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Machine learning systems are equipped with artificial intelligence engines that provide these systems with the capability of learning by themselves without having to write programs to do so. They adjust and change programs as a result of being exposed to big data sets. The process of doing so is similar to the data mining concept where the data set is searched for patterns. The difference is in how those patterns are used. Data mining's purpose is to enhance human comprehension and understanding. Machine learning's algorithms purpose is to adjust some program's action without human supervision, learning from past searches and also continuously forward as it's exposed to new data.

The News Feed service in Facebook is an example, automatically personalizing a user's feed from his interaction with his or her friend's posts. The "machine" uses statistical and predictive analysis that identify interaction patterns (skipped, like, read, comment) and uses the results to adjust the News Feed output continuously without human intervention. 

Impact on Existing and Emerging Markets

The NBA is using machine analytics created by a California-based startup to create predictive models that allow coaches to better discern a player's ability. Fed with many seasons of data, the machine can make predictions of a player's abilities. Players can have good days and bad days, get sick or lose motivation, but over time a good player will be good and a bad player can be spotted. By examining big data sets of individual performance over many seasons, the machine develops predictive models that feed into the coach’s decision-making process when faced with certain teams or particular situations. 

General Electric, who has been around for 119 years is spending millions of dollars in artificial intelligence learning systems. Its many years of data from oil exploration and jet engine research is being fed to an IBM-developed system to reduce maintenance costs, optimize performance and anticipate breakdowns.

Over a dozen banks in Europe replaced their human-based statistical modeling processes with machines. The new engines create recommendations for low-profit customers such as retail clients, small and medium-sized companies. The lower-cost, faster results approach allows the bank to create micro-target models for forecasting service cancellations and loan defaults and then how to act under those potential situations. As a result of these new models and inputs into decision making some banks have experienced new product sales increases of 10 percent, lower capital expenses and increased collections by 20 percent. 

Emerging markets and industries

By now we have seen how cell phones and emerging and developing economies go together. This relationship has generated big data sets that hold information about behaviors and mobility patterns. Machine learning examines and analyzes the data to extract information in usage patterns for these new and little understood emergent economies. Both private and public policymakers can use this information to assess technology-based programs proposed by public officials and technology companies can use it to focus on developing personalized services and investment decisions.

Machine learning service providers targeting emerging economies in this example focus on evaluating demographic and socio-economic indicators and its impact on the way people use mobile technologies. The socioeconomic status of an individual or a population can be used to understand its access and expectations on education, housing, health and vital utilities such as water and electricity. Predictive models can then be created around customer's purchasing power and marketing campaigns created to offer new products. Instead of relying exclusively on phone interviews, focus groups or other kinds of person-to-person interactions, auto-learning algorithms can also be applied to the huge amounts of data collected by other entities such as Google and Facebook.

A warning

Traditional industries trying to profit from emerging markets will see a slowdown unless they adapt to new competitive forces unleashed in part by new technologies such as artificial intelligence that offer unprecedented capabilities at a lower entry and support cost than before. But small high-tech based companies are introducing new flexible, adaptable business models more suitable to new high-risk markets. Digital platforms rely on algorithms to host at a low cost and with quality services thousands of small and mid-size enterprises in countries such as China, India, Central America and Asia. These collaborations based on new technologies and tools gives the emerging market enterprises the reach and resources needed to challenge traditional business model companies.

In recent decades, companies have become remarkably different than what they were in the past. The formal hierarchies through which support staff rose towards management positions are largely extinct. Offices are flat and open-plan collaborations between individuals with varying talent who may not ever physically occupy a corporate workspace. Many employed by companies today work from laptops nomadically instead. No one could complain that IT innovation hasn’t been profitable. It’s an industry that is forecasted to rake in $351 billion in 2018, according to recent statistics from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). A leadership dilemma for mid-level IT managers in particular, however, has developed. Being in the middle has always been a professional gray area that only the most driven leverage towards successful outcomes for themselves professionally, but mid-level managers in IT need to develop key skills in order to drive the level of growth that the fast paced companies who employ them need. 

What is a middle manager’s role exactly? 

A typical middle manager in the IT industry is usually someone who has risen up the ranks from a technical related position due to their ability to envision a big picture of what’s required to drive projects forward. A successful middle manager is able to create cohesion across different areas of the company so that projects can be successfully completed. They’re also someone with the focus necessary to track the progress of complex processes and drive them forward at a fast pace as well as ensure that outcomes meet or exceed expectations.

