Testing Training Classes in Albany, New York

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Back in the late 90's, there were a number of computer scienctists claiming to know java in hopes of landing a job for $80k+/year.  In fact, I know a woman you did just that:  land a project management position with a large telecom and have no experience whatsoever.  I guess the company figured that some talent was better than no talent and that, with some time and training, she would be productive.  Like all gravey train stories, that one, too, had an end.  After only a year, she was given a pink slip.

Not only are those days over, job prospects for the IT professional have become considerably more demanding.  Saying you know java today is like saying you know that you have expertise with the computer mouse; that's nice, but what else can you do.   This demand can be attributed to an increase in global competition along with the introduction of a number of varied technologies.   Take .NET, Python, Ruby, Spring, Hibernate ... as an example;  most of them, along with many others, are the backbone of the IT infrastructure of most mid-to-large scale US corporations.  Imagine the difficulty in finding the right mix of experience, knowledge and talent to support, maintain and devlop with such desparate technologies.

Well imagine no more.  According to the IT Hiring Index and Skills Report, seventy percent of CIO’s said it's challenging to find skilled professionals today.  If we add the rapid rate of technological innovation into the mix of factors affecting more businesses now than ever before, it’s understandable that the skill gap is widening.  Consider this as well:  the economic downturn has forced many potential retires to remain in the workforce.  This is detailed in MetLife's annual Study of Employee Benefits which states that“more than one-third of surveyed Baby Boomers (35%) say that as a result of economic conditions they plan to postpone their retirement.”  How then does the corporation hire new, more informed/better educated talent?    Indeed, the IT skills gap is ever widening.

In order to compensate for these skill discrepencies, many firms have resorted to hire the ideal candidates by demanding they possess a christmas wish list of expertise in a variety of different IT disciplines.  It would not be uncommon that such individuals have a strong programming background and are brilliant DBA's.  What about training?  That is certainly a way to diminish the skills gap.

In Python, we can create three types of methods in a class:  instance or regular method, classmethod and staticmethod.  Instance methods are associated, as the name infers, with an instance or object of the class and take self as the first parameter.  Classmethods take a reference to the class, cls, as the first parameter of the class.  Staticmethods, for the most part, are convenience methods that could be declared as functions since they really do not have much to do with the class itself.  They were probably added at some time after the advent of Python in order to make the language more object oriented i.e. minimize the number of free floating functions. 

Refer the our article static, class and regular methods in Python for a detailed explanation on this subject.

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.

 

I suspect that many of you are familiar with the term "hard coding a value" whereby the age of an individual or their location is written into the condition (or action) of a business rule (in this case) as shown below:

if customer.age > 21 and customer.city == 'denver'

then ...

Such coding practices are perfectly expectable provided that the conditional values, age and city, never change. They become entirely unacceptable if a need for different values could be anticipated. A classic example of where this practice occurred that caused considerable heartache in the IT industry was the Y2K issue where dates were updated using only the last 2 digits of a four digit number because the first 2 digits were hard-coded to 19 i.e. 1998, 1999. All was well provided that the date did not advance to a time beyond the 1900’s since no one could be certain of what would happen when the millennia arrived (2000). A considerably amount of work (albeit boring) and money, approximately $200 billion, went into revising systems by way of software rewrites and computer chip replacements in order to thwart any detrimental outcomes. It is obvious how a simple change or an assumption can have sweeping consequences.

You may wonder what Y2K has to do with Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS). Well, what if we considered rules themselves to be hard-coded. If we were to write 100s of rules in Java, .NET or whatever language that only worked for a given scenario or assumption, would that not constitute hard-coded logic? By hard-coded, we obviously mean compiled. For example, if a credit card company has a variety of bonus campaigns, each with their own unique list of rules that may change within a week’s time, what would be the most effective way of writing software to deal with these responsibilities?

