SOA Training Classes in Montgomery, Alabama

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Blog Entries publications that: entertain, make you think, offer insight

From Brennan's Blog which is no longer up and running:

I use Remote Desktop all the time to work inside of my development systems hosted by Microsoft Virtual Server. I use the host system to browse the web for documentation and searches as I work and when I need to copy some text from the web browser I find many times the link between the host clipboard and the remote clipboard is broken. In the past I have read that somehow the remote clipboard utility, rdpclip.exe, gets locked and no longer allows the clipboard to be relayed between the host and the client environment. My only way to deal with it was to use the internet clipboard, cl1p.net. I would create my own space and use it to send content between environments. But that is a cumbersome step if you are doing it frequently.

The only way I really knew to fix the clipboard transfer was to close my session and restart it. That meant closing the tools I was using like Visual Studio, Management Studio and the other ancillary processes I have running as I work and then restarting all of it just to restore the clipboard. But today I found a good link on the Terminal Services Blog explaining that what is really happening. The clipboard viewer chain is somehow becoming unresponsive on the local or remote system and events on the clipboards are not being relayed between systems. It is not necessarily a lock being put in place but some sort of failed data transmission. It then goes on to explain the 2 steps you can take to restore the clipboard without restarting your session.

  • Use Task Manager to kill the rdpclip.exe process
  • Run rdpclip.exe to restart it

The clipboard communications should be restored. My clipboard is currently working because I just restarted my session to fix it, but I wanted to test these steps. I killed rdpclip.exe and started it and was able to copy/paste from the remote to the host system. The next time my clipboard dies I will have to check to see if these steps truly do work.

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.

The original article was posted by Michael Veksler on Quora

A very well known fact is that code is written once, but it is read many times. This means that a good developer, in any language, writes understandable code. Writing understandable code is not always easy, and takes practice. The difficult part, is that you read what you have just written and it makes perfect sense to you, but a year later you curse the idiot who wrote that code, without realizing it was you.

The best way to learn how to write readable code, is to collaborate with others. Other people will spot badly written code, faster than the author. There are plenty of open source projects, which you can start working on and learn from more experienced programmers.

Readability is a tricky thing, and involves several aspects:

  1. Never surprise the reader of your code, even if it will be you a year from now. For example, don’t call a function max() when sometimes it returns the minimum().
  2. Be consistent, and use the same conventions throughout your code. Not only the same naming conventions, and the same indentation, but also the same semantics. If, for example, most of your functions return a negative value for failure and a positive for success, then avoid writing functions that return false on failure.
  3. Write short functions, so that they fit your screen. I hate strict rules, since there are always exceptions, but from my experience you can almost always write functions short enough to fit your screen. Throughout my carrier I had only a few cases when writing short function was either impossible, or resulted in much worse code.
  4. Use descriptive names, unless this is one of those standard names, such as i or it in a loop. Don’t make the name too long, on one hand, but don’t make it cryptic on the other.
  5. Define function names by what they do, not by what they are used for or how they are implemented. If you name functions by what they do, then code will be much more readable, and much more reusable.
  6. Avoid global state as much as you can. Global variables, and sometimes attributes in an object, are difficult to reason about. It is difficult to understand why such global state changes, when it does, and requires a lot of debugging.
  7. As Donald Knuth wrote in one of his papers: “Early optimization is the root of all evil”. Meaning, write for readability first, optimize later.
  8. The opposite of the previous rule: if you have an alternative which has similar readability, but lower complexity, use it. Also, if you have a polynomial alternative to your exponential algorithm (when N > 10), you should use that.

Use standard library whenever it makes your code shorter; don’t implement everything yourself. External libraries are more problematic, and are both good and bad. With external libraries, such as boost, you can save a lot of work. You should really learn boost, with the added benefit that the c++ standard gets more and more form boost. The negative with boost is that it changes over time, and code that works today may break tomorrow. Also, if you try to combine a third-party library, which uses a specific version of boost, it may break with your current version of boost. This does not happen often, but it may.

Don’t blindly use C++ standard library without understanding what it does - learn it. You look at std::vector::push_back() documentation at it tells you that its complexity is O(1), amortized. What does that mean? How does it work? What are benefits and what are the costs? Same with std::map, and with std::unordered_map. Knowing the difference between these two maps, you’d know when to use each one of them.