What challenges do middle managers face in being successful in the IT industry today? 

While middle managers are responsible for the teams they oversee to reach key milestones in the life cycle of important projects, they struggle to assert their power to influence closure. Navigating the space between higher-ups and atomized work forces is no easy thing, especially now that workforces often consist of freelancers with unprecedented independence. 

What are the skills most needed for an IT manager to be effective? 

Being educated on a steady basis to handle the constant evolution of tech is absolutely essential if a middle manager expects to thrive professionally in a culture so knowledge oriented that evolves at such a rapid pace. A middle manager who doesn't talk the talk of support roles or understand the nuts and bolts of a project they’re in charge of reaching completion will not be able to catch errors or suggest adequate solutions when needed. 

How has the concept of middle management changed? 

Middle managers were basically once perceived of as supervisors who motivated and rewarded staff towards meeting goals. They coached. They toggled back and forth between the teams they watched over and upper management in an effort to keep everyone on the same page. It could be said that many got stuck between the lower and upper tier of their companies in doing so. While companies have always had to be result-oriented to be profitable, there’s a much higher expectation for what that means in the IT industry. Future mid-level managers will have to have the same skills as those whose performance they're tracking so they can determine if projects are being executed effectively. They also need to be able to know what new hires that are being on-boarded should know to get up to speed quickly, and that’s just a thumbnail sketch because IT companies are driven forward by skills that are not easy to master and demand constant rejuvenation in the form of education and training. It’s absolutely necessary for those responsible for teams that bring products and services to market to have similar skills in order to truly determine if they’re being deployed well. There’s a growing call for mid-level managers to receive more comprehensive leadership training as well, however. There’s a perception that upper and lower level managers have traditionally been given more attention than managers in the middle. Some say that better prepped middle managers make more valuable successors to higher management roles. That would be a great happy ending, but a growing number of companies in India’s tech sector complain that mid-level managers have lost their relevance in the scheme of the brave new world of IT and may soon be obsolete.

 

 

 

In programming, memory leaks are a common issue, and it occurs when a computer uses memory but does not give it back to the operating system. Experienced programmers have the ability to diagnose a leak based on the symptoms. Some believe every undesired increase in memory usage is a memory leak, but this is not an accurate representation of a leak. Certain leaks only run for a short time and are virtually undetectable.

Memory Leak Consequences

Applications that suffer severe memory leaks will eventually exceed the memory resulting in a severe slowdown or a termination of the application.

How to Protect Code from Memory Leaks?

Preventing memory leaks in the first place is more convenient than trying to locate the leak later. To do this, you can use defensive programming techniques such as smart pointers for C++.  A smart pointer is safer than a raw pointer because it provides augmented behavior that raw pointers do not have. This includes garbage collection and checking for nulls.

If you are going to use a raw pointer, avoid operations that are dangerous for specific contexts. This means pointer arithmetic and pointer copying. Smart pointers use a reference count for the object being referred to. Once the reference count reaches zero, the excess goes into garbage collection. The most commonly used smart pointer is shared_ptr from the TR1 extensions of the C++ standard library.

Static Analysis

The second approach to memory leaks is referred to as static analysis and attempts to detect errors in your source-code. CodeSonar is one of the effective tools for detection. It provides checkers for the Power of Ten coding rules, and it is especially competent at procedural analysis. However, some might find it lagging for bigger code bases.

How to Handle a Memory Leak

For some memory leaks, the only solution is to read through the code to find and correct the error. Another one of the common approaches to C++ is to use RAII, which an acronym for Resource Acquisition Is Initialization. This approach means associating scoped objects using the acquired resources, which automatically releases the resources when the objects are no longer within scope. RAII has the advantage of knowing when objects exist and when they do not. This gives it a distinct advantage over garbage collection. Regardless, RAII is not always recommended because some situations require ordinary pointers to manage raw memory and increase performance. Use it with caution.

The Most Serious Leaks

Urgency of a leak depends on the situation, and where the leak has occurred in the operating system. Additionally, it becomes more urgent if the leak occurs where the memory is limited such as in embedded systems and portable devices.

To protect code from memory leaks, people have to stay vigilant and avoid codes that could result in a leak. Memory leaks continue until someone turns the system off, which makes the memory available again, but the slow process of a leak can eventually prejudice a machine that normally runs correctly.

 

Related:

The Five Principles of Performance

In Demand IT Skills

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 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.
Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous. Confucius
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 XML 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 XML programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized XML experts
  • Get up to speed with vital XML 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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