Microsoft Team Foundation Server Training Classes in Decatur, Illinois

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Many individuals are looking to break into a video game designing career, and it's no surprise. A $9 billion industry, the video game designing business has appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike. High salaries and high rates of job satisfaction are typical in the field.

In order to design video games, however, you need a certain skill set. Computer programming is first on the list. While games are made using almost all languages, the most popular programming language for video games is C++, because of its object-oriented nature and because it compiles to binary. The next most popular languages for games are C and Java, but others such as C# and assembly language are also used. A strong background in math is usually required to learn these languages. Individuals wishing to design games should also have an extensive knowledge of both PCs and Macs.

There are many colleges and universities that offer classes not only in programming but also classes specifically on game design. Some of these schools have alliances with game developing companies, leading to jobs for students upon graduation. Programming video games can be lucrative. The average game designer's salary is $62,500, with $55,000 at the low end and $85,000 at the high end.

Programmers are not the only individuals needed to make a video game, however. There are multiple career paths within the gaming industry, including specialists in audio, design, production, visual arts and business.

Designing a video game can be an long, expensive process. The average budget for a modern multiplatform video game is $18-$28 million, with some high-profile games costing as much as $40 million. Making the game, from conception to sale, can take several months to several years. Some games have taken a notoriously long time to make; for example, 3D Realms' Duke Nukem Forever was announced in April 1997 and did not make it to shelves until July 2011.

Video game programmers have a high level of job satisfaction. In a March 2013 survey conducted by Game Developer magazine, 29 percent of game programmers were very satisfied with their jobs, and 39 percent were somewhat satisfied.

If you're interested in a game development career, now's the time to get moving. Take advantage of the many online resources available regarding these careers and start learning right away.

What are the three most important things non-programmers should know about programming?
 
Written by Brian Knapp, credit and reprint CodeCareerGenius
 
 
Since you asked for the three most important things that non-programmers should know about, and I’ve spent most of my career working with more non-programmers than programmers, I have a few interesting things that would help.
 
Number One - It Is Impossible To Accurately Estimate Software Projects
 
No matter what is tried. No matter what tool, agile approach, or magic fairy dust people try to apply to creating software… accurately predicting software project timelines is basically impossible.
 
There are many good reasons for this. Usually, requirements and feature ideas change on a daily/weekly basis. Often it is impossible to know what needs to be done without actually digging into the code itself. Debugging and QA can take an extraordinary amount of time.
 
And worst of all…
 
Project Managers are always pushing for shorter timelines. They largely have no respect for reality. So, at some point they are given estimates just to make them feel better about planning.
 
No matter how much planning and estimation you do, it will be wrong. At best it will be directionally correct +/- 300% of what you estimated. So, a one year project could actually take anywhere between 0 and 5 years, maybe even 10 years.
 
If you think I’m joking, look at how many major ERP projects that go over time and over budget by many years and many hundreds of millions of dollars. Look at the F-35 fighter jet software issues.
 
Or in the small, you can find many cases where a “simple bug fix” can take days when you thought it was hours.
 
All estimates are lies made up to make everyone feel better. I’ve never met a developer or manager who could accurately estimate software projects even as well as the local weatherman(or woman) predicts the weather.
 
Number Two - Productivity Is Unevenly Distributed
 
What if I told you that in the average eight hour work day the majority of the work will get done in a 30 minute timeframe? Sound crazy?
 
Well, for most programmers there is a 30–90 minute window where you are extraordinarily productive. We call this the flow state.
 
Being in the flow state is wonderful and amazing. It often is where the “magic” of building software happens.
 
Getting into flow can be difficult. It’s akin to meditation in that you have to have a period of uninterrupted focus of say 30 minutes to “get in” the flow, but a tiny interruption can pull you right out.
 
Now consider the modern workplace environment. Programmers work in open office environments where they are invited to distract each other constantly.
 
Most people need a 1–2 hour uninterrupted block to get 30–90 minutes of flow.
 
Take the 8 hour day and break it in half with a lunch break, and then pile in a few meetings and all of a sudden you are lucky to get one decent flow state session in place.
 
That is why I say that most of the work that gets done happens in a 30 minute timeframe. The other 7–8 hours are spent being distracted, answering email, going to meetings, hanging around the water cooler, going to the bathroom, and trying to remember what you were working on before all these distractions.
 
Ironically, writers, musicians, and other creative professionals have their own version of this problem and largely work alone and away from other people when they are creating new things.
 
Someday the programming world might catch on, but I doubt it.
 
Even if this became obvious, it doesn’t sit well with most companies to think that programmers would be paid for an 8 hour day and only be cranking out code for a few hours on a good day. Some corporate middle manager would probably get the bright idea to have mandatory flow state training where a guru came in and then there would be a corporate policy from a pointy haired boss mandating that programmers are now required to spend 8 hours a day in flow state and they must fill out forms to track their time and notify their superiors of their flow state activities, otherwise there would be more meetings about the current flow state reports not being filed correctly and that programmers were spending too much time “zoning out” instead of being in flow.
 
Thus, programmers would spent 7–8 hours a day pretending to be in flow state, reporting on their progress, and getting all their work done in 30 minutes of accidental flow state somewhere in the middle of all that flow state reporting.
 
If you think I’m joking about this, I’m not. I promise you this is what would happen to any company of more than 2 employees. (Even the ones run by programmers.)
 
Number Three - It Will Cost 10x What You Think
 
Being a programmer, I get a lot of non-programmers telling me about their brilliant app ideas. Usually they want me to build something for free and are so generous as to pay me up to 5% of the profits for doing 100% of the work.
 