Never call new or delete directly, use std::make_unique and [cost c++]std::make_shared[/code] instead. Try to implement usique_ptr, shared_ptr, weak_ptr yourself, in order to understand what they actually do. People do dumb things with these types, since they don’t understand what these pointers are.

Every time you look at a new class or function, in boost or in std, ask yourself “why is it done this way and not another?”. It will help you understand trade-offs in software development, and will help you use the right tool for your job. Don’t be afraid to peek into the source of boost and the std, and try to understand how it works. It will not be easy, at first, but you will learn a lot.

Know what complexity is, and how to calculate it. Avoid exponential and cubic complexity, unless you know your N is very low, and will always stay low.

Learn data-structures and algorithms, and know them. Many people think that it is simply a wasted time, since all data-structures are implemented in standard libraries, but this is not as simple as that. By understanding data-structures, you’d find it easier to pick the right library. Also, believe it or now, after 25 years since I learned data-structures, I still use this knowledge. Half a year ago I had to implemented a hash table, since I needed fast serialization capability which the available libraries did not provide. Now I am writing some sort of interval-btree, since using std::map, for the same purpose, turned up to be very very slow, and the performance bottleneck of my code.

Notice that you can’t just find interval-btree on Wikipedia, or stack-overflow. The closest thing you can find is Interval tree, but it has some performance drawbacks. So how can you implement an interval-btree, unless you know what a btree is and what an interval-tree is? I strongly suggest, again, that you learn and remember data-structures.

These are the most important things, which will make you a better programmer. The other things will follow.

Viruses, trojans, and other malicious programs are everywhere. There's always a new threat to your computer's security, and many of these threats invade your computer without you even knowing. Most viruses aren't going to loudly announce themselves, so it's important to know the hidden ways in which your computer can become infected.


Infected Files from Other Computers

Whether you're borrowing someone's flash drive or grabbing a file from their computer, your computer can become infected if the file or device you're using already contains a virus, trojan, or other form of malware.

This is a very common issue, and you won't even know there's a problem most of the time. For example, if your computer is connected to other devices on a network, and you decide to pull an important file off of another computer on the network, your computer will become infected if the file you took has a virus attached to it.

Also, if you forgot your flash drive, and you need to use your friend or coworker's device for the day, then even plugging the device into your computer can cause the infection in the flash drive to be transmitted.


Downloading Legitimate Programs

Another way your computer can be secretly infected is when you download a legitimate program and run it. There are numerous legitimate programs on the internet that can help you in many ways. The programs themselves could be infected, though.

Also, one of the most common ways your computer can become infected is when you don't read the fine print before you download a program. Some of them may insist that you install another small program in addition to the one you initially chose. The boxes that you are supposed to click to give your consent may already be clicked.

This small extra program is the one that may carry an infection that will spread to your computer when you run the main program. You may get a lot of good use out of the legitimate program, but the virus attached to the extra hidden program can cause you a lot of trouble.


Using Vulnerable Applications

Security is a serious matter. If even one of the applications you use on your computer is vulnerable to becoming hacked or infected, then your entire computer is at risk and could become secretly infected. Anything from PDF viewing applications to your operating system can become infected if you don't download the latest security patches and keep everything up-to-date.


Not Using Antivirus Software

Antivirus software can protect your computer from a number of viruses, trojans, and other problems. Your computer can become infected in a number of ways, so you need to have good antivirus software to provide strong protection from hidden attacks.


Viruses, trojans, and other malware can infect your computer in a variety of hidden ways. To prevent infection and problems, you need to be careful about what you download, and you should keep your applications secure. Also, find reliable antivirus software to help.

 

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Tech Life in Alabama

Software developers throughout Alabama, particularly in Birmingham have connections to Fortune 1000 companies in their backyard. Protective Life Corp., Health South Corp., are just a couple of the big players in town. Alabama also sports several Air Force Bases such as Maxwell, Abston Air National Guard Station in Montgomery, and Birmingham Air National Guard Base.
If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it. ~ Margaret Fuller
other Learning Options
Software developers near Montgomery 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 Alabama that offer opportunities for SOA developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Protective Life Corporation Birmingham Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
HealthSouth Corporation Birmingham Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
Vulcan Materials Company Birmingham Agriculture and Mining Mining and Quarrying
Regions Financial Corporation Birmingham Financial Services Banks

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the hartmann software group advantage
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 Alabama 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 SOA programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized SOA experts
  • Get up to speed with vital SOA 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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