IBM Training Classes in Thornton, Colorado

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Java still has its place in the world of software development, but is it quickly becoming obsolete by the more dynamically enabled Python programming language? The issue is hotly contested by both sides of the debate. Java experts point out that Java is still being developed with more programmer friendly updates. Python users swear that Java can take up to ten times longer to develop. Managers that need to make the best decision for a company need concrete information so that an informed and rational decision can be made.

First, Java is a static typed language while Python is dynamically typed. Static typed languages require that each variable name must be tied to both a type and an object. Dynamically typed languages only require that a variable name only gets bound to an object. Immediately, this puts Python ahead of the game in terms of productivity since a static typed language requires several elements and can make errors in coding more likely.

Python uses a concise language while Java uses verbose language. Concise language, as the name suggests, gets straight to the point without extra words. Removing additional syntax can greatly reduce the amount of time required to program.  A simple call in Java, such as the ever notorious "Hello, World" requires three several lines of coding while Python requires a single sentence. Java requires the use of checked exceptions. If the exceptions are not caught or thrown out then the code fails to compile. In terms of language, Python certainly has surpassed Java in terms of brevity.

Additionally, while Java's string handling capabilities have improved they haven't yet matched the sophistication of Python's. Web applications rely upon fast load times and extraneous code can increase user wait time. Python optimizes code in ways that Java doesn't, and this can make Python a more efficient language. However, Java does run faster than Python and this can be a significant advantage for programmers using Java. When you factor in the need for a compiler for Java applications the speed factor cancels itself out leaving Python and Java at an impasse.

While a programmer will continue to argue for the language that makes it easiest based on the programmer's current level of knowledge, new software compiled with Python takes less time and provides a simplified coding language that reduces the chance for errors. When things go right, Java works well and there are no problems. However, when errors get introduced into the code, it can become extremely time consuming to locate and correct those errors. Python generally uses less code to begin with and makes it easier and more efficient to work with.

Ultimately, both languages have their own strengths and weaknesses. For creating simple applications, Python provides a simpler and more effective application. Larger applications can benefit from Java and the verbosity of the code actually makes it more compatible with future versions. Python code has been known to break with new releases. Ultimately, Python works best as a type of connecting language to conduct quick and dirty work that would be too intensive when using Java alone. In this sense, Java is a low-level implementation language. While both languages are continuing to develop, it's unlikely that one language will surpass the other for all programming needs in the near future.

If you are a software developer looking for a slight change, then you have several options available. The process of software development requires multiple types of resources. A software developer performs the construction and delivery of software programs. An experienced software developer gains business knowledge, analytical skills, team management skills and communication skills. All of these skills can be used to divert your development career into a related and slightly varied role in software development.

Production Support Engineer
A developer can easily switch to the role of a Production Support Engineer. This role entails working with customers and technical teams to report, track and resolve production issues. For some, this might be an exciting opportunity to see the software application from a user’s point of view.

Engineering Manager
If you have experience in leading a team of developers, you could take the role of an Engineering Manager. This role requires managing a bigger team of developers. The Engineering Manager is also responsible for ensuring the delivery of software products and meeting the deadlines set by Product Management. You will get the opportunity to develop software, if you are inclined to do so. However, you will also take new responsibilities such as performance management, infrastructure management and vendor management.

Partner Engineer
This role requires some amount development as well as coordination with partners such as vendors and customers. The job of a Partner Engineer is to act as a middleman to help the integration of services with partners via application programming interfaces (APIs). For example, companies such as Twitter and Facebook employ Partner Engineers to integrate their services with customer websites.

Systems Analyst
Many companies offer developers with an opportunity to switch to Analyst roles. This role involves analyzing system requirements by working with business and technical teams. Many Systems Analysts also work on reviewing, developing and testing application code. This role is suitable for developers with strong analytical skills.

QA Automation Engineer
This role is responsible for automating test cases with the help of tools such as Java, Ruby and Selenium. This role is ideal for people with prior development experience. QA Automation Engineers work with developers and product managers to define test cases, and to automate and run the test cases. In this role, you will get the opportunity to work on back-end as well as front-end automation tasks. You will remain in touch with programming languages as well as database technologies.

Database Analyst
Most people gain significant amount of knowledge on databases while working as a software developer. This will help you to switch your role into a Database Analyst. A Database Analyst analyzes database issues, reviews performance problems, writes database scripts and runs queries. This role also provides a path to become a Database Administrator, if you are interested.

Deployment Engineer
This role is responsible for deploying the code developed by software engineers. You may not be developing application programs in this role. However, you will be responsible for code deployments, pushing the code into test and production environments.

 

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The consulting industry is fiercely competitive and nets between $130B and $150B a year. In fact, professional consultants earn more money than many lawyers, doctors and other professionals. 

Offering free consultations is a common way for a software consultant to seize new accounts. But is there a red flag where a consultant may be giving away too many services for free? The worst scenario for a professional software consultant is to offer free services to the client and then never hear from them again once they no longer need their help. 

Although having the best intentions, many people will waste a consultant's time (i.e., client ignores or rejects any suggested approaches or solutions given by the consultant and seek the services of someone who will do it cheaper or will attempt to do it themselves). Small business owners especially can be challenging to work with. Some clients have a tendency to jump into projects before having adequate resources to finish what they have started, decide to go in a different direction midstream, while others simply don't want to spend any money when getting professional services. It's hard to believe, but some clients actually expect to receive free services for life. To counteract this notion, a software consultant can draw the line by offering free services within a promotional time frame and then begin charging a fee for services rendered after that time.

A good indicator of what a client's true intentions are is to monitor their activity within a specified period to see if their consultation activity bears fruit in the form of a contract. One big red flag is non-commitment on the part of the client. If they seem indecisive or vague about what they want it may be time to move on. Although there are times when a free consultation results in a paying client years later, who can wait that long? 

