SOA Training Classes in Springfield, Illinois

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Controversy was recently courted as Southern California Edison (SCE) prepares to cut their own staff while looking to meet their staffing needs with offshore employees skilled in the field of “IT” or Informational Technology. This has been the second major utility company in the United States to take this path towards providing services to its consumers while holding current rates at consistent levels. SCE does not disclose the exact numbers of expected lay-offs, but the LA Times reports that it is in the hundreds.  Utility companies tell their consumers that these moves are necessary as a hedge against inflation and to keep their services at rates that their customers can easily afford. Critics claim that the use of foreign workers is the first step to using an entirely foreign workforce and promoting large scale unemployment amongst American citizens. Often this has been seen as a conflict between national and international workers for the same jobs, salaries and careers.

It has been noted that this State of California utility company, much like other corporations that hire foreign workers does so primarily when there is a shortage of national citizens that can perform these jobs well. IT workers that are brought in with H-1B Visa work permits usually are college educated and hold expertise in technical areas and studies that local employees may not be especially trained in. Once again, critics decry the fact that these employees are not hired directly. On shore contracting companies operating in the continental United States are directly hired by the utility companies. These contracted companies then serve as “middle-men” and hire a wide range of foreign workers with H-1B paperwork so that they can move to the United States. The workers then perform a variety of jobs instead of American workers who were either born in the country or have achieved American citizenship on their own.

Needless to say, the amount of visas issued in a given year is a concern for U.S workers in various fields but particularly in Information Technology. As large corporations stack the employment deck with foreign workers who put in the hours for a fraction of the pay-rate for local employees, local IT professionals are finding it more difficult to find work nationally.  They encounter rejections, endless interview processes or low –ball offers from companies and recruiting agencies looking to fill positions at a bare minimum cost for coveted skill-sets.  


Meanwhile, an H-1B worker is a worker brought in on a temporary basis with a visa allowing them to work freely in the United States. Much like a student or travel visa, it is issued for on a calendar oriented basis.  Applicants who successfully renew the visa for an extended period of time can expect to work in the United States for up to ten years.  Although U.S companies hiring these employees may pay them less than their local employees, the salaries earned by H-1B Visa workers are almost always higher than these workers would earn in their own country of origin.

Both sides can agree on several issues. When it comes to these H-1B Visa workers, their assignments are generally of a contractual nature and require them to reside in this country for a period of months to years. However it is also an accepted fact that while they are in this country, they are responsible for paying rent, utilities and all other living expenses. As residents of the United States on a permanent basis, they are also liable for taxes on any salary they have earned while living here.

Dr. Norman Matloff, a professor at the University of California, Davis and writer on political matters believes the shortage to be fiction. In his writing for the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, he claims that “there has been no shortage of qualified American citizens to fill American computer-related jobs, and that the data offered as evidence of American corporations needing H-1B visas to address labor shortages was erroneous. The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) agrees with him and describes the situation as a crisis. Likewise, other studies from Duke, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Georgetown University have disputed that in some years, the number of foreign programmers and engineers imported outnumbered the number of jobs created by the industry

I remember the day like it was yesterday. Pac Man had finally arrived on the Atari 2600.  It was a clear and sunny day, but it was slightly brisk. My dad drove us down to the video store about three miles from our Michigan house. If I remember correctly, the price for the game was $24.99.  It was quite expensive for the day, probably equaling a $70 game in today’s market, but it was mine. There *was* no question about it. If you purchase a game, it’s your game… right?

You couldn’t be more wrong.  With all the licensing agreements in games today, you only purchase the right to play it. You don’t actually “own” the game. 

Today, game designers want total control over the money that comes in for a game. They add in clauses that keep the game from being resold, rented, borrowed, copied, etc. All of the content in the game, including the items you find that are specifically for you, are owned by the software developer. Why, you ask, do they do this? It’s all about the money.

This need for greed started years ago, when people started modifying current games on the market. One of the first games like this was Doom. There were so many third part mods made, but because of licensing agreement, none of these versions were available for resale. The end user, or you, had to purchase Doom before they could even install the mod.  None of these “modders” were allowed to make any money off their creation.

Information Technology (IT) tools are here to support your business in the global market. Effective communication is key for IT and business experts to collaborate effectively in search of solutions. Consulting, reaching out for help to a third-party, can bridge the gap between your business marketing experts and IT operations experts, especially with the emergence of big data analytics and its implication on the global market. Having the right consultants equipped with business knowledge and data technology expertise can make a difference.

Your marketing organization is probably familiar with digital tools and conducting global research. Its results can uncover the journey customers take to purchase your products or use your services. It can highlight the pain points and frictions that prevent their experiences with you to be delightful and amazing. Armed with this knowledge and beautiful compelling presentations, marketing executives expect that IT operations leaders will translate these insights into actions.

