free through a music streaming service.  In 2013, streaming models are the new music consumption standard. Netflix is nearly parallel in the film and TV world, though they’ve done a better job keeping it all under one roof. Apple mastered retail sales so well that the majority of Apple products, when bought in-person, are bought at an Apple store. That’s even more impressive when you consider how few Apple stores there are in the U.S. (253) compared to big box electronics stores that sell Apple products like Best Buy (1,100) Yet while some industries have implemented a D2C approach to great success, others haven’t even dipped a toe in the D2C pool, most notably the auto industry.

What got me thinking about this topic is the recent flurry of attention Tesla Motors has received for its D2C model. It all came to a head at the beginning of July when a petition on whitehouse.gov to allow Tesla to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states reached the 100,000 signatures required for administration comment. As you might imagine, many powerful car dealership owners armed with lobbyists have made a big stink about Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO and Product Architect, choosing to sidestep the traditional supply chain and instead opting to sell directly to their customers through their website. These dealership owners say that they’re against the idea because they want to protect consumers, but the real motive is that they want to defend their right to exist (and who wouldn’t?). They essentially have a monopoly at their position in the sales process, and they want to keep it that way. More frightening for the dealerships is the possibility that once Tesla starts selling directly to consumers, so will the big three automakers, and they fear that would be the end of the road for their business. Interestingly enough, the big three flirted with the idea of D2C in the early 90’s before they were met with fierce backlash from dealerships. I’m sure the dealership community has no interest in mounting a fight like that again. 

To say that the laws preventing Tesla from selling online are peripherally relevant would be a compliment. By and large, the laws the dealerships point to fall under the umbrella of “Franchise Laws” that were put in place at the dawn of car sales to protect franchisees against manufacturers opening their own stores and undercutting the franchise that had invested so much to sell the manufacturer’s cars.  There’s certainly a need for those laws to exist, because no owner of a dealership selling Jeeps wants Chrysler to open their own dealership next door and sell them for substantially less. However, because Tesla is independently owned and isn’t currently selling their cars through any third party dealership, this law doesn’t really apply to them. Until their cars are sold through independent dealerships, they’re incapable of undercutting anyone by implementing D2C structure.

Tech Life in Florida

Software developers in Florida, have reasonably great opportunities for development positions in Fortune 1000 companies scattered throughout the state. In town and in reach, Floridians have access to corporate headquarters for Citrix Systems, Tech Data Corporation, the SFN Group, and the Harris Corporation just to name a few.
Learning without thought is labor lost; and thought without learning is perilous. Confucius
other Learning Options
Software developers near Boca Raton 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 Florida that offer opportunities for Google for Business developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) Jacksonville Software and Internet Data Analytics, Management and Storage
World Fuel Services Corporation Miami Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
SEACOR Holdings Inc. Fort Lauderdale Transportation and Storage Marine and Inland Shipping
MasTec, Inc. Miami Business Services Security Services
Health Management Associates, Inc. Naples Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
B/E Aerospace, Inc. Wellington Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
Roper Industries, Inc. Sarasota Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
AutoNation Fort Lauderdale Retail Automobile Dealers
Watsco, Inc. Miami Wholesale and Distribution Wholesale and Distribution Other
SFN Group Fort Lauderdale Business Services HR and Recruiting Services
Tupperware Corporation Orlando Manufacturing Plastics and Rubber Manufacturing
AirTran Holdings, Inc. Orlando Travel, Recreation and Leisure Passenger Airlines
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. Tampa Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotech Other
Lennar Corporation Miami Real Estate and Construction Real Estate Agents and Appraisers
HSN, Inc. Saint Petersburg Retail Retail Other
Certegy Saint Petersburg Business Services Business Services Other
Raymond James Financial, Inc. Saint Petersburg Financial Services Trust, Fiduciary, and Custody Activities
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. Jacksonville Retail Grocery and Specialty Food Stores
Jabil Circuit, Inc. Saint Petersburg Computers and Electronics Semiconductor and Microchip Manufacturing
CSX Corporation Jacksonville Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
Fidelity National Financial, Inc. Jacksonville Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Tech Data Corporation Clearwater Consumer Services Automotive Repair & Maintenance
TECO Energy, Inc. Tampa Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Lincare Holdings Inc Clearwater Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Supplies and Equipment
Chico's FAS Inc. Fort Myers Retail Clothing and Shoes Stores
Burger King Corporation LLC Miami Retail Restaurants and Bars
Publix Super Markets, Inc. Lakeland Retail Grocery and Specialty Food Stores
Florida Power and Light Company Juno Beach Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Ryder System, Inc. Miami Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
Citrix Systems, Inc. Fort Lauderdale Software and Internet Software and Internet Other
Harris Corporation Melbourne Telecommunications Wireless and Mobile
Office Depot, Inc. Boca Raton Computers and Electronics Audio, Video and Photography
Landstar System, Inc. Jacksonville Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
Darden Restaurants, Inc. Orlando Retail Restaurants and Bars
PSS World Medical, Inc. Jacksonville Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Supplies and Equipment

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 Florida 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 Google for Business programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Google for Business experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Google for Business 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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