Less of Your Time is Wasted When You're Upfront


After being burned, some professional software consultants no longer give free consulting. They find that clients are much more willing to follow their advice when they have paid something. In order to close an account, a happy medium can be agreed upon by both parties involved as a way to build a long term relationship with highly qualified prospects. 

A software consultant's work, knowledge, skills and time are valuable. They can offer a potential client general solutions instead of addressing specific challenges. If a specific topic of discussion, troubleshooting session or other issue needs to be addressed, the consultant can inform the client of any upfront costs to receive a particular service if they need further assistance. Really, a free software consultation (if one is given) should be presented in a very similar way someone would hand out samples of a product at a grocery store. A professional consultant ideally wants clients to see how they can benefit using their services on a trial basis with a pitch leading to more extensive services which would only be available if they sign a contract with their firm. 

 

 Red Flags

Machine learning systems are equipped with artificial intelligence engines that provide these systems with the capability of learning by themselves without having to write programs to do so. They adjust and change programs as a result of being exposed to big data sets. The process of doing so is similar to the data mining concept where the data set is searched for patterns. The difference is in how those patterns are used. Data mining's purpose is to enhance human comprehension and understanding. Machine learning's algorithms purpose is to adjust some program's action without human supervision, learning from past searches and also continuously forward as it's exposed to new data.

The News Feed service in Facebook is an example, automatically personalizing a user's feed from his interaction with his or her friend's posts. The "machine" uses statistical and predictive analysis that identify interaction patterns (skipped, like, read, comment) and uses the results to adjust the News Feed output continuously without human intervention. 

Impact on Existing and Emerging Markets

The NBA is using machine analytics created by a California-based startup to create predictive models that allow coaches to better discern a player's ability. Fed with many seasons of data, the machine can make predictions of a player's abilities. Players can have good days and bad days, get sick or lose motivation, but over time a good player will be good and a bad player can be spotted. By examining big data sets of individual performance over many seasons, the machine develops predictive models that feed into the coach’s decision-making process when faced with certain teams or particular situations. 

General Electric, who has been around for 119 years is spending millions of dollars in artificial intelligence learning systems. Its many years of data from oil exploration and jet engine research is being fed to an IBM-developed system to reduce maintenance costs, optimize performance and anticipate breakdowns.

Over a dozen banks in Europe replaced their human-based statistical modeling processes with machines. The new engines create recommendations for low-profit customers such as retail clients, small and medium-sized companies. The lower-cost, faster results approach allows the bank to create micro-target models for forecasting service cancellations and loan defaults and then how to act under those potential situations. As a result of these new models and inputs into decision making some banks have experienced new product sales increases of 10 percent, lower capital expenses and increased collections by 20 percent. 

Emerging markets and industries

By now we have seen how cell phones and emerging and developing economies go together. This relationship has generated big data sets that hold information about behaviors and mobility patterns. Machine learning examines and analyzes the data to extract information in usage patterns for these new and little understood emergent economies. Both private and public policymakers can use this information to assess technology-based programs proposed by public officials and technology companies can use it to focus on developing personalized services and investment decisions.

Machine learning service providers targeting emerging economies in this example focus on evaluating demographic and socio-economic indicators and its impact on the way people use mobile technologies. The socioeconomic status of an individual or a population can be used to understand its access and expectations on education, housing, health and vital utilities such as water and electricity. Predictive models can then be created around customer's purchasing power and marketing campaigns created to offer new products. Instead of relying exclusively on phone interviews, focus groups or other kinds of person-to-person interactions, auto-learning algorithms can also be applied to the huge amounts of data collected by other entities such as Google and Facebook.

A warning

Traditional industries trying to profit from emerging markets will see a slowdown unless they adapt to new competitive forces unleashed in part by new technologies such as artificial intelligence that offer unprecedented capabilities at a lower entry and support cost than before. But small high-tech based companies are introducing new flexible, adaptable business models more suitable to new high-risk markets. Digital platforms rely on algorithms to host at a low cost and with quality services thousands of small and mid-size enterprises in countries such as China, India, Central America and Asia. These collaborations based on new technologies and tools gives the emerging market enterprises the reach and resources needed to challenge traditional business model companies.

Tech Life in Colorado

CNBC's list of "Top States for Business for 2010" has recognized Colorado as the third best state in the nation for business. Colorado is also the home to a bunch of federal facilities such as NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command, United States Air Force Academy, Schriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, and Fort Carson. On top of the beautiful mountainous scenery and sunny weather, tech life has been brewing steadily in the last decade in Denver and Boulder.
People learn something every day, and a lot of times it's that what they learned the day before was wrong.  ~Bill Vaughan
other Learning Options
Software developers near Thornton 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 Colorado that offer opportunities for IBM developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Level 3 Communications, Inc Broomfield Telecommunications Telecommunications Other
Liberty Global, Inc. Englewood Telecommunications Video and Teleconferencing
Liberty Media Corporation Englewood Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
Western Union Company Englewood Financial Services Financial Services Other
Ball Corporation Broomfield Manufacturing Metals Manufacturing
Pilgrim's Pride Corporation Greeley Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
Molson Coors Brewing Company Denver Manufacturing Alcoholic Beverages
DISH Network Corporation Englewood Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
Arrow Electronics, Inc. Englewood Computers and Electronics Networking Equipment and Systems
DaVita, Inc. Denver Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Outpatient Care Centers
Blockbuster LLC Englewood Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
CH2M HILL Englewood Energy and Utilities Alternative Energy Sources
Newmont Mining Corporation Greenwood Vlg Agriculture and Mining Mining and Quarrying

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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 Colorado 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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