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The line between IT consulting and management consulting is quite often blurred, with overlaps between the two fields habitually happening. Worse still, most people do not understand who an IT consultant really is, or what he/she does. There are those who think the job entails fixing computers, others – selling computers and associated accessories. This is misleading though.

In a nutshell, IT consultants are professionals who aid businesses in deciding what computer tools and technologies are best placed to grow and sustain a profitable business. They work hand in hand with clients to help integrate IT systems into the latter’s business. They show clients how to use technology more efficiently, and in so doing, the client is able to get a higher return on their technology investments, and ultimately, increase the bottom-line.

IT consultants, or IT advisories, could work independently or for a consulting firm, with their clientele spread across all sorts of businesses and industries. Companies hire or contract the consulting firm to come in and analyze their IT systems and structure.

The job itself is not short of challenges, however, and the path to becoming a successful IT consultant is fraught with its fair share of ups and downs. But hey, which job isn’t? Experience is the best teacher they say, and only after you’ve worked as a consultant for a number of years will you finally gain invaluable understanding of what is expected of you. Learning from the experiences of those who’ve been in this business for long is a good starting point for those who decide to venture into the world of IT consultancy.

 
 
Python is a powerful tool that can be used for many automation tasks in the workplace. It’s notorious for being one of the most simple and versatile options available in the world of programming languages. For this reason, many people choose to automate an enormous amount of their workflow with Python. We’ve compiled a few ideas for automating the boring stuff using Python. Let’s take a look.
 
Managing Emails
 
Most businesses rely on emails being sent out regularly in order to ensure everything runs smoothly. Doing this by hand can be boring and time-consuming. To alleviate this, there are packages written with and for Python that enable you to automate certain aspects of this process. Adding and removing individuals from mailing lists can be automated as well, especially if your business has a policy to automatically add and remove people from certain mailing lists when certain conditions are met. For example, after a customer of yours doesn’t interact with your company after an extended period of time, it may be prudent to remove them from your mailing list, or you can send them a premade email reminding them of your services. This is just one way that you can save your company time and money using automation with Python.
 
Repetitive File System Operations
 
Even for personal tasks, Python excels at performing repetitive file system operations. For example, it can convert files, rename, move, delete, and sort files as much as you need it to. This can be useful in many ways. If you have a folder of mp3 files that you need to compress, this can be sped up using Python. Additionally, you can create a set of criteria that need to be met in order for a given file to be considered useless, and then delete it. As a side note, be extremely careful when automating any sort of file deletion or altering, because a bug in your program can cause severe damage to your data and even to your computer. Still, these tools are extremely powerful and can be life-saving when used properly. 
 
Start-up Tasks
 
Whether you’re running a server or just using your own personal computer, there are always tasks that need to be done when your computer starts up, or you’re beginning a certain process. For example, you can automate the task of backing up your email inbox. This can ensure your files are being kept safe, and it can be triggered whenever your start up your computer. Additionally, if you need to collect or create any sort of logging data in order to document daily operations, you can use Python to alleviate some of these time-consuming processes. 
 
Web Scraping
 
And finally, we have Web Scraping. This process may be slightly more advanced for a beginner Python user, but it doesn’t take a terribly long time to learn, and it opens up a whole new world of opportunity in terms of data collection and management. Web scraping is extremely important because it not only allows you to automatically search for certain pieces of content on the internet, but it can also alert you to changes and updates to existing websites. If your business relies on certain trends on social media, you can scrape sites while searching for the presence of certain keywords, and if you’re a stock trader or bitcoin guru, you can automate some of your price-checking and set custom alerts for price changes. The field of web scraping is enormous, and there is a practically infinite amount of content written on this particular subject. If you’re interested in learning more, there are vast amounts of free resources on the internet that can help you get started. Web scraping is certainly one of the most important skills to have in almost any line of work.
 
Get Creative!
 
At this point, we’d like to advise you to get more familiar with the libraries and APIs that are available to you. Each individual workflow is different and requires familiarity with different technologies. Because of this, you will know better than anybody else which items are worth automating and which aren’t. Some people try to automate everything, and some people prefer to do certain tasks manually, but sometimes spending a few hours automating a job that takes one minute will end up being a time-saver after only a few months.
 
We’ve gone over quite a few options in this article, but no single human alive is familiar with absolutely everything Python can do. Hopefully, you’re now more familiar with the options available to you, and you should now be better equipped to search for further information that is more relevant to your specific use case. Have fun digging into the many nuances and functionalities that the Python language has to offer!

In recent decades, companies have become remarkably different than what they were in the past. The formal hierarchies through which support staff rose towards management positions are largely extinct. Offices are flat and open-plan collaborations between individuals with varying talent who may not ever physically occupy a corporate workspace. Many employed by companies today work from laptops nomadically instead. No one could complain that IT innovation hasn’t been profitable. It’s an industry that is forecasted to rake in $351 billion in 2018, according to recent statistics from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). A leadership dilemma for mid-level IT managers in particular, however, has developed. Being in the middle has always been a professional gray area that only the most driven leverage towards successful outcomes for themselves professionally, but mid-level managers in IT need to develop key skills in order to drive the level of growth that the fast paced companies who employ them need. 

