IBM Training Classes in Austin, Texas

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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.

 

 

 

The python keyword global is used in a function to distinguish a local representation of a variable with the same name. 

 

glbvar = 0

def setglbvar():
    global glbvar # include this declaration so that updates to glbvar are NOT LOCAL to this function
    glbvar = 1

def printglbvar():
    print glbvar     # No need for global declaration to read value of globvar

setglbvar()
printglbvar()       # Prints 1

The Context Of Design Thinking And Its Application In Employee Skill Training

Design thinking is a crucial pillar in today’s problem-solving imperatives. In fact, it is being pursued as a unit course in various institutions across the globe, thus underlying its importance in aiding objective human thinking. It’s not a specific property for designers. Far from it, it has emerged as an innovative solution-seeking tool for all great inventors and innovators.
 
By description, it is a design methodology used for tackling complex problems that are virtually unknown or ill-defined, through a careful evaluation of the human needs involved, understandably restructuring the problem, by brainstorming to create many solutions, and by adopting a direct approach in testing and prototyping. It helps us come up with creative ways to solve nagging problems that stem from us and especially in the workplace setting.
 
The ‘overwhelmed/overburdened employee’ is a common term in HR offices across many organizations in the world. Employees are faced with a huge challenge in regards to coping with fast-paced technological and office changes in the working environment. This had led to a massive stagnation in productivity, prompting HR heads to look for new ways to reduce their employees’ stress and workload.
 
While evaluating many options, this model of thinking has posed as a helpful tool for HR managers when dealing with their vexed employees. IT training, in particular, has helped shape the productive realms of many companies out there.
 
Let’s explore how this thinking domain can be used to plan employee skill training:
 
Empathize
If you want to show concern for your employees, first empathize with their situation. Seek to understand the needs of the employees deeply, what they lack, what they need, and the challenges that they are likely facing. This will act as the basis of plotting the problem and working on the next phase of solving it.
 
You can collect data in this phase through empathy maps and journey maps. In the latter, you endeavor to steadily track the day-to-day activities and tasks of employees. This is achieved through observations or structured interviews. In turn, it aids in elevating the thinking process.
 
Through empathy maps, you ponder on collected findings and synthesize them keenly. Here, you seek to establish how an employee is thinking, their feelings, and insights into the probable root cause of the problem.
 
Define the Problem
After a comprehensive analysis of the collected data; the problem definition phase should follow. The idea here is to locate the underlying root of the problem concisely. HR should seek to utilize an analysis framework to help address problems affecting the holistic being of all employees. Therefore, each issue would require a list of underlying causes: lack of motivation, lack of knowledge/understanding, or just lack of skill.
 
Once the root cause(s) are clearly defined, a clear problem statement should be drawn up alongside performance goals that are firmly based on actual drivers. 
 
Think Solely About Employee-Based Solutions (iterative learning)
Conventionally, customers are at the heart of every organization’s dealings. They inspire and drive the company’s objectives because they are crucial in profit making. However, employees have greatly suffered while working ‘behind the scenes.’ Such situations have led to employees feeling discontent and work under immense pressure, which inevitably leads to underperformance. To avoid this, the experimental learning concept can be utilized by HR offices to engage employees more by creating solutions that directly suit the situations they encounter daily.
 
Here, trainers are removed as the center of focus. An iterative ‘reflection’ cycle is established to tap continuous employee feedback in a bid to sharpen their skills. This method helps employees adapt to new technology through a well established IT consulting network. In the long run, employees don’t forget how they handled a particular problem, and this effectively raises a firm’s productivity.
 
Support Employee Tasks with Simple Technology (Ideate)
The simplest way to support employee-working experience is by not sidelining them unprepared with changing technology processes. As an HR Manager, fully engage your employees when transitioning to new tech by making use of effective training or consulting services. Specific training needs can be assessed and addressed within the organization or with a third party industry expert. 
 
According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends Report, design thinking was isolated as crucial in crafting the employee experience. 79% of those interviewed identified it as imperative. However, almost a similar percentage agreed that a lot of compliance programs and training are still based on outdated modes of meetings and processes.
 
The report also recommended the need to put necessary consideration on employees through proper IT training for far colossal efficiency. One way to make this work is by drawing a connected roadmap of skills and information needed at certain work intervals. Shedding off overwhelming and irrelevant amounts of data for new employees is vital in retaining their concentration and output. What’s more, a customizable app can help employees undertake appropriate tasks at the specified time, thus resulting in higher revenue for the long term.
 
Implementing an Intuitive Tech Learning Approach (Ideate)
The basis of this argument is that not every employee is the same. All of them are differently gifted and shouldn’t be forced to use one inflexible technology or system that doesn’t cater to their individual needs in a buzzing work environment. This mode of critical thinking brings to life personas such that fictive employees representing a defined group of external employees are drawn up. In this set-up, the personas should be able to learn and work efficiently within their own small environment while quickly utilizing their own skill set and the required information to make things work.
 
An HR manager can replicate this working scenario through the use of role-plays. This can be achieved by conducting short-term soft skills training sessions to sharpen their ability to handle similar situations. In the case of new technology, video-replays on how to use it in a one-on-one customer scenario can help relieve the pressure and spur the employee to be more productive.
 
