Microsoft Development Training Classes in Haverhill, Massachusetts

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Gain insight and ideas from students with different perspectives and experiences.

Blog Entries publications that: entertain, make you think, offer insight

The short answer is, yes and no. It depends upon who you are. The purpose of this entry is to help you determine, yes or no.

Full disclosure. This entry is created on a Mac mini. And doing so on Windows 8 (Release Preview). If you are a developer, in my humble opinion you need to test on all platforms you expect your app to run or you are not much of a developer.

To be successful you need to leave politics in geographical territory known as Washington DC. My definition of that is: 14 mi.² of real estate surrounded by reality.

Only in politics can we afford to take sides. Those of us in IT, especially developers need to do our best to be all things to all people. Certainly this is a technical impossibility. However in our game we can get some points for at least being serviceable if not outstanding.

Studying a functional programming language is a good way to discover new approaches to problems and different ways of thinking. Although functional programming has much in common with logic and imperative programming, it uses unique abstractions and a different toolset for solving problems. Likewise, many current mainstream languages are beginning to pick up and integrate various techniques and features from functional programming.

Many authorities feel that Haskell is a great introductory language for learning functional programming. However, there are various other possibilities, including Scheme, F#, Scala, Clojure, Erlang and others.

Haskell is widely recognized as a beautiful, concise and high-performing programming language. It is statically typed and supports various cool features that augment language expressivity, including currying and pattern matching. In addition to monads, the language support a type-class system based on methods; this enables higher encapsulation and abstraction. Advanced Haskell will require learning about combinators, lambda calculus and category theory. Haskell allows programmers to create extremely elegant solutions.

Scheme is another good learning language -- it has an extensive history in academia and a vast body of instructional documents. Based on the oldest functional language -- Lisp -- Scheme is actually very small and elegant. Studying Scheme will allow the programmer to master iteration and recursion, lambda functions and first-class functions, closures, and bottom-up design.

Supported by Microsoft and growing in popularity, F# is a multi-paradigm, functional-first programming language that derives from ML and incorporates features from numerous languages, including OCaml, Scala, Haskell and Erlang. F# is described as a functional language that also supports object-oriented and imperative techniques. It is a .NET family member. F# allows the programmer to create succinct, type-safe, expressive and efficient solutions. It excels at parallel I/O and parallel CPU programming, data-oriented programming, and algorithmic development.

Scala is a general-purpose programming and scripting language that is both functional and object-oriented. It has strong static types and supports numerous functional language techniques such as pattern matching, lazy evaluation, currying, algebraic types, immutability and tail recursion. Scala -- from "scalable language" -- enables coders to write extremely concise source code. The code is compiled into Java bytecode and executes on the ubiquitous JVM (Java virtual machine).

Like Scala, Clojure also runs on the Java virtual machine. Because it is based on Lisp, it treats code like data and supports macros. Clojure's immutability features and time-progression constructs enable the creation of robust multithreaded programs.

Erlang is a highly concurrent language and runtime. Initially created by Ericsson to enable real-time, fault-tolerant, distributed applications, Erlang code can be altered without halting the system. The language has a functional subset with single assignment, dynamic typing, and eager evaluation. Erlang has powerful explicit support for concurrent processes.

 

Computer Programming as a Career?

What little habits make you a better software engineer?

I remember the day like it was yesterday. Pac Man had finally arrived on the Atari 2600.  It was a clear and sunny day, but it was slightly brisk. My dad drove us down to the video store about three miles from our Michigan house. If I remember correctly, the price for the game was $24.99.  It was quite expensive for the day, probably equaling a $70 game in today’s market, but it was mine. There *was* no question about it. If you purchase a game, it’s your game… right?

You couldn’t be more wrong.  With all the licensing agreements in games today, you only purchase the right to play it. You don’t actually “own” the game. 

Today, game designers want total control over the money that comes in for a game. They add in clauses that keep the game from being resold, rented, borrowed, copied, etc. All of the content in the game, including the items you find that are specifically for you, are owned by the software developer. Why, you ask, do they do this? It’s all about the money.

This need for greed started years ago, when people started modifying current games on the market. One of the first games like this was Doom. There were so many third part mods made, but because of licensing agreement, none of these versions were available for resale. The end user, or you, had to purchase Doom before they could even install the mod.  None of these “modders” were allowed to make any money off their creation.

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 Massachusetts

It?s no wonder that Massachusetts is a hub of major activity in information technology with a collection of 121 institutions for higher education. In 2007 Mass. impressively scored the highest of all the states in math on the National Assessments of Educational Progress. Some fun facts about Massachusest: - The first U.S.Postal zip code in Massachusetts is 01001 at Agawam. - The Boston University Bridge on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane.
Good programmers know what's beautiful and bad ones don't. D. Gelernter
other Learning Options
Software developers near Haverhill 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 Massachusetts that offer opportunities for Microsoft Development developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Cabot Corporation Boston Telecommunications Telephone Service Providers and Carriers
LPL Financial Boston Financial Services Personal Financial Planning and Private Banking
NSTAR Gas and Electric Company Westwood Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Cabot Corporation Boston Manufacturing Plastics and Rubber Manufacturing
BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. Westborough Retail Department Stores
American Tower Corporation Boston Telecommunications Telecommunications Equipment and Accessories
Hologic, Inc. Bedford Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Devices
Global Partners LP Waltham Retail Gasoline Stations
Northeast Utilities Boston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Liberty Mutual Holding Company Boston Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Staples Inc. Framingham Computers and Electronics Office Machinery and Equipment
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Waltham Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Devices
Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. Worcester Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
The TJX Companies, Inc. Framingham Retail Department Stores
Iron Mountain, Inc. Boston Software and Internet Data Analytics, Management and Storage
Massachusetts Mutual Financial Group Springfield Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. Peabody Manufacturing Concrete, Glass, and Building Materials
Raytheon Company Waltham Software and Internet Software
Analog Devices, Inc. Norwood Computers and Electronics Consumer Electronics, Parts and Repair
Biogen Idec Inc. Weston Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Biotechnology
Boston Scientific Corporation Natick Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Supplies and Equipment
PerkinElmer, Inc. Waltham Computers and Electronics Instruments and Controls
State Street Corporation Boston Financial Services Trust, Fiduciary, and Custody Activities
EMC Corporation Hopkinton Computers and Electronics Networking Equipment and Systems

training details locations, tags and why hsg

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 Massachusetts 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 Microsoft Development programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Microsoft Development experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Microsoft Development 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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