C++ Training in Madison, Wisconsin

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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.

We’re often asked by companies about how they can get the most value from Agile/Scrum practices. More specifically, they want to know if they are being as effective as best they possibly can be by using the Scrum framework for their explicit needs.

The other objective for individuals is determining if it necessary to be certified in order to be effective in the Agile Scrum world?   In short, a good Scrum Master must understand four things: the business they work in, the technology they work with, the Agile and Scrum principles, and, most importantly, people!  Based on these facts, Scrum Master Certification is not enough – real life experience and a bit of soft skills should be part and parcel of their training. For organizations, the main goal is to understand industry best practices when adopting and applying agile principles, to build strong teams, understand and distill business needs into software requirements.

In terms of getting a good grip on training for Agile/Scrum, one can opt to pursue a certification in Scrum (CSM) Certified Scrum Master for personal reasons or for a job requirement. Or, one can simply opt to learn the benefits and pitfalls of the methodology and decide the best approach for them.

There are different ways to get started with Agile training. Below are two of the most common paths to Agile our students take.

Companies have been collecting and analyzing data forever, pretty much.” So what’s really new here? What’s driving the data-analytics revolution and what does it mean for those that choose to postpone or ignore the pivotal role big-data is currently having on productivity and competition globally?

General Electric chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt explains it best when stating that “industrial companies are now in the information business—whether they like it or not.”  Likewise, digital data is now everywhere, it’s in every industry, in every economy, in every organization and according to the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), this topic might once have concerned only a few data geeks, but big data is now relevant for leaders across every sector as well as consumers of products and services.

In light of the new data-driven global landscape and rapid technological advances, the question for senior leaders in companies now is how to integrate new capabilities into their operations and strategies—and position themselves globally where analytics can influence entire industries. An interesting discussion with six of theses senior leaders is covered in MGI’s article, “How companies are using big data and analytics,” providing us with a glimpse into a real-time decision making processes.

 

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.

Tech Life in Wisconsin

Fun Facts and stats: ? Wisconsin?s nickname is the Badger State. ? In 1882 the first hydroelectric plant in the United States was built at Fox River. ? The first practical typewriter was designed in Milwaukee in 1867. ? The nation's first kindergarten was established in Watertown in 1856. Its first students were local German-speaking youngsters. ? The Republican Party was founded in Ripon in 1854.
A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships. Helen Keller
other Learning Options
Software developers near Madison 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 Wisconsin that offer opportunities for C++ developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
We Energies Milwaukee Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Bemis Company, Inc. Neenah Manufacturing Plastics and Rubber Manufacturing
Regal Beloit Corporation Beloit Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
Manitowoc Company, Inc Manitowoc Manufacturing Heavy Machinery
Briggs and Stratton Corporation Milwaukee Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) Milwaukee Financial Services Lending and Mortgage
A.O. Smith Corporation Milwaukee Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
Sentry Insurance Stevens Point Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Rockwell Automation, Inc. Milwaukee Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
Bucyrus International, Inc. South Milwaukee Manufacturing Heavy Machinery
Diversey, Inc. Sturtevant Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Alliant Energy Corporation Madison Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Plexus Corp. Neenah Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. Madison Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
Kohl's Corporation Menomonee Falls Retail Department Stores
Snap-on Tools, Inc. Kenosha Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
Fiserv, Inc. Brookfield Software and Internet Data Analytics, Management and Storage
CUNA Mutual Group Madison Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Oshkosh Corporation Oshkosh Manufacturing Heavy Machinery
Modine Manufacturing Company Racine Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company Milwaukee Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Joy Global Inc. Milwaukee Manufacturing Heavy Machinery
Harley-Davidson, Inc. Milwaukee Manufacturing Automobiles, Boats and Motor Vehicles
American Family Insurance Madison Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Johnson Controls, Inc. Milwaukee Manufacturing Heavy Machinery
ManpowerGroup Milwaukee Business Services HR and Recruiting Services

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