Microsoft Training Classes in Florissant, Missouri

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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.

Anonymous reprint from Quora (career advice)

Occasionally we come across a unique profound perspective that makes one stop and really listen. The following advice is one such as this.

  1. Small actions compound: Reputation, career trajectory, and how others perceive you in the workplace can come down to a handful of things/moments that seem inconsequential/small at the time but compound. Random Thought: Redwood trees come from small seeds and time. With every action you're planting small seeds and these seeds can grow into something bigger (sometimes unimaginably bigger) over time. Don't let small basic mistakes sabotage your reputation because it only takes a few small snafus for people to lose confidence/trust in your ability to do more important tasks. Trust is a fragile thing and the sooner people can trust you the faster they'll give you more responsibility. Some Examples: Being on time (always) or early (better); spending an extra 10-15 minutes reviewing your work and catching basic mistakes before your boss does; structuring your work so it's easy for others to understand and leverage (good structure/footnotes/formatting); taking on unpleasant schleps/tasks (volunteer for them; don't complain; do it even when there's no apparent benefit to you)  

  2. Rising tide lifts all boats: Fact: You don't become CEO of a multi-billion dollar public company in your 30s based purely on ability/talent. Your career is a boat and it is at the mercy of tides. No matter how talented you are it's a lot harder to break out in a sluggish situation/hierarchy/economy than a go-go environment. Even if you're a superstar at Sluggish Co., your upside trajectory (more often than not) is fractional to what an average/below average employee achieves at Rocket Ship Co. There's a reason Eric Schmidt told Sheryl Sandberg to "Get on a Rocket Ship". I had colleagues accelerate their careers/income/title/responsibility simply because business demand was nose bleed high (go go economy) and they were at the right place at the right time to ride the wave. Contrast that to the 2008 bust where earnings/promotions/careers have been clamped down and people are thankful for having jobs let alone moving up. Yes talent still matters but I think people generally overweight individual talent and underweight economics when evaluating/explaining their career successes. Sheryl Sandberg Quote: When companies are growing quickly and they are having a lot of impact, careers take care of themselves. And when companies aren’t growing quickly or their missions don’t matter as much, that’s when stagnation and politics come in. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.

  3. Seek opportunities where the outcome is success or failure. Nothing in between! You don't become a star doing your job. You become a star making things happen. I was once told early in my career that you learn the most in 1) rapidly growing organizations or 2) failing organizations.  I've been in both kinds of situations and wholeheartedly agree. Repeat. Get on a rocket ship. It'll either blow up or put you in orbit. Either way you'll learn a ton in a short amount of time. Put another way; seek jobs where you can get 5-10 years of work experience in 1-2 years.

  4. Career Tracks & Meritocracies don't exist: Your career is not a linear, clearly defined trajectory.  It will be messy and will move more like a step function.

  5. You will probably have champions and detractors on day 1: One interesting byproduct of the recruiting & hiring process of most organizations is it can create champions & detractors before you even start the job. Some folks might not like how you were brought into the organization (they might have even protested your hiring) and gun for you at every turn while others will give you the benefit of the doubt (even when you don't deserve one) because they stuck their neck out to hire you. We're all susceptible to these biases and few people truly evaluate/treat folks on a blank slate.

  6. You'll only be known for a few things. Make those labels count: People rely on labels as quick filters. Keep this in mind when you pick an industry/company/job role/school because it can serve as an anchor or elevator in the future. It's unfortunate but that's the way it is. You should always be aware of what your "labels" are.

  7. Nurture & protect your network and your network will nurture & protect you: Pay it forward and help people. Your network will be one of the biggest drivers of your success.

The interpreted programming language Python has surged in popularity in recent years. Long beloved by system administrators and others who had good use for the way it made routine tasks easy to automate, it has gained traction in other sectors as well. In particular, it has become one of the most-used tools in the discipline of numerical computing and analysis. Being put to use for such heavy lifting has endowed the language with a great selection of powerful libraries and other tools that make it even more flexible. One upshot of this development has been that sophisticated business analysts have also come to see the language as a valuable tool for those own data analysis needs.

Greatly appreciated for its simplicity and elegance of syntax, Python makes an excellent first programming language for previously non-technical people. Many business analysts, in fact, have had success growing their skill sets in this way thanks to the language's tractability. Long beloved by specialized data scientists, the iPython interactive computing environment has also attracted great attention within the business analyst’s community. Its instant feedback and visualization options have made it easy for many analysts to become skilled Python programmers while doing valuable work along the way.

