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Information Technology is one of the most dynamic industries with new technologies surfacing frequently. In such a scenario, it can get intimidating for information technology professionals at all levels to keep abreast of the latest technology innovations worth investing time and resources into.

It can therefore get daunting for entry and mid-level IT professionals to decide which technologies they should potentially be developing skills. However, the biggest challenge comes for senior information technology professionals responsible for driving the IT strategy in their organizations.

It is therefore important to keep abreast of the latest technology trends and get them from reputable sources. Here are some of the ways to keep on top of the latest trends in Information Technology.

·         Subscribe to leading Analyst Firms: If you work for a leading IT organization, chances are that you already have subscription to leading IT analyst firms notably Gartner and Forrester. These two firms are some of the most recognized analyst firms with extensive coverage on almost every enterprise technology including hardware and software. These Analyst firms frequently publish reports on global IT spending and trends that are based on primary research conducted on vendors and global CIOs & CTOs. However, subscription to these reports is very expensive and if you are a part of a small organization you may have issues securing access to these reports. One of the most important pieces of research published by these firms happens to be the Gartner Hype Cycle which plots leading technologies and their maturity curve.Even if you do not have access to Gartner research, you can hack your way by searching for “Gartner Hype Cycle” on Google Images and you will in most cases be able to see the plots similar to the one below

One of the most recent updates to the iPhone, and more specifically the operating system that is packaged with the iPhone, iOS, brought one of the most fantastic and phenomenal updates ever: an update to Maps. Maps has been used as an application that provides an easy way to find routes, and (obviously) maps about certain areas, businesses in the local vicinity, and also leaving pins on favorited locations, or pins where you have explored, and for many other reasons. However, although Maps has always been a great way to travel with, it has always been redundant to travel with, also. When you used Maps a while ago, you had to route your map, and then manually click each next button as you reached each turn or freeway exit, and the like. So, if you had to turn left on a certain street, you had to tell your phone you had done so, so it would give you the next directions. As a result, it could become very dangerous to always have your phone out, looking at it, while you are on a high-speed freeway. But, the newest update solved that, and brought a great amount of new features.

Using Maps GPS

Using Maps is as easy as it gets. Most of the time, when you are using Maps, you are using it to search for a location, and finding a way to get there. To start off, let’s search for the nearest mall, and routes to get there. Simply search a nearby mall you know about, or search the general word “mall” by tapping on the top text box, and typing in mall, and searching. Pins will drop down on the screen, and locating the mall by zooming into certain streets and locations will help you find the mall you want. Once you find the mall you desire to go to, click on the blue arrow, and scroll down, and tap on the button that says “Directions To Here.”

 

As a result of tapping on that particular button, a new window should show up asking where your starting location is. On default, this location is your current location; if it is anything else, simply type in the starting location into the top address bar, such as your house. Once you are ready to go, tap on route, and you should be ready to go. Well, not exactly. One of the best features that has been implemented in the new system is suggested routes, and alternative routes. If you don’t like to drive on certain streets, or roads, the system provides you with different methods to get to your destination, which may avoid a road you don’t feel like driving on that certain day, or time, or you simply don’t want to take the freeway. It’s all okay, as Maps provides you with many different routes to take. Once you find the route you want (by tapping on the certain route’s outline), click start, and you should be ready to go. Make sure you turn up your volume so you can hear the directions!

Maps for Alternative Transportation

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.

 

I suspect that many of you are familiar with the term "hard coding a value" whereby the age of an individual or their location is written into the condition (or action) of a business rule (in this case) as shown below:

if customer.age > 21 and customer.city == 'denver'

then ...

Such coding practices are perfectly expectable provided that the conditional values, age and city, never change. They become entirely unacceptable if a need for different values could be anticipated. A classic example of where this practice occurred that caused considerable heartache in the IT industry was the Y2K issue where dates were updated using only the last 2 digits of a four digit number because the first 2 digits were hard-coded to 19 i.e. 1998, 1999. All was well provided that the date did not advance to a time beyond the 1900’s since no one could be certain of what would happen when the millennia arrived (2000). A considerably amount of work (albeit boring) and money, approximately $200 billion, went into revising systems by way of software rewrites and computer chip replacements in order to thwart any detrimental outcomes. It is obvious how a simple change or an assumption can have sweeping consequences.