What is a middle manager’s role exactly? 

A typical middle manager in the IT industry is usually someone who has risen up the ranks from a technical related position due to their ability to envision a big picture of what’s required to drive projects forward. A successful middle manager is able to create cohesion across different areas of the company so that projects can be successfully completed. They’re also someone with the focus necessary to track the progress of complex processes and drive them forward at a fast pace as well as ensure that outcomes meet or exceed expectations.

What challenges do middle managers face in being successful in the IT industry today? 

While middle managers are responsible for the teams they oversee to reach key milestones in the life cycle of important projects, they struggle to assert their power to influence closure. Navigating the space between higher-ups and atomized work forces is no easy thing, especially now that workforces often consist of freelancers with unprecedented independence. 

What are the skills most needed for an IT manager to be effective? 

Being educated on a steady basis to handle the constant evolution of tech is absolutely essential if a middle manager expects to thrive professionally in a culture so knowledge oriented that evolves at such a rapid pace. A middle manager who doesn't talk the talk of support roles or understand the nuts and bolts of a project they’re in charge of reaching completion will not be able to catch errors or suggest adequate solutions when needed. 

How has the concept of middle management changed? 

Middle managers were basically once perceived of as supervisors who motivated and rewarded staff towards meeting goals. They coached. They toggled back and forth between the teams they watched over and upper management in an effort to keep everyone on the same page. It could be said that many got stuck between the lower and upper tier of their companies in doing so. While companies have always had to be result-oriented to be profitable, there’s a much higher expectation for what that means in the IT industry. Future mid-level managers will have to have the same skills as those whose performance they're tracking so they can determine if projects are being executed effectively. They also need to be able to know what new hires that are being on-boarded should know to get up to speed quickly, and that’s just a thumbnail sketch because IT companies are driven forward by skills that are not easy to master and demand constant rejuvenation in the form of education and training. It’s absolutely necessary for those responsible for teams that bring products and services to market to have similar skills in order to truly determine if they’re being deployed well. There’s a growing call for mid-level managers to receive more comprehensive leadership training as well, however. There’s a perception that upper and lower level managers have traditionally been given more attention than managers in the middle. Some say that better prepped middle managers make more valuable successors to higher management roles. That would be a great happy ending, but a growing number of companies in India’s tech sector complain that mid-level managers have lost their relevance in the scheme of the brave new world of IT and may soon be obsolete.

 

 

 

One of the biggest challenges faced by senior IT professionals in organizations is the choice of the right software vendor. In the highly competitive enterprise software industry, there are lot of vendors who claim to offer the best software for the problem and it can be really daunting to narrow down the best choice. Additionally, enterprise software costs can often run into millions of dollars thereby leaving very little margin of error. The real cost of choosing a wrong software can often result into losses much more than the cost of the software itself as highlighted by software disasters experienced by leading companies like HP, Nike etc. In such a scenario, senior IT professionals despite years of expertise can find it very difficult to choose the right business software vendor for their organization.

Here are some of the proven ways of short-listing and selecting the right business software vendor for your organization,

·         Understand and Define The Exact Need First: Before embarking on a journey to select the software vendor, it is critical to understand and define the exact problem you want the software to solve. The paramount question to be asked is what business objective does the software need to solve. Is the software required to “reduce costs” or is it to “improve productivity”? Extracting and defining this fundamental question is the bare minimum but necessary step to go searching for the right vendor. It will then form the basis of comparing multiple vendors on this very need that your organization has and will help drive the selection process going forward. The detailed approach involves creating a set of parameters that the software needs to meet in order to be considered. In fact, consider categorizing these parameters further in “must-haves”, “good to have” etc. which will help you assign relevant weights to these parameter and how the software’s fare on each of these parameters

·         Building The List of Vendors Who Meet The Need: Once you have defined your need and distilled that need into various parameters, it’s time to built the list of vendors who you think will meet the need. This is akin to a lead generation model wherein you want to identify a large enough pool and then filters your list down to the best ones. There are multiple ways of building a list of vendors and more often than not, you must use a combination of these methods to build a good enough list.

o   Use Industry Reports: We discussed the IT intelligence offered by leading industry firms Gartner and Forrester in How To Keep On Top Of Latest Trends In Information Technology. These firms based on their access to leading software vendors and CIO network publish vendor comparison research reports across specific verticals as well as specific technologies. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant and Forrester’s Wave are a very good starting point to get an insight into the best software vendors. For example, if you were looking for a CRM solution, you could look for Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CRM and look at the vendors that make the list. These reports can be pricey but well worth the money if you are going to invest hundreds of thousands in the software. Having said that, you don’t have to trust these report blindly because how these firms define the best software may not match how you define the best software for your organization

o   Competitive Intelligence: If you are a smart professional, you are already keeping tabs of your competition. Chances are that if you are a big organization, you might see a Press Release either from your competitor or their vendor announcing the implementation of new software. Extrapolate that across 5-10 key competitors of yours and you might discover the vendors that your competitors are choosing. This gives you a good indicator that the vendors used by your competitors must be offering something right.

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.
We learn to do by doing. Spencer W. Kimball
other Learning Options
Software developers near Wellington 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 Cisco 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

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