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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?

Higher IT Job EarningsIT jobs are without a doubt some of the highest paying jobs with information architects, data-security analysts and UX designers taking home $100,000 or more a year. But then again, these are high demand; high expertise jobs so don’t jump with joy as yet. But like every job and IT industry to be specific, not everyone commands such higher salaries. There are a large number of IT professionals who at some point of their career feel that their salaries have hit a standstill. Even if you are an IT professional and a great one at that, your technical expertise alone may not help you exceed the IT earning barrier. To continuously exceed your salaries, you need to work hard and smart. Here is how you can exceed the earning barrier in IT.

·         Gain Business Knowledge and Move Up The Management Ladder: IT departments for the most part are considered a part of “back office” operations. What this means is that despite being a core part of the business, IT professionals do not often get enough say in revenue generating components of the business and as a result seldom have a chance to take up senior management roles.  So if you do not want to stay content with a project manager or senior project management salary, invest time and money in gaining business knowledge. It could be through a formal business degree, online training courses or just by keeping your eyes and ears open while in the organization. Having the technical experience with business knowledge will instantly make you stand apart and open the doors for you to draw senior management salaries. For example, a survey conducted highlighted that CIOs were the biggest salary winners which clearly demonstrates the value of technical and business knowledge

·         Gain expertise on the “Hot” Technologies and Keep Learning: Say you are an expert in Java and draw a respectable salary in the industry. However, someone with less years of experience than you joins the organization and draws a higher salary than you! Why you ask. It could very well be because he/she is an expert in say big data technology such as Hadoop. Information Technology is one of the most dynamic industries with new technologies and languages coming up every now and then. When a new technology comes to the foray and gains traction, there is an instant demand-supply gap created which means that those with the specific skill sets are in a position to demand high salaries. If you have to break the IT earning barrier, always be ready to reinvent yourself by learning new technologies and this way you will be well positioned to jump on the high paying opportunities in the IT industry

·         Work On Your Own Side Projects: This one might seem controversial but let me clarify that I do not mean doing freelance work because even though your organization may never find out, it is ethically in breach of contract with your contract. If you have been lucky enough to be trained in some web based technologies such as Java, .NET or even HTML etc. spare sometime after office to build your own side projects. They could be very small projects tackling some problem that only you might have but there are multiple benefits of developing side projects. Worst case scenario, you will improve your technical skills. On the up side, you might end up creating your own business. A lot of technology start-ups were actually side projects the founders tinkered on with while they were employed full-time. You may not always succeed but there is no downside to the same

Let’s face it, fad or not, companies are starting to ask themselves how they could possibly use machine learning and AI technologies in their organization. Many are being lured by the promise of profits by discovering winning patterns with algorithms that will enable solid predictions… The reality is that most technology and business professionals do not have sufficient understanding of how machine learning works and where it can be applied.  For a lot of firms, the focus still tends to be on small-scale changes instead of focusing on what really matters…tackling their approach to machine learning.

In the recent Wall Street Journal article, Machine Learning at Scale Remains Elusive for Many Firms, Steven Norton captures interesting comments from the industry’s data science experts. In the article, he quotes panelists from the MIT Digital Economy Conference in NYC, on businesses current practices with AI and machine learning. All agree on the fact that, for all the talk of Machine Learning and AI’s potential in the enterprise, many firms aren’t yet equipped to take advantage of it fully.

Panelist,  Michael Chui, partner at McKinsey Global Institute states that “If a company just mechanically says OK, I’ll automate this little activity here and this little activity there, rather than re-thinking the entire process and how it can be enabled by technology, they usually get very little value out of it. “Few companies have deployed these technologies in a core business process or at scale.”

Panelist, Hilary Mason, general manager at Cloudera Inc., had this to say, “With very few exceptions, every company we work with wants to start with a cost-savings application of automation.” “Most organizations are not set up to do this well.”

It is rather unfortunate that in the ever changing and rapidly improving world of technology, we hardly remember the geniuses who through their inventions laid the foundation for many of the conveniences and features we now enjoy in our favorite communication devices.

This article is a tribute to the ten people who made these discoveries and an attempt to bring their achievements into the limelight.

1.      Marty Cooper

Did you know that Cooper was the first to file the patent in 1973, when he was already working for Motorola for the “radio telephone system”. The Cooper’s Law is his brainchild and to think that he himself was inspired to come out with the patent was Star Trek and its Captain Kirk is indeed revealing.

2. Mike Lazardidis
 

Tech Life in North Carolina

The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill is the oldest State University in the United States. There are significant ?firsts? in this state one being, the first state to own an art museum and second was to vote in the first African-American member, Hiram Rhoades Revels, into the United States Congress. Higher education is a given with a total of 2,425 public schools in the state, including 99 charter schools.
When you innovate, you've got to be prepared for everyone telling you you're nuts. Larry Ellison
other Learning Options
Software developers near Raleigh 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 North Carolina that offer opportunities for Testing developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Branch Banking and Trust / BBandT Winston Salem Financial Services Banks
UTC Aerospace Systems Charlotte Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Winston Salem Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Family Dollar Stores, Inc. Matthews Retail Department Stores
Duke Energy Corporation Charlotte Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Lowe's Companies, Inc. Mooresville Retail Hardware and Building Material Dealers
Nucor Corporation Charlotte Manufacturing Metals Manufacturing
VF Corporation Greensboro Manufacturing Textiles, Apparel and Accessories
Bank of America Charlotte Financial Services Banks
Laboratory Corporation of America Burlington Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Diagnostic Laboratories
Sonic Automotive, Inc. Charlotte Retail Automobile Dealers
SPX Corporation Charlotte Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
The Pantry, Inc. Cary Retail Gasoline Stations

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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 North Carolina 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
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Testing experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Testing 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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