Testing Training Classes in Richmond, Virginia

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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.

The python keyword global is used in a function to distinguish a local representation of a variable with the same name. 

 

glbvar = 0

def setglbvar():
    global glbvar # include this declaration so that updates to glbvar are NOT LOCAL to this function
    glbvar = 1

def printglbvar():
    print glbvar     # No need for global declaration to read value of globvar

setglbvar()
printglbvar()       # Prints 1

What are some of the software development headaches associated with iPhone vs Android development?

The Boss (hereafter referred to as TB), handed me this research assignment. Hey, I finally got a little bit of one ups man ship on TB.

This is a significant moment in my life. Like me, TB isn't really human. I know because neither of us seem to indulge in that luxury known as sleep. That makes it extremely difficult to have any sort of 'gotcha'. I'm dancing. I got one.

In the warp speed development cycles we are now facing, TB must have gone to sleep, which in human terms is known as a wink. (About a 40th of the second).
18 June 2012 Monday, 3:30 PM (15:30 HRS) UTC -8, in Los Angeles Microsoft is making a major tablet announcement, revealing its own hardware that is tablet-based. Do not be surprised if it entails a Hollywood Inc. focus.

There has been and continues to be a plethora of observational studies by different researchers in the publishing industry focused on how e-books have affected hard-copy book sales. Evidence from these studies has indicated that there is a significant and monumental shift away from hard-copy books to e-books.[1]These findings precipitate fears that hard-copy books might become more expensive in the near future as they begin to be less available.  This scenario could escalate to the point where only collectors of hard-copy books are willing to pay the high price for ownership.

The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, made a statement in July 2010 that sales of digital books had significantly outstripped U.S. sales of hard-copy. He claimed that Amazon had sold 143 digital books for its e-reader, the Kindle, for every 100 hard-back books over the past three months. The pace of this change was unprecedented;  Amazon said that in the four weeks of June 2010, the rate of sales had reached 180 e-books for every 100 hard-backs sold. Bezos said sales of the Kindle and e-books had reached a "tipping point", with five authors including Steig Larsson, the writer of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, and Stephenie Meyer, who penned the Twilight series, each selling more than 500,000 digital books.[2] Earlier in July 2010, Hachette said that James Patterson had sold 1.1m e-books to date.

According to a report made by Publishers Weekly, for the first quarter of 2011, e-book sales were up 159.8%; netting sales of $233.1 million. Although adult hard-cover and mass market paperback hard-copies had continued to sell, posting gains in March, all the print segments had declined for the first quarter with the nine mass market houses that report sales. Their findings revealed a 23.4% sales decline, and that children’s paper-back publishers had also declined by 24.1%.[3] E-book sales easily out-distanced mass market paperback sales in the first quarter of 2011 with mass market sales of hard-copy books falling to $123.3 million compared to e-books’ $233.1 million in sales.

According to .net sales report by the March Association of American Publishers (AAP) which collected data and statistics from 1,189 publishers, the adult e-Book sales were $282.3 million in comparison to adult hard-cover book sales which counted $229.6 million during the first quarter of 2012. During the same period in 2011, eBooks revenues were $220.4 million.[4] These reports indicate a disconcerting diminishing demand for hard-copy books.

Tech Life in Virginia

Virginia is known as "the birthplace of a nation,? is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and has had 3 capital cities, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Richmond. The state motto is "Sic Semper Tyrannis"??Thus always to tyrants? More people work for the U.S. government than any other industry in this region. Virginia's largest private employer is also the world's largest ship building yard. Because the state hosts some major Net firms such as AOL, Network Solutions, and MCI WorldCom it has dubbed itself the "Internet Capital of the world".
If it ain't broke, fix it anyway. You must invest least 20% of your maintenance budget in refreshing your architecture to prevent good software from becoming spaghetti code. Larry Bernstein
other Learning Options
Software developers near Richmond 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 Virginia that offer opportunities for Testing developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Brink's Inc. Richmond Business Services Security Services
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) Mc Lean Financial Services Lending and Mortgage
General Dynamics Corporation Falls Church Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
CarMax, Inc. Henrico Retail Automobile Dealers
NVR, Inc. Reston Real Estate and Construction Construction and Remodeling
Gannett Co., Inc. Mc Lean Media and Entertainment Newspapers, Books and Periodicals
Smithfield Foods, Inc. Smithfield Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
ManTech International Corporation Fairfax Computers and Electronics IT and Network Services and Support
DynCorp International Falls Church Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
Genworth Financial, Inc. Richmond Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
MeadWestvaco Corporation Richmond Manufacturing Paper and Paper Products
Dollar Tree, Inc. Chesapeake Retail Department Stores
Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. Abingdon Agriculture and Mining Mining and Quarrying
SRA International, Inc. Fairfax Business Services Business Services Other
NII Holdings, Inc. Reston Telecommunications Wireless and Mobile
Dominion Resources, Inc. Richmond Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Norfolk Southern Corporation Norfolk Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
CACI International Inc. Arlington Software and Internet Data Analytics, Management and Storage
Amerigroup Corporation Virginia Beach Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Owens and Minor, Inc. Mechanicsville Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Personal Health Care Products
Advance Auto Parts, Inc Roanoke Retail Automobile Parts Stores
SAIC Mc Lean Software and Internet Software
AES Corporation Arlington Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Capital One Financial Corporation Mc Lean Financial Services Credit Cards and Related Services
Sunrise Senior Living, Inc. Mc Lean Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Residential and Long-Term Care Facilities
Computer Sciences Corporation Falls Church Software and Internet Software
Altria Group, Inc. Richmond Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Northrop Grumman Corporation Falls Church Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
Alliant Techsystems Inc. Arlington Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
Markel Corporation Glen Allen Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management

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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 Virginia 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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