Security Training Classes in Halifax, Canada

Learn Security in Halifax, Canada and surrounding areas via our hands-on, expert led courses. All of our classes either are offered on an onsite, online or public instructor led basis. Here is a list of our current Security related training offerings in Halifax, Canada: Security Training

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As part of our C++ Tutorials series, here is a free overview of C++ pointers you may enjoy and find beneficial.

C++ Pointers Tutorials

I will begin our blog on Java Tutorial with an incredibly important aspect of java development:  memory management.  The importance of this topic should not be minimized as an application's performance and footprint size are at stake.

From the outset, the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) manages memory via a mechanism known as Garbage Collection (GC).  The Garbage collector

  • Manages the heap memory.   All obects are stored on the heap; therefore, all objects are managed.  The keyword, new, allocates the requisite memory to instantiate an object and places the newly allocated memory on the heap.  This object is marked as live until it is no longer being reference.
  • Deallocates or reclaims those objects that are no longer being referened. 
  • Traditionally, employs a Mark and Sweep algorithm.  In the mark phase, the collector identifies which objects are still alive.  The sweep phase identifies objects that are no longer alive.
  • Deallocates the memory of objects that are not marked as live.
  • Is automatically run by the JVM and not explicitely called by the Java developer.  Unlike languages such as C++, the Java developer has no explict control over memory management.
  • Does not manage the stack.  Local primitive types and local object references are not managed by the GC.

So if the Java developer has no control over memory management, why even worry about the GC?  It turns out that memory management is an integral part of an application's performance, all things being equal.  The more memory that is required for the application to run, the greater the likelihood that computational efficiency suffers. To that end, the developer has to take into account the amount of memory being allocated when writing code.  This translates into the amount of heap memory being consumed.

Memory is split into two types:  stack and heap.  Stack memory is memory set aside for a thread of execution e.g. a function.  When a function is called, a block of memory is reserved for those variables local to the function, provided that they are either a type of Java primitive or an object reference.  Upon runtime completion of the function call, the reserved memory block is now available for the next thread of execution.  Heap memory, on the otherhand, is dynamically allocated.  That is, there is no set pattern for allocating or deallocating this memory.  Therefore, keeping track or managing this type of memory is a complicated process. In Java, such memory is allocated when instantiating an object:

String s = new String();  // new operator being employed
String m = "A String";    /* object instantiated by the JVM and then being set to a value.  The JVM
calls the new operator */

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.

It is said that spoken languages shape thoughts by their inclusion and exclusion of concepts, and by structuring them in different ways. Similarly, programming languages shape solutions by making some tasks easier and others less aesthetic. Using F# instead of C# reshapes software projects in ways that prefer certain development styles and outcomes, changing what is possible and how it is achieved.

F# is a functional language from Microsoft's research division. While once relegated to the land of impractical academia, the principles espoused by functional programming are beginning to garner mainstream appeal.

As its name implies, functions are first-class citizens in functional programming. Blocks of code can be stored in variables, passed to other functions, and infinitely composed into higher-order functions, encouraging cleaner abstractions and easier testing. While it has long been possible to store and pass code, F#'s clean syntax for higher-order functions encourages them as a solution to any problem seeking an abstraction.

F# also encourages immutability. Instead of maintaining state in variables, functional programming with F# models programs as a series of functions converting inputs to outputs. While this introduces complications for those used to imperative styles, the benefits of immutability mesh well with many current developments best practices.

For instance, if functions are pure, handling only immutable data and exhibiting no side effects, then testing is vastly simplified. It is very easy to test that a specific block of code always returns the same value given the same inputs, and by modeling code as a series of immutable functions, it becomes possible to gain a deep and highly precise set of guarantees that software will behave exactly as written.

Further, if execution flow is exclusively a matter of routing function inputs to outputs, then concurrency is vastly simplified. By shifting away from mutable state to immutable functions, the need for locks and semaphores is vastly reduced if not entirely eliminated, and multi-processor development is almost effortless in many cases.

Type inference is another powerful feature of many functional languages. It is often unnecessary to specify argument and return types, since any modern compiler can infer them automatically. F# brings this feature to most areas of the language, making F# feel less like a statically-typed language and more like Ruby or Python. F# also eliminates noise like braces, explicit returns, and other bits of ceremony that make languages feel cumbersome.

Functional programming with F# makes it possible to write concise, easily testable code that is simpler to parallelize and reason about. However, strict functional styles often require imperative developers to learn new ways of thinking that are not as intuitive. Fortunately, F# makes it possible to incrementally change habits over time. Thanks to its hybrid object-oriented and functional nature, and its clean interoperability with the .net platform, F# developers can gradually shift to a more functional mindset while still using the algorithms and libraries with which they are most familiar.

 

Related F# Resources:

F# Programming Essentials Training

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