Using iPython and appropriate notebooks for it, for example, business analysts can easily make interactive use of such tools as cohort analysis and pivot tables. iPython makes it easy to benefit from real-time, interactive researches which produce immediately visible results, including charts and graphs suitable for use in other contexts. Through becoming familiar with this powerful interactive application, business analysts are also exposing themselves in a natural and productive way to the Python programming language itself.

Gaining proficiency with this language opens up further possibilities. While interactive analytic techniques are of great use to many business analysts, being able to create fully functioning, independent programs is of similar value. Becoming comfortable with Python allows analysts to tackle and plumb even larger data sets than would be possible through an interactive approach, as results can be allowed to accumulate over hours and days of processing time.

This ability can sometime allow business analysts to address the so-called "Big Data" questions that can otherwise seem the sole province of specialized data scientists. More important than this higher level of independence, perhaps, is the fact that this increased facility with data analysis and handling allows analysts to communicate more effectively with such stakeholders. Through learning a programming language which allows them to begin making independent inroads into such areas, business analysts gain a better perspective on these specialized domains, and this allows them to function as even more effective intermediaries.

 

Related:

Who Are the Main Players in Big Data?

When making a strategic cloud decision, organizations can follow either one of two ideologies: open or closed.

In the past, major software technologies have been widely accepted because an emerging market leader simplified the initial adoption.  After a technology comes of age, the industry spawns open alternatives that provide choice and flexibility, and the result is an open alternative that quickly gains traction and most often outstrips the capabilities of its proprietary predecessor.

After an organization invests significantly in a technology, the complexity and effort required steering a given workload onto a new system or platform is, in most cases, significant. Switching outlays, shifting to updated or new software/hardware platforms, and the accompanying risks may lead to the ubiquitousness of large, monolithic and complex ERP systems – reason not being that they offer the best value for an organization, but rather because shifting to anything else is simply – unthinkable.

There’s no denying that these are critical considerations today since a substantial number of organizations are making their first jump into the cloud and making preparations for the upsetting shift in how IT is delivered to both internal and external clientele. Early adopters are aware of the fact that the innovation brought about by open technologies can bring dramatic change, and hence are realizing how crucial it is to be able to chart their own destiny.

Tech Life in Missouri

Missouri, known as the ?Show Me State?, has a growing science and biotechnology field. One of the largest gene companies, in the U.S. Monsanto, is based in St. Louis. The higher education system is governed by the Missouri Department of Education and includes 13 four-year universities and 20 two-year colleges.
Theory is knowledge that doesn't work. Practice is when everything works and you don't know why. ~ Hermann Hesse
other Learning Options
Software developers near Florissant 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 Missouri that offer opportunities for Microsoft developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Patriot Coal Corporation Saint Louis Agriculture and Mining Mining and Quarrying
Solutia Inc. Saint Louis Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Monsanto Company Saint Louis Agriculture and Mining Agriculture and Mining Other
Kansas City Power and Light Company Kansas City Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
The Laclede Group, Inc. Saint Louis Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Peabody Energy Corporation Saint Louis Agriculture and Mining Mining and Quarrying
Emerson Electric Company Saint Louis Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
Energizer Holdings, Inc. Saint Louis Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Centene Corporation Saint Louis Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotech Other
Express Scripts Saint Louis Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Pharmaceuticals
Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated Chesterfield Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Ameren Corporation Saint Louis Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
DST Systems, Inc. Kansas City Computers and Electronics Networking Equipment and Systems
Inergy, L.P. Kansas City Energy and Utilities Alternative Energy Sources
Leggett and Platt, Incorporated Carthage Manufacturing Furniture Manufacturing
Cerner Corporation Kansas City Software and Internet Software
O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. Springfield Retail Automobile Parts Stores
AMC Theatres Kansas City Media and Entertainment Motion Picture Exhibitors
Sigma-Aldrich Corporation Saint Louis Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
HandR Block Kansas City Financial Services Securities Agents and Brokers
Graybar Services, Inc. Saint Louis Wholesale and Distribution Wholesale and Distribution Other
Edward Jones Saint Louis Financial Services Personal Financial Planning and Private Banking
Arch Coal, Inc. Saint Louis Energy and Utilities Alternative Energy Sources
Brown Shoe Company, Inc. Saint Louis Retail Clothing and Shoes Stores
Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. Saint Louis Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging

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