Tech Life in New York

City The Big Apple is home of two of the world?s largest stock market exchanges, the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. As a leading business center in the United States, New York has more Fortune 500 headquartered companies than any other city. Technology is blossoming in the Big Apple as major internet conglomerates like Google move their offices into ?telecom hotels? such as the 311,000 square feet office space downtown. As in any other city there are pros and cons of living in New York City. For instance, there is so much to do, it?s easy to get around with the transit system, it?s safe, convenient, and has plenty of job opportunities. On the other hand, it can be overwhelmingly expensive, overcrowded, a bit impersonal and fast paced. New Yorkers enjoy Central Park, multi cultural activities and food, theatre, film festivals, farmers markets, fashion and anything else they could possibly think of...it?s all there.
I find that a great part of the information I have, was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way. ~ Franklin Pierce Adams
other Learning Options
Software developers near Albany 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 New York that offer opportunities for Testing developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
NYSE Euronext, Inc. New York Financial Services Securities Agents and Brokers
Anderson Instrument Company Inc. Fultonville Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
News Corporation New York Media and Entertainment Radio and Television Broadcasting
Philip Morris International Inc New York Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Loews Corporation New York Travel, Recreation and Leisure Hotels, Motels and Lodging
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America New York Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Jarden Corporation Rye Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Ralph Lauren Corporation New York Retail Clothing and Shoes Stores
Icahn Enterprises, LP New York Financial Services Investment Banking and Venture Capital
Viacom Inc. New York Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
Omnicom Group Inc. New York Business Services Advertising, Marketing and PR
Henry Schein, Inc. Melville Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Supplies and Equipment
Pfizer Incorporated New York Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Pharmaceuticals
Eastman Kodak Company Rochester Computers and Electronics Audio, Video and Photography
Assurant Inc. New York Business Services Data and Records Management
PepsiCo, Inc. Purchase Manufacturing Nonalcoholic Beverages
Foot Locker, Inc. New York Retail Department Stores
Barnes and Noble, Inc. New York Retail Sporting Goods, Hobby, Book, and Music Stores
Alcoa New York Manufacturing Metals Manufacturing
The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. New York Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Personal Health Care Products
Avon Products, Inc. New York Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Personal Health Care Products
The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation New York Financial Services Banks
Marsh and McLennan Companies New York Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Corning Incorporated Corning Manufacturing Concrete, Glass, and Building Materials
CBS Corporation New York Media and Entertainment Radio and Television Broadcasting
Bristol Myers Squibb Company New York Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Biotechnology
Citigroup Incorporated New York Financial Services Banks
Goldman Sachs New York Financial Services Personal Financial Planning and Private Banking
American International Group (AIG) New York Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. New York Business Services Advertising, Marketing and PR
BlackRock, Inc. New York Financial Services Securities Agents and Brokers
MetLife Inc. New York Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Consolidated Edison Company Of New York, Inc. New York Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Time Warner Cable New York Telecommunications Cable Television Providers
Morgan Stanley New York Financial Services Investment Banking and Venture Capital
American Express Company New York Financial Services Credit Cards and Related Services
International Business Machines Corporation Armonk Computers and Electronics Computers, Parts and Repair
TIAA-CREF New York Financial Services Securities Agents and Brokers
JPMorgan Chase and Co. New York Financial Services Investment Banking and Venture Capital
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. New York Media and Entertainment Newspapers, Books and Periodicals
L-3 Communications Inc. New York Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
Colgate-Palmolive Company New York Consumer Services Personal Care
New York Life Insurance Company New York Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Time Warner Inc. New York Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
Cablevision Systems Corp. Bethpage Media and Entertainment Radio and Television Broadcasting
CA Technologies, Inc. Islandia Software and Internet Software
Verizon Communications Inc. New York Telecommunications Telephone Service Providers and Carriers
Hess Corporation New York Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries

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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 New York 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 Testing programming
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  • 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
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  • 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
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