You may wonder what Y2K has to do with Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS). Well, what if we considered rules themselves to be hard-coded. If we were to write 100s of rules in Java, .NET or whatever language that only worked for a given scenario or assumption, would that not constitute hard-coded logic? By hard-coded, we obviously mean compiled. For example, if a credit card company has a variety of bonus campaigns, each with their own unique list of rules that may change within a week’s time, what would be the most effective way of writing software to deal with these responsibilities?

Tech Life in New York

City The Big Apple is home of two of the world?s largest stock market exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. As a leading business center in the United States, New York has more Fortune 500 headquartered companies than any other city. Technology is blossoming in the Big Apple as major internet conglomerates like Google move their offices into ?telecom hotels? such as the 311,000 square feet office space downtown. As in any other city there are pros and cons of living in New York City. For instance, there is so much to do, it?s easy to get around with the transit system, it?s safe, convenient, and has plenty of job opportunities. On the other hand, it can be overwhelmingly expensive, overcrowded, a bit impersonal and fast paced. New Yorkers enjoy Central Park, multi cultural activities and food, theatre, film festivals, farmers markets, fashion and anything else they could possibly think of...it?s all there.
We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge. John Naisbitt
other Learning Options
Software developers near Albany 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 New York that offer opportunities for IBM developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
NYSE Euronext, Inc. New York Financial Services Securities Agents and Brokers
Anderson Instrument Company Inc. Fultonville Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
News Corporation New York Media and Entertainment Radio and Television Broadcasting
Philip Morris International Inc New York Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Loews Corporation New York Travel, Recreation and Leisure Hotels, Motels and Lodging
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America New York Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Jarden Corporation Rye Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Ralph Lauren Corporation New York Retail Clothing and Shoes Stores
Icahn Enterprises, LP New York Financial Services Investment Banking and Venture Capital
Viacom Inc. New York Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
Omnicom Group Inc. New York Business Services Advertising, Marketing and PR
Henry Schein, Inc. Melville Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Supplies and Equipment
Pfizer Incorporated New York Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Pharmaceuticals
Eastman Kodak Company Rochester Computers and Electronics Audio, Video and Photography
Assurant Inc. New York Business Services Data and Records Management
PepsiCo, Inc. Purchase Manufacturing Nonalcoholic Beverages
Foot Locker, Inc. New York Retail Department Stores
Barnes and Noble, Inc. New York Retail Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book, and Music Stores
Alcoa New York Manufacturing Metals Manufacturing
The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. New York Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Personal Health Care Products
Avon Products, Inc. New York Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Personal Health Care Products
The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation New York Financial Services Banks
Marsh and McLennan Companies New York Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Corning Incorporated Corning Manufacturing Concrete, Glass, and Building Materials
CBS Corporation New York Media and Entertainment Radio and Television Broadcasting
Bristol Myers Squibb Company New York Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Biotechnology
Citigroup Incorporated New York Financial Services Banks
Goldman Sachs New York Financial Services Personal Financial Planning and Private Banking
American International Group (AIG) New York Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. New York Business Services Advertising, Marketing and PR
BlackRock, Inc. New York Financial Services Securities Agents and Brokers
MetLife Inc. New York Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Consolidated Edison Company Of New York, Inc. New York Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Time Warner Cable New York Telecommunications Cable Television Providers
Morgan Stanley New York Financial Services Investment Banking and Venture Capital
American Express Company New York Financial Services Credit Cards and Related Services
International Business Machines Corporation Armonk Computers and Electronics Computers, Parts and Repair
TIAA-CREF New York Financial Services Securities Agents and Brokers
JPMorgan Chase and Co. New York Financial Services Investment Banking and Venture Capital
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York Media and Entertainment Newspapers, Books and Periodicals
L-3 Communications Inc. New York Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
Colgate-Palmolive Company New York Consumer Services Personal Care
New York Life Insurance Company New York Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Time Warner Inc. New York Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
Cablevision Systems Corp. Bethpage Media and Entertainment Radio and Television Broadcasting
CA Technologies, Inc. Islandia Software and Internet Software
Verizon Communications Inc. New York Telecommunications Telephone Service Providers and Carriers
Hess Corporation New York Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries

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