Microsoft Team Foundation Server Training Classes in Hammond, Indiana

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.NET is a highly popular programming language from Microsoft that continues to rock the IT industry since its inception almost twelve years ago. Simply stated, it is a development framework comprising of multiple modules that helps in creating Web Applications, Windows Applications as well as Mobile Applications. The demand for .NET programmers saw a definite surge in the last decade - thanks to the evolution of the smart phones.

Listed below are some of the recent and prevalent aspects of .Net

ASP .NET - Web API

Microsoft considers Web AP I as the future of ASP .NET. The world of web is heading towards a simpler, lightweight, REST based services. Web API makes it possible with the ASP.NET MVC without the heavy lifting that WCF requires. jQuery could be utilized for displaying results in front end of the page as shown in the example in Microsoft site.

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.

Millions of people experienced the frustration and failures of the Obamacare website when it first launched. Because the code for the back end is not open source, the exact technicalities of the initial failings are tricky to determine. Many curious programmers and web designers have had time to examine the open source coding on the front end, however, leading to reasonable conclusions about the nature of the overall difficulties.

Lack of End to End Collaboration
The website was developed with multiple contractors for the front-end and back-end functions. The site also needed to be integrated with insurance companies, IRS servers, Homeland Security servers, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, all of whom had their own legacy systems. The large number of parties involved and the complex nature of the various components naturally complicated the testing and integration of each portion of the project.

The errors displayed, and occasionally the lack thereof, indicated an absence of coordination between the parties developing the separate components. A failed sign up attempt, for instance, often resulted in a page that displayed the header but had no content or failure message. A look at end user requests revealed that the database was unavailable. Clearly, the coding for the front end did not include errors for failures on the back end.

Bloat and the Abundance of Minor Issues
Obviously, numerous bugs were also an issue. The system required users to create passwords that included numbers, for example, but failed to disclose that on the form and in subsequent failure messages, leaving users baffled. In another issue, one of the pages intended to ask users to please wait or call instead, but the message and the phone information were accidentally commented out in the code.

While the front-end design has been cleared of blame for the most serious failures, bloat in the code did contribute to the early difficulties users experienced. The site design was heavy with Javascript and CSS files, and it was peppered with small coding errors that became particularly troublesome when users faced bottlenecks in traffic. Frequent typos throughout the code proved to be an additional embarrassment and were another indication of a troubled development process.

NoSQL Database
The NoSQL database is intended to allow for scalability and flexibility in the architecture of projects that will use it. This made NoSQL a logical choice for the health insurance exchange website. The newness of the technology, however, means personnel with expertise can be elusive. Database-related missteps were more likely the result of a lack of experienced administrators than with the technology itself. The choice of the NoSQL database was thus another complication in the development, but did not itself cause the failures.

Another factor of consequence is that the website was built with both agile and waterfall methodology elements. With agile methods for the front end and the waterfall methodology for the back end, streamlining was naturally going to suffer further difficulties. The disparate contractors, varied methods of software development, and an unrealistically short project time line all contributed to the coding failures of the website.

Although reports made in May 2010 indicate that Android had outsold Apple iPhones, more recent and current reports of the 2nd quarter of 2011 made by National Purchase Diary (NPD) on Mobile Phone Track service, which listed the top five selling smartphones in the United States for the months of April-June of 2011, indicate that Apple's iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS outsold other Android phones on the market in the U. S. for the third calendar quarter of 2011. This was true for the previous quarter of the same year; The iPhone 4 held the top spot.  The fact that the iPhone 4 claimed top spot does not come as a surprise to the analysts; rather, it is a testament to them of how well the iPhone is revered among consumers. The iPhone 3GS, which came out in 2009 outsold newer Android phones with higher screen resolutions and more processing power. The list of the five top selling smartphones is depicted below:

  1. Apple iPhone 4
  2. Apple iPhone 3GS
  3. HTC EVO 4G
  4. Motorola Droid 3
  5. Samsung Intensity II[1]

Apple’s iPhone also outsold Android devices7.8:1 at AT&T’s corporate retail stores in December. A source inside the Apple company told The Mac Observer that those stores sold some 981,000 iPhones between December 1st and December 27th 2011, and that the Apple device accounted for some 66% of all device sales during that period (see the pie figure below) . Android devices, on the other hand, accounted for just 8.5% of sales during the same period.

According to the report, AT&T sold approximately 981,000 iPhones through AT&T corporate stores in the first 27 days of December, 2011 while 126,000 Android devices were sold during the same period. Even the basic flip and slider phones did better than Android, with 128,000 units sold.[2] However, it is important to understand that this is a report for one particular environment at a particular period in time. As the first iPhone carrier in the world, AT&T has been the dominant iPhone carrier in the U.S. since day one, and AT&T has consistently claimed that the iPhone is its best selling device.

Chart courtesy of Mac Observer: http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/iphone_crushes_android_at_att_corporate_stores_in_december/

A more recent report posted in ismashphone.com, dated January 25 2012, indicated that Apple sold 37 million iPhones in Q4 2011.  It appears that the iPhone 4S really helped take Apple’s handset past competing Android phones. According to research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, Apple’s U.S. smartphone marketshare has doubled to 44.9 percent.[3] Meanwhile, Android marketshare in the U.S. dropped slightly to 44.8 percent. This report means that the iPhone has edged just a little bit past Android in U.S. marketshare. This is occurred after Apple’s Q1 2012 conference call, which saw themselling 37 million handsets. Meanwhile, it’s reported that marketers of Android devices, such as Motorola Mobility, HTC and Sony Ericsson saw drops this quarter.

Tech Life in Indiana

Some fun facts about Indiana: The first professional baseball game was played in Fort Wayne on May 4, 1871; The Indiana Gazette Indiana's first newspaper was published in Vincennes in 1804; A great deal of the building limestone used in the U.S. is quarried in Indiana. As for the tech life in Indiana, there are growing opportunities within the state in some of the major corporations such as WellPoint, Biomet, and Zimmer Holdings (just to name a few)
No day in which you learn something is a complete loss. Anonymous
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Software developers near Hammond 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 Indiana 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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