Prototype and Testing
Here, the HR Manager should run a couple of tests to ensure whether the desired model of skill training is working. One way to get started is by crafting a simple prototype of the technology required, probably as a single module to establish its viability.
 
The new technology should be vigorously tested during prototyping to pinpoint any leaks, disjoints, or performance issues. Structured walkthroughs can be implemented to help employees navigate the solution through proper IT training sessions.
 
What’s more, HR should conduct sessions to get the employees’ views, emotions, or feelings regarding the new solution. In case of any cause for concern, the prototype should be improved until it meets the intermediate needs of its users.
 
Iterations are also a common occurrence in this phase. Refinements and alterations are curved out to make sure that the final thing suits every employee in some understandable capacity.
 
Wrapping Up
Design thinking is crucial in any organizational setting in making sure that employees sync properly with the technology in place. This will go a long way in improving their productivity.

We are not all equally motivated. Some people have more self-drive than other people. This is why we find that some people always end up at the top even when the odds are against them. An employee, with this realization, through the Human Resource department, should be able to design efficient career development systems. For this system to work, the employer must understand the nature of the business environment in which they are operating.

Why Train Employees?

The purpose of training employees is to enable them to grow with time and increase their efficiency. The business world is quite dynamic, nothing stays the same for long. Training one’s employees allows them to keep abreast with the ever changing technological advancements and many other factors that are relevant to his/her line of work. Employees cannot be expected to solve all their employer’s expectations with static skills and techniques. Even the most updated technology becomes obsolete at some point.
People are the biggest assets in organizations. For an establishment to flourish, it is important that the employer understands certain key things that help spur their development.

In a report from the Harvard Business Review, “The Impact of Employee Engagement of Performance,” the most impactful employee drivers are:

Tech Life in Texas

Austin may be considered the live music capital of the world but the field of technology is becoming the new norm in the The Lone Star State. Home to Dell and Compaq computers, there is a reason why central Texas is often referred to as the Silicon Valley of the south. It?s rated third on the charts of the top computer places in the United States with a social learning and training IT atmosphere. Adding the fact that Austin offers fairly inexpensive living costs for students, software developers may take note as they look to relocate.
A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships. Helen Keller
other Learning Options
Software developers near Austin 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 Texas that offer opportunities for IBM developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Dr Pepper Snapple Group Plano Manufacturing Nonalcoholic Beverages
Western Refining, Inc. El Paso Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Frontier Oil Corporation Dallas Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
ConocoPhillips Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Dell Inc Round Rock Computers and Electronics Computers, Parts and Repair
Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. Houston Transportation and Storage Transportation & Storage Other
GameStop Corp. Grapevine Retail Retail Other
Fluor Corporation Irving Business Services Management Consulting
Kimberly-Clark Corporation Irving Manufacturing Paper and Paper Products
Exxon Mobil Corporation Irving Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Cameron International Corporation Houston Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Celanese Corporation Irving Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
HollyFrontier Corporation Dallas Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Kinder Morgan, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Marathon Oil Corporation Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
United Services Automobile Association San Antonio Financial Services Personal Financial Planning and Private Banking
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Plano Retail Department Stores
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. Dallas Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Atmos Energy Corporation Dallas Energy and Utilities Alternative Energy Sources
National Oilwell Varco Inc. Houston Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Tesoro Corporation San Antonio Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Halliburton Company Houston Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Flowserve Corporation Irving Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
Commercial Metals Company Irving Manufacturing Metals Manufacturing
EOG Resources, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Whole Foods Market, Inc. Austin Retail Grocery and Specialty Food Stores
Waste Management, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Waste Management and Recycling
CenterPoint Energy, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Valero Energy Corporation San Antonio Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
FMC Technologies, Inc. Houston Energy and Utilities Alternative Energy Sources
Calpine Corporation Houston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Texas Instruments Incorporated Dallas Computers and Electronics Semiconductor and Microchip Manufacturing
SYSCO Corporation Houston Wholesale and Distribution Grocery and Food Wholesalers
BNSF Railway Company Fort Worth Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
Affiliated Computer Services, Incorporated (ACS), a Xerox Company Dallas Software and Internet E-commerce and Internet Businesses
Tenet Healthcare Corporation Dallas Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
XTO Energy Inc. Fort Worth Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Group 1 Automotive Houston Retail Automobile Dealers
ATandT Dallas Telecommunications Telephone Service Providers and Carriers
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation Spring Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Apache Corporation Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Dean Foods Company Dallas Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
American Airlines Fort Worth Travel, Recreation and Leisure Passenger Airlines
Baker Hughes Incorporated Houston Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
Continental Airlines, Inc. Houston Travel, Recreation and Leisure Passenger Airlines
RadioShack Corporation Fort Worth Computers and Electronics Consumer Electronics, Parts and Repair
KBR, Inc. Houston Government International Bodies and Organizations
Spectra Energy Partners, L.P. Houston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Energy Future Holdings Dallas Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Southwest Airlines Corporation Dallas Transportation and Storage Air Couriers and Cargo 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 Texas 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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