Their ideas are just that good.
 
Now, I gently tell them that I’m not interested in building anything for free.
 
At that point they get angry, but a few ask how much it will cost. I give them a reasonable (and very incorrect) estimate of what it would cost to create the incredibly simple version of their app idea.
 
Let’s say it’s some number like $25,000.
 
They look at me like I’m a lunatic, and so I explain how much it costs to hire a contract programmer and how long it will actually take. For example’s sake let’s say it is $100/hr for 250 hours.
 
To be clear, these are made up numbers and bad estimates (See Number One for details…)
 
In actuality, to build the actual thing they want might cost $250,000, or even $2,500,000 when it’s all said and done.
 
Building software can be incredibly complex and expensive. What most people can’t wrap their head around is the fact that a company like Google, Apple, or Microsoft has spent BILLIONS of dollars to create something that looks so simple to the end user.
 
Somehow, the assumption is that something that looks simple is cheap and fast to build.
 
Building something simple and easy for the end user is time consuming and expensive. Most people just can’t do it.
 
So, the average person with a brilliant app idea thinks it will cost a few hundred or maybe a few thousand dollars to make and it will be done in a weekend is so off the mark it’s not worth considering their ideas.
 
And programmers are too eager to play along with these bad ideas (by making bad estimates and under charging for their time) that this notion is perpetuated to the average non-programmer.
 
So, a good rule of thumb is that software will cost 10 times as much as you think and take 10 times as long to finish.
 
And that leads to a bonus point…
 
BONUS - Software Is Never Done
 
Programmers never complete a software project, they only stop working on it. Software is never done.
 
I’ve worked at many software companies and I’ve never seen a software project “completed”.
 
Sure, software gets released and used. But, it is always changing, being updated, bugs get fixed, and there are always new customer requests for features.
 
Look at your favorite software and you’ll quickly realize how true this is. Facebook, Instagram, Google Search, Google Maps, GMail, iOS, Android, Windows, and now even most video games are never done.
 
There are small armies of developers just trying to keep all the software you use every day stable and bug free. Add on the fact that there are always feature requests, small changes, and new platforms to deal with, it’s a treadmill.
 
So, the only way out of the game is to stop working on software. At that point, the software begins to decay until it is no longer secure or supported.
 
Think about old Windows 3.1 software or maybe old Nintendo Cartridge video games. The current computers and video game consoles don’t even attempt to run that software anymore.
 
You can’t put an old video game in your new Nintendo Switch and have it “just work”. That is what happens when you think software is done.
 
When programmers stop working on software the software starts to die. The code itself is probably fine, but all the other software keeps moving forward until your software is no longer compatible with the current technology.
 
So, those are the four most important things that non-programmers should know about programming. I know you asked for only three, so I hope the bonus was valuable to you as well.

Learning SQL development can seem like an overwhelming task at first. However, mastering just a few key points will help ease your way through 80 percent of the day-to-day challenges when writing stored procedures and solving common problems. Here are three important SQL development factors to keep in mind:


Outer Joins
One of the most crucial things to understand in SQL server are joins. Joins are a way to retrieve data from two or more tables based on logical relationships between them. Joins dictate how Microsoft SQL Server ought to use data from one table to select the rows in another table.

In my experience inner joins are intuitive while outer joins can present additional hours of grief by overlooking associations in the other table(s). The outer join is the key to answering questions about what the database does not have. For example, if you need to make a query to display all the students who are without report-cards, you’ll need a left join to get all students coupled with a “where clause” to return the ones who have nulls for their report card table columns in the results.

Many talented Java script programmers have muddled through the SQL Server by deficient coding around the inner join. As a result, their queries can take five hours to run, whereas, properly written left joins, can take only two seconds to run.

Aggregation
Grouping results comes up in SQL a lot more than you might think. Knowing how to write a query when answering questions such as, “What’s the average grade for each teacher’s student list?” is invaluable. This kind of question cannot be answered with a single table or solely by joins.  You’ll often find you need to use joins in conjunction with group by statements. Always write the raw query first and then look at the results. Next, you have to figure out the best way to group them, rewrite your select clause and add a group by clause in the end.

Digging Through Data
I find this is the most lacking skill in many programmers. In fact, many otherwise-talented programmers holding Master’s Degrees fail to get jobs because they couldn’t analyze rows of data objectively during interviews. It’s just something that’s not taught but is crucial to get under you belt. Why? Eventually, some query is not going to perform as you may expect. And, the only way to find discrepancies is to look at rows of data, identify what join isn’t finding a match or where bad data is throwing things into chaos. Get familiar with how joins actually work, even if you have to manually walk through the logic of a large stored procedure’s tree of joins. It’s boring and time-consuming but absolutely necessary.


Take the time to master the core skills that will make you a successful SQL Programmer and avoid queries that run for five hours!

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.

Tech Life in Illinois

The Illinois Institute of Technology has various research centers such as the IIT Research Institute, the Institute of Gas Technology, and the Design Processes Laboratory as well as a technical facility of the Association of American Railroads. No state has had a more prominent role than Illinois in the emergence of the nuclear age. As part of the Manhattan Project, in 1942 the University of Chicago conducted the first sustained nuclear chain reaction. This was just the first of a series of experimental nuclear power projects and experiments. And, with eleven plants currently operating, Illinois leads all states in the amount of electricity generated from nuclear power. Approximately 35% percent of residents are in management, business, science, or arts occupations.
One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
other Learning Options
Software developers near Decatur 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.

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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 Illinois 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 Team Foundation Server programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Microsoft Team Foundation Server experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Microsoft Team Foundation Server 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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