IBM Training Classes in Gaithersburg, Maryland

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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.

When asked for my pearls of wisdom on this topic, I was tempted to respond with the excuse: "Sorry, can't comment. My asbestos underwear is out for dry-cleaning."

It seems both the emotions and mis-information surrounding HTML 5 run high.

And some information is just plain scary. Consider this direct quote from the W3C.

"The following elements are not in HTML5 because using them damages usability and accessibility:

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.

I’ve been a technical recruiter for several years, let’s just say a long time.  I’ll never forget how my first deal went bad and the lesson I learned from that experience.  I was new to recruiting but had been a very good sales person in my previous position. I was about to place my first contractor on an assignment.  I thought everything was fine.  I nurtured and guided my candidate through the interview process with constant communication throughout.  The candidate was very responsive throughout the process.  From my initial contact with him, to the phone interview all went well and now he was completing his onsite interview with the hiring manager. 

Shortly thereafter, I received the call from the hiring manager that my candidate was the chosen one for the contract position, I was thrilled.  All my hard work had paid off.  I was going to be a success at this new game!  The entire office was thrilled for me, including my co-workers and my bosses.  I made a good win-win deal.  It was good pay for my candidate and a good margin for my recruiting firm. Everyone was happy. 

I left a voicemail message for my candidate so I could deliver the good news. He had agreed to call me immediately after the interview so I could get his assessment of how well it went.  Although, I heard from the hiring manager, there was no word from him.  While waiting for his call back, I received a call from a Mercedes dealership to verify his employment for a car he was trying to lease. Technically he wasn’t working for us as he had not signed the contract yet…. nor, had he discussed this topic with me.   I told the Mercedes office that I would get back to them.  Still not having heard back from the candidate, I left him another message and mentioned the call I just received.  Eventually he called back.  He wanted more money. 

I told him that would be impossible as he and I had previously agreed on his hourly rate and it was fine with him.  I asked him what had changed since that agreement.  He said he made had made much more money in doing the same thing when he lived in California.  I reminded him this is a less costly marketplace than where he was living in California.  I told him if he signed the deal I would be able to call the car dealership back and confirm that he was employed with us.  He agreed to sign the deal. 

Tech Life in Maryland

Maryland has several historic and renowned private colleges and universities such as St. John?s College, Washington College, Towson University, and the University of Maryland Baltimore, the most prominent of which is Johns Hopkins University. The city of Annapolis, is known as the sailing capital of the world. The Tech Council of Maryland (TCM), Maryland?s largest trade association for technology and life science companies, announced in October 2013 that Rockville, Md. based IT services firm Optimal Networks, was the winner of the organization?s first annual ?Outstanding Place to Work? award, Portal Solutions, a Rockville-based technology services firm and DMI, in Bethesda, were runners up.
Learning isn't a means to an end; it is an end in itself. ~ Robert Heinlein
other Learning Options
Software developers near Gaithersburg 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 Maryland that offer opportunities for IBM developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
McCormick and Company, Incorporated Sparks Wholesale and Distribution Grocery and Food Wholesalers
USEC Inc. Bethesda Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Coventry Health Care, Inc. Bethesda Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotech Other
Host Hotels and Resorts, Inc. Bethesda Travel, Recreation and Leisure Hotels, Motels and Lodging
W.R. Grace and Co. Columbia Agriculture and Mining Farming and Ranching
Discovery Communications, Inc. Silver Spring Media and Entertainment Radio and Television Broadcasting
Legg Mason, Inc. Baltimore Financial Services Financial Services Other
Marriott International Inc. Bethesda Travel, Recreation and Leisure Hotels, Motels and Lodging
Constellation Energy Resources, LLC Baltimore Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Lockheed Martin Corporation Bethesda Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
T. Rowe Price Baltimore Financial Services Investment Banking and Venture Capital

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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 Maryland 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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