CompTIA Training Classes in Colorado Springs, Colorado

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With stiff penalties for being caught and the whiff of secretive underground or even nefarious acts, computer hacking can be seen as a somewhat dubious pursuit. Not all hackers operate with the motive of emptying your Paypal account, however; there are many hackers who utilize their skills to aid companies in locating security flaws ("penetration testing") or engage in hacking with the goal of becoming cyber-freedom-fighters that champion simple human freedoms, such as the right to free speech.

Computer hacking is as much an art as it is a skill. At its simplest distillation, hacking is the systematic search for chinks in programming armor. While advanced problem-solving, intuition and sophisticated understanding of programming languages are a distinct advantage, there does exist a number of push-button programs that computing wizards have written allowing those less sophisticated in the art of hacking to break into remote computers in a variety of ways. Because of this new ubiquity, today's hackers no longer need to be a programming Wunderkind; they simply need to know where to download software and be able to turn on a computer. It really is that simple and the implications can be disturbing.

Phishing, Push-Button Programs and Brute Force Tactics

There's no need to crack a company's firewall if you have direct physical access to their computers. One aspect of hacking is the impersonation of an employee or service worker with the goal of gaining access to a company's database, where the hacker can then unleash whatever havoc he or she has planned into the system. Another is to engage in simple phishing techniques, such as impersonating an employee who forgot their password and needs help logging into the system.

Because such impersonations often fail thanks to companies becoming more security-conscious, taking over operations of a computer remotely is often the preferred method of gaining access. Such attempts can be facilitated in a variety of ways. One is the brute-force method, in which a program such as SQLmap, Nmap or Burpsuite is used; running one of these programs is analogous to trying every doorknob in a neighborhood to see which house is unlocked. Using a variety of different parameters, these programs can find access to a vulnerable computer or network in less than a minute.

Hackers can also attempt to gain access with a program like Metasploit. With literally a few clicks of a mouse, access to a remote and vulnerable computer can be achieved by a relative newbie. With a related hacking aid, called Meterpreter, a backdoor is created that allows access into an operating system. It does not install itself onto the remote computer, running instead using the computer's memory; in fact, Meterpreter can hide itself inside the operations of a perfectly valid program, so it cannot be detected even by sophisticated programmers. Once engaged, it allows a remote user carte blanche access to the system in question.

Where to Learn the Art of Hacking

Of course, for those who wish to learn the actual skills rather than download someone else's hack, there are a number of practice sites that pose an increasingly difficult set of challenges intended to train neophytes in the art of hacking. For example, Hack This Site starts beginners with the goal of cracking simple flaws in coding scripts or software such as HTML, Unix, Javascript and Apache. Their structured series of tests increase in complexity, incorporating real-word scenarios and even old-fashioned "phone phreaking" challenges that recall the bygone golden age of hacking skills displayed by Matthew Broderick in "WarGames."

Using just these simple tools and free practice sites, beginners have a powerful array of hacking resources just a simple mouse click away.

There are many excellent opportunities for IT professionals to present themselves to corporate entities for future consulting positions. You can find yourself in your next consulting engagement if you are willing to combine your IT skill-set, a good amount of corporate research and a bit of old fashioned moxie. Contrary to popular practice for applying for jobs through placement agencies and recruiters, it’s possible to meet with hiring managers, representing your firm, you, directly.

Although recruiters may not take a fee directly from you, the fact that they charge a fee for their services to a company after your placement may keep them from being able to place you. On the other hand, corporations searching for individuals with advanced knowledge of IT functions cannot rely on the friends and family of current employees to find superior consults in all fields.

What are some other options? First take the time to research corporations you would like to consult with. Look for the ones that most likely are complementary to your area of expertise because of the goods they produce or the services they provide to the public. Or you may opt to choose a company that is geographically close to where you live for the convenience of a short daily commute.  

Another way to find your next consulting job is to actively scan the news and see what corporations are making waves within their individual marketplaces. This is a good indicator of possible expansion and the need to hire on a contractual basis. Another good indicator of a need for IT professionals is a mention of a company relocation or expansion. Growth or renovation of office environments is often accompanied by a modernization of IT systems. Current IT team members may not be relocating or might not be familiar with systems other than the ones they already service.

Do as much research as possible about each corporation from their own websites and other sources dedicated to their particular field of endeavor. This gives you the edge in being able to speak about the IT systems they already have in place or your ideas for adapting their line of work or new product with the use of an IT system advancement. Their websites will often have a list of their corporate management. Make sure you address your cover-letter and resume to not only the Director of Human Resources, but to all executives in charge of their IT departments. Be specific in your abilities and the fact that you can be flexible with hiring arrangements.

Attend job fairs that have an emphasis on the more technical fields. When possible, also circulate your resume both digitally and in paper format to smaller and mid-sized companies. These corporations may not be able to maintain their own full-time IT group for fiscal reasons and your consulting prowess may be able to “save the day” for them in an emergency. You can become part of a corporate team on your own; all it takes is additional work on your part. However after your consultant job placement, you will be pleased that your efforts have succeeded so well.

 

In Python, we can create three types of methods in a class:  instance or regular method, classmethod and staticmethod.  Instance methods are associated, as the name infers, with an instance or object of the class and take self as the first parameter.  Classmethods take a reference to the class, cls, as the first parameter of the class.  Staticmethods, for the most part, are convenience methods that could be declared as functions since they really do not have much to do with the class itself.  They were probably added at some time after the advent of Python in order to make the language more object oriented i.e. minimize the number of free floating functions. 

Refer the our article static, class and regular methods in Python for a detailed explanation on this subject.

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.

Tech Life in Colorado

CNBC's list of "Top States for Business for 2010" has recognized Colorado as the third best state in the nation for business. Colorado is also the home to a bunch of federal facilities such as NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command, United States Air Force Academy, Schriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, and Fort Carson. On top of the beautiful mountainous scenery and sunny weather, tech life has been brewing steadily in the last decade in Denver and Boulder.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance. ~ Confucius
other Learning Options
Software developers near Colorado Springs 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 Colorado that offer opportunities for CompTIA developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Level 3 Communications, Inc Broomfield Telecommunications Telecommunications Other
Liberty Global, Inc. Englewood Telecommunications Video and Teleconferencing
Liberty Media Corporation Englewood Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
Western Union Company Englewood Financial Services Financial Services Other
Ball Corporation Broomfield Manufacturing Metals Manufacturing
Pilgrim's Pride Corporation Greeley Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
Molson Coors Brewing Company Denver Manufacturing Alcoholic Beverages
DISH Network Corporation Englewood Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
Arrow Electronics, Inc. Englewood Computers and Electronics Networking Equipment and Systems
DaVita, Inc. Denver Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Outpatient Care Centers
Blockbuster LLC Englewood Media and Entertainment Media and Entertainment Other
CH2M HILL Englewood Energy and Utilities Alternative Energy Sources
Newmont Mining Corporation Greenwood Vlg Agriculture and Mining Mining and Quarrying

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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 Colorado 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 CompTIA programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized CompTIA experts
  • Get up to speed with vital CompTIA 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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