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Due to the advancements in technology, teens and adults alike can now partake in virtual worlds thanks to video games. Video games are enjoyed as a hobby all over the globe, but some gamers have made it their career with help from the ever-growing e-sport community. This is an inside look at the professional level of gaming from an ex-MLG participant, and what I remember going through when starting to play video games at an elite level.

One of the premiere and most popular leagues within the United States happens to be Major League Gaming or MLG for short. This is a league that usually involves more of the most recent games out, and they create circuits for each major title and its subsequent releases. Two of the most major game circuits within the MLG league were the Halo series and the Call of Duty series, both which happened to be first person shooters (FPS). There were a potential hundred or so teams within each circuit, but much like other competitions, the circuits were ran with winner’s brackets and losers brackets. This means that out of all the teams that would show up to MLG events, about the top eight of each bracket would really be known as the "elite" players. I personally played in the Gears of War circuit at venues like MLG Raleigh and MLG Toronto, and we had very few teams compared to Call of Duty and Halo. The amount of participants at each event usually varies in each circuit based on the popularity of the game being played.

When you win tournaments, the payouts are split between the team members. This means that looking at playing in the MLG for a life career is an ill-advised move. The cost to get to events and buy team passes usually negates the prizes you win most of the time, considering by the time that the prize money is split you are left with about $800 in a popular circuit (Like Call of Duty). The payouts are usually only high in special and certain occasions, one for example being the million dollar showdown that Infinity Ward hosted for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 a couple years back. The way that players that make professional gaming their career get the big money now is by being sponsored by the big companies that back the league like Red Bull and Hot Pockets. MLG players like "Walshy" and "FeaR Moho" were sponsored early on in the league and were able to make a living off of the games they played. I would imagine them getting around $60K in a good year off of sponsors alone. I would go even as far as to say that if you do not have a sponsor in e-sports, you will not be financially successful in the career.

Being an MLG gamer requires passion and understanding for the games. If you just want to make money, then you are better off working at McDonalds.

 

How to Keep a Start Up Team Motivated?

What People Should Know Before Getting Rid of Old Tech Stuff

Surprising Ways Viruses, Malware, Etc. are Infecting Computers

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.

Since its foundation, HSG has been a leader in Business Rule Management Systems Training and Consulting services by way of the Blaze Advisor Rule Engine.  Over the years we have provided such services to many of the worlds largest corporations and government institutions whose respective backgrounds include credit card processing, banking, insurance, health and medicine and more, much more.  Such training and consulting services have included:

Create a wrapper object model in either Java, .NET or XML

Identify and catalog business rules

Develop a rule architecture within Blaze Advisor that isolates rule repositories as they relate to functionality and corporate policies

Configure, develop and implement a variety of interfaces to the rule engine from disparate systems ranging from mainframe applications written in Cobol to UNIX/Windows applications using Enterprise Java Beans, Windows Services, Web Services, Fat Clients, Java Messaging Services and Web Applications.

Review and update code to boost efficiency either by way of

    Removing functions calls within conditional statements

    Ensuring that database calls are essential or can be rearchitected in some other manner

    Employing the rete algorithm where necessary

    Paring down extensively large class models

    Deploying such appliations in multi-threaded systems

·         ...

Call us if you:

    are in need of Blaze Advisor Expertise
    are developing SMEs in Blaze
    want to speak directly with an expert (no placement agencies)
    want an affordable alternative to FICO
    want to work with an industry leader

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 Alaska 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 JUnit, TDD, CPTC, Web Penetration programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized JUnit, TDD, CPTC, Web Penetration experts
  • Get up to speed with vital JUnit, TDD, CPTC, Web Penetration 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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