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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.

I will begin our blog on Java Tutorial with an incredibly important aspect of java development:  memory management.  The importance of this topic should not be minimized as an application's performance and footprint size are at stake.

From the outset, the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) manages memory via a mechanism known as Garbage Collection (GC).  The Garbage collector

  • Manages the heap memory.   All obects are stored on the heap; therefore, all objects are managed.  The keyword, new, allocates the requisite memory to instantiate an object and places the newly allocated memory on the heap.  This object is marked as live until it is no longer being reference.
  • Deallocates or reclaims those objects that are no longer being referened. 
  • Traditionally, employs a Mark and Sweep algorithm.  In the mark phase, the collector identifies which objects are still alive.  The sweep phase identifies objects that are no longer alive.
  • Deallocates the memory of objects that are not marked as live.
  • Is automatically run by the JVM and not explicitely called by the Java developer.  Unlike languages such as C++, the Java developer has no explict control over memory management.
  • Does not manage the stack.  Local primitive types and local object references are not managed by the GC.

So if the Java developer has no control over memory management, why even worry about the GC?  It turns out that memory management is an integral part of an application's performance, all things being equal.  The more memory that is required for the application to run, the greater the likelihood that computational efficiency suffers. To that end, the developer has to take into account the amount of memory being allocated when writing code.  This translates into the amount of heap memory being consumed.

Memory is split into two types:  stack and heap.  Stack memory is memory set aside for a thread of execution e.g. a function.  When a function is called, a block of memory is reserved for those variables local to the function, provided that they are either a type of Java primitive or an object reference.  Upon runtime completion of the function call, the reserved memory block is now available for the next thread of execution.  Heap memory, on the otherhand, is dynamically allocated.  That is, there is no set pattern for allocating or deallocating this memory.  Therefore, keeping track or managing this type of memory is a complicated process. In Java, such memory is allocated when instantiating an object:

String s = new String();  // new operator being employed
String m = "A String";    /* object instantiated by the JVM and then being set to a value.  The JVM
calls the new operator */

As the cloud buzz is getting louder with every passing day you are tempted to take the big leap into the cloud but may have restrained yourself paranoid by ad infinitum cloud security discussions floating on the web. No one can deny the fact that your data is the lifeblood your business. So, undoubtedly its security is of paramount importance for survival of your business.  As cloud computing is a paradigm shift from the traditional ways of using computing resources, you must understand its practical security aspects.

Is Cloud Computing Safe?

There can’t be a binary answer (Yes or No) to this question. But with my experience and as an authority on the subject I can tell you that technologies enabling Cloud services are not in any way less secure than the traditional or on-premise hosting model.  Also, with the evolution of technology, the cloud providers are getting matured and almost all the providers are offering built-in security, privacy, data backups and risk management as a part of their core service.If you are not a big IT company then you must ask yourself:

·         Can an on-premise solution or a traditional hosting provider match the same level of standard security and privacy requirement as provided by the specialist cloud provider whose core competency lies in providing state of the art security and privacy?

If you're someone who's interested in computer programming, chances are you've considered pursuing a career in it. However, being a computer programmer is definitely not for everyone, as it takes some special characteristics to succeed as a computer programmer.

Good at Math

While you don't have to be a math genius in order to be a good computer programmer, being good at math really does help. In general, as long as you know your trigonometry and advanced high school algebra, you should be set for programming.

However, in a few instances, knowledge of more advanced math ends up being necessary. For example, for shader programming, you should be familiar with integration of multiple variables, matrix algebra, and basic differentiation. You will also require considerable math skills in order to program 3D.

Excellent Problem Solver

To be a successful computer programmer, you definitely need to be an excellent problem solver. It is vital for a computer programmer to break a problem down into small parts. They must then be able to decide the best way to approach individual pieces of the problem. Computer programmers also need to know how to anticipate and prevent potential problems. While problem-solving, they also need to keep in mind things like user experience and performance.

If you're not a good problem solver, knowing a particular language and syntax will be useless if you can't even identify the problem at hand. Therefore, excellent problem solving skills are a critical foundation for computer programming.

Patience

If you are not a patient person, you will quickly become very frustrated with computer programming. Problem-solving is not always easy and fast. In fact, it may take a very long time, especially if you're either inexperienced or working on an especially hard project.

Debugging after the coding process is also very frustrating and tedious. No matter how hard you try, you will always have bugs in your coding, and these bugs, while often easy to fix, tend to be very difficult to detect. Therefore, you will end up spending a lot of your time searching for bugs that take very little time to fix.

Well-Rounded Skills

Generally, computer programmers who are very skilled in one area tend to stick around longer than jack-of-all-trades, as specialized programmers are harder to replace with outsourcing than general programmers. Therefore, it will do you well to specialize in one area of computer programming.

However, while specializing is good, you should still know at least a little about everything, especially skills that relate to the area you specialize in. For example, if you're a core Java programmer, you should know about SQL programming and ideally a scripting language or some regular expressions.

As you can see, not everyone has what it takes to pursue computer programming as a career and succeed at it. In fact, just because you love to program doesn't mean it's a good career choice for you. However, if you feel that you possess all the characteristics listed above, then you should definitely consider computer programming as a career.

Tech Life in Massachusetts

It?s no wonder that Massachusetts is a hub of major activity in information technology with a collection of 121 institutions for higher education. In 2007 Mass. impressively scored the highest of all the states in math on the National Assessments of Educational Progress. Some fun facts about Massachusest: - The first U.S.Postal zip code in Massachusetts is 01001 at Agawam. - The Boston University Bridge on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane.
Learn as much as you can while you are young, since life becomes too busy later.  ~Dana Stewart Scott
other Learning Options
Software developers near Fall River 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 Massachusetts that offer opportunities for Google for Business developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Cabot Corporation Boston Telecommunications Telephone Service Providers and Carriers
LPL Financial Boston Financial Services Personal Financial Planning and Private Banking
NSTAR Gas and Electric Company Westwood Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Cabot Corporation Boston Manufacturing Plastics and Rubber Manufacturing
BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. Westborough Retail Department Stores
American Tower Corporation Boston Telecommunications Telecommunications Equipment and Accessories
Hologic, Inc. Bedford Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Devices
Global Partners LP Waltham Retail Gasoline Stations
Northeast Utilities Boston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Liberty Mutual Holding Company Boston Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Staples Inc. Framingham Computers and Electronics Office Machinery and Equipment
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Waltham Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Devices
Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. Worcester Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
The TJX Companies, Inc. Framingham Retail Department Stores
Iron Mountain, Inc. Boston Software and Internet Data Analytics, Management and Storage
Massachusetts Mutual Financial Group Springfield Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. Peabody Manufacturing Concrete, Glass, and Building Materials
Raytheon Company Waltham Software and Internet Software
Analog Devices, Inc. Norwood Computers and Electronics Consumer Electronics, Parts and Repair
Biogen Idec Inc. Weston Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Biotechnology
Boston Scientific Corporation Natick Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Supplies and Equipment
PerkinElmer, Inc. Waltham Computers and Electronics Instruments and Controls
State Street Corporation Boston Financial Services Trust, Fiduciary, and Custody Activities
EMC Corporation Hopkinton Computers and Electronics Networking Equipment and Systems

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 Massachusetts 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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