But people in IT operations are too involved in meeting key performance indicators that have nothing to do with the end customers. Meeting requirements of faster and cheaper don't translate very well into customer satisfaction. A classic breakdown in communication is described in a Harvard Business Review article, “A Technique to Bridge the Gap Between Marketing and IT.” The author goes on to describe how a new CIO at a bank found IT to be focused on the internal organization as their customers, rather than the real end customer. Moreover, no one was looking at the incident reports which clearly showed that incidents were increasing. And nobody looked at what these incidents were doing to the bank’s customers. The startling and scary numbers of incidents were caught and addressed and brought down from 1,000 to 600 or (40%) and later to 450 per week.

Surprisingly, these type of seemingly isolated scenarios are still being discovered within organizations presently, sometimes internally, and through third party insights such as consultants.  By engaging consultants to provide a perspective based on what they’ve experienced before, they can often bring new and innovative ideas or possible challenges to the table that an internal processes probably wouldn’t have been able to see on their own.  Often, third party input can help to provide the translation needed to go from marketing research results into actions that IT operations can understand and make sense in their high-performance culture. When companies understand and use this knowledge to reassess how to improve their customer experiences, they work backward from what customers want to achieve significantly higher improvements. 

IT and business management are more and more being asked to move away from their traditional roles, such as IT being the "technology infrastructure gatekeeper", and instead become enablers across the enterprise of effective collaboration, big data consumers, and key players in driving desired business outcomes. Marketing leaders look to technology as a way to facilitate the customer's journey and his positive experience of it, bring more clients, and meet increasingly higher loyalty goals. They rely on IT projects to enable big data-based behavioral targeting anywhere in the global market. This means projects to analyze search engine results, improve website personalization and optimization, and building of mobile applications for a more personal experience. All these are projects that consultants with their communication, consulting and technical expertise are well prepared to help in order to bridge the expectation gap between IT and other business organizations.

In order to meet these 21st-century business challenges, Information Technology organizations have been transitioning from waterfall stage-gate project management approaches to agile development. The stage-gate method applies a step-by-step approach where waiting, reviewing and approving are required before moving to the next step in the project. Agile management emphasizes collaboration, no decision hierarchies, and few people roles for making quick, customer-focused small changes over time to deliver solutions that delight and amaze customers. Agile development has allowed many businesses to respond quickly to changing customer desires and expectations. But moving to continuous delivery is a struggle requiring focused, dedicated teams that are not well suited to the traditional matrix organization where people are resources whose time must be "chopped" into many pieces and shared among many projects. Agile teams meet frequently as often as daily but never waiting more than a week to do so.

Marketing people are externally focused. IT people are internally focused. The first works with customer emotions. The second works to increase efficiency. Big data analytic tools are used by the first and supported by the second. Consultants can be the glue that helps both come together in effective collaborations that deliver positive business outcomes in both global and local markets.

From Brennan's Blog which is no longer up and running:

I use Remote Desktop all the time to work inside of my development systems hosted by Microsoft Virtual Server. I use the host system to browse the web for documentation and searches as I work and when I need to copy some text from the web browser I find many times the link between the host clipboard and the remote clipboard is broken. In the past I have read that somehow the remote clipboard utility, rdpclip.exe, gets locked and no longer allows the clipboard to be relayed between the host and the client environment. My only way to deal with it was to use the internet clipboard, cl1p.net. I would create my own space and use it to send content between environments. But that is a cumbersome step if you are doing it frequently.

The only way I really knew to fix the clipboard transfer was to close my session and restart it. That meant closing the tools I was using like Visual Studio, Management Studio and the other ancillary processes I have running as I work and then restarting all of it just to restore the clipboard. But today I found a good link on the Terminal Services Blog explaining that what is really happening. The clipboard viewer chain is somehow becoming unresponsive on the local or remote system and events on the clipboards are not being relayed between systems. It is not necessarily a lock being put in place but some sort of failed data transmission. It then goes on to explain the 2 steps you can take to restore the clipboard without restarting your session.

  • Use Task Manager to kill the rdpclip.exe process
  • Run rdpclip.exe to restart it

The clipboard communications should be restored. My clipboard is currently working because I just restarted my session to fix it, but I wanted to test these steps. I killed rdpclip.exe and started it and was able to copy/paste from the remote to the host system. The next time my clipboard dies I will have to check to see if these steps truly do work.

Tech Life in Illinois

The Illinois Institute of Technology has various research centers such as the IIT Research Institute, the Institute of Gas Technology, and the Design Processes Laboratory as well as a technical facility of the Association of American Railroads. No state has had a more prominent role than Illinois in the emergence of the nuclear age. As part of the Manhattan Project, in 1942 the University of Chicago conducted the first sustained nuclear chain reaction. This was just the first of a series of experimental nuclear power projects and experiments. And, with eleven plants currently operating, Illinois leads all states in the amount of electricity generated from nuclear power. Approximately 35% percent of residents are in management, business, science, or arts occupations.
Conceptual integrity is the most important consideration in system design. Frederick P. Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month
other Learning Options
Software developers near Springfield 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.

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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 Illinois 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.
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  • 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
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  • 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
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