Blaze Advisor Training Classes in Little Rock, Arkansas

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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.

Technology has continued to evolve in ways that few would have been able to imagine. This has allowed electronics to become smarter, more connected and far more useful.

With the Internet of Things (IoT), they're allowing more than just computers to become connected to the Internet. This aims to make the life of the average person easier, better and more care-free.

Let's examine why the Internet of Things has become such a powerful idea that an estimated one out of every five developers currently works on an IoT project.


What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things hinges on one seemingly simple concept: electronics can be embedded in machines, clothing, animals and even people to provide a networked world where the whole is more than just the sum of its parts.

For example, consider how the Internet of Things can influence things like refrigerators. They can be networked directly to the manufacturer for readings that can warn if the refrigerator is about to malfunction. They can even be connected to a grocery shopping service to allow someone to restock them automatically or to notify the owner that the refrigerator is almost out of an item.

The most interesting notion about the Internet of Things is that it's not just a situation where one “thing” connects with a party. They typically communicate with other things, which in turn allows for a network of automated processes to occur.

These processes can simplify and expedite tedious tasks to make everyday life for everyone easier, which is why projects involving the Internet of Things are so popular.


How Prevalent is IoT Development?

An estimated one in five developers are currently developing projects for the Internet of Things. Their chosen languages vary widely because of the flexibility that IoT enjoys.

For example, IoT projects that hinge on interacting with mobile phones tend to have apps written in JavaScript or Java. The back-end code that runs the IoT functionality for machines tends to be written in Assembly, C++,Java,Perl,Pythonor another compiled language for efficiency.

To put the growth of IoT work into perspective, Evans Data Corp. performed research to create predictions about IoT projects in 2014. They stated that 17% of companies would be developing IoT projects.

In this year, that figure's risen to a solid 19%. Given the fact that 44% of developers have stated that they will enter into the IoT scene this year or next, this means that development will only grow in the coming future.


The Future Involving the Internet of Things

Development of IoT-related projects will likely explode in the next few years. The advantages it brings, such as more efficient work in manufacturing environments and the projected 15% savings to the restaurant industry over the next five years, will make it one of the most valuable technological changes in the near future.

Without a comprehensive understanding of the Internet of Things and the skills to lead IoT projects, businesses and developers may find themselves falling behind. Don't let the Internet of Things pass you by.

In this tutorial we are going to take a look at how you work with strings in Python. Now, any language worth its salt will have a number of options for working with text and Python is probably one of the best to use when it comes to processing text.

If you are new to programming in general you may be wondering what a string is. In terms of programming, a string is classed as any sequence of characters you can type with your keyboard, and let’s face it, if you want your application to be of any use to yourself or other users then you need it to tell you what it’s doing or to prompt you for an action, and that is where strings come into play.

They are your applications way of communicating with the user. Without the ability to enter and display text or software would be pretty useless.

So, how would you create a string in Python? Take a look at the following code:

There are a lot of articles you will find on the internet that talk about the tenants of having a successful professional career. From soft-skills to job relevant skills, there is an unending list of the do’s and don’ts for establishing a great career. However, a successful career in information technology commands some specific efforts and focus. As a result, it is critical to focus on these 4 key tenants that can help you establish a promising and successful career in Information Technology.

·         Be Multi-lingual– This is the analogy of Steve Job’s famous quote ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’ as it applies to Information Technology. Gone are the days when you could train yourself on a specific programming language say Java or C++ and code your way to a successful career. The best programmers of today and tomorrow are pushing the limits and becoming experts in one of more languages. Knowing more than one programming language instantly makes you more employable since you can add value to multiple projects that require different languages. If you need proof, IT professionals knowing more than one language can attract a salary premium of £10,000 . Additionally, there is no telling how dynamic technology is and by being open to constantly learning new languages you will position yourself to get technology jobs that did not exist a few years ago

·         Go Beyond the ‘How’, Focus On ‘Why’: A common theme with most information technology professionals is their ability to figure out the HOW or, in other words, applying their technical know-how in achieving the solution to a problem. This is especially true when you are working for a service based IT organization where your key job is to develop a solution for the client’s business problem. Yes, you are and will get paid to be good at the ‘How’ but to advance a career in IT; it will help you immensely to also start focussing on the ‘Why’. This stems from a famous quote by Einsten “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it”. In essence, spend time in understanding ‘Why’ are your trying to solve the problem before you get down with figuring out the ‘How’ part. The reasons for developing this mindset are two-fold. One, you will instantly distinguish yourself from thousands of other IT peers who are content with the ‘How’ part. Two, there is a good chance that you want to get ahead in your career not only as a programmer but as a system architect or a business solution consultant. This is where the habit of asking the right questions pertaining to why a certain IT solution is requires will help you build the right solution.

·         Focus on the impact and results (Financial impact):This may not apply to IT professionals who are early in their careers but is paramount for senior IT professionals. For the most part, IT departments are required to make sure that the systems and the solutions function as desired and help the business run efficiently. In other words, the key metric for success for most IT professionals is being extremely good at technology, languages and Quality Assurance. However, the times are changing! No longer is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) in charge of making IT decisions. With organizations closely guarding the ROI of their investment in technology, CIOs are increasingly required to be cognizant of the financial benefits of technology so that they can justify the spending on IT. No wonder than that CFOs are increasingly pressurizing CIOs to get their act together

Tech Life in Arkansas

Software developers throughout the 29th state Arkansas, enjoy a rich culture. The City of Little Rock is a hub for transportation, business, culture, and government. Although the primary form of business in this state is agriculture, according to the US Census Bureau, approximately 35 percent of residents in Arkansas engage in management, business, science, and arts occupations.
If you think good architecture is expensive, try bad architecture. Brian Foote and Joseph Yoder
Fortune 500 and 1000 companies in Arkansas that offer opportunities for Blaze Advisor developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Murphy Oil Corporation El Dorado Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Incorporated Lowell Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
Tyson Foods, Inc. Springdale Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
Dillard's, Inc. Little Rock Retail Department Stores
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc Bentonville Retail Department Stores
Windstream Corporation Little Rock Telecommunications Telephone Service Providers and Carriers

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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 Arkansas 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 Blaze Advisor programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Blaze Advisor experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Blaze Advisor 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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