Project Management Training in Nashville, Tennessee

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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.

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.

 

Recently, the new iOS update had added Reminders to the iPhone. If you ever found yourself setting notes on your iPhone to remember to do things, such as buying milk while at the grocery store, this process has become leagues upon leagues simpler, and faster. On your iPhone is an application named “Reminders”. Tap on this application and experience the new world of To-Do lists.

 

Right away, you are greeted by a screen that looks similar to a notepad, where you would be scribbling down reminders for this, and for that. To start off, tap on the plus button, and you are able to input the reminder you want. Say you want to be reminded to “Buy Milk.” Just type that into the application and you’re good to go.

But wait, there’s more. What this new application brings to the table that is extremely useful is the fact that your iPhone can remind you to do that task at a certain location, which, in this case, is buying milk. If you had saved your regular grocery store in your Maps application as a favorite location, you are able to do so. (To save a favorite location, go into your Maps application, search for your nearest grocery store that you regularly shop at, tap on the pin, tap on the blue arrow to get more information, and “Add to Bookmarks.”) In order to remind you to buy milk at your favorite grocery store, slide the “Off” to “On” and you are now able to set where you would like to be reminded at, and at what point in time. Now, you will never leave the grocery store without buying milk!

The future looks just as bright for information technology as it did ten years ago when this career field started growing in huge numbers due to major internet technological advances and the popularity of mobile devices such as the smartphone and eReaders like Amazon’s Kindle.  In classrooms and libraries across the nation, information technology has become instrumental in the way students learn and the way teachers give lessons, and thanks to online education more adults have access to a better education without incurring a lot of debt. Needles to say, the need for qualified workers in information technology will continue in times to come. Some of the technological careers that are rapidly growing in popularity in the last decade are a direct reflection of current trends.

 

Information Technology Managers

The information technology manager is responsible for handling all computer activities for a business and performs upgrades on computer software and hardware, installs new security features on computers, creates budgets and goals for the IT department, supervises other IT employees and troubleshoots computers when needed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 332,700 information technology management jobs filled in 2012 and a majority of these positions were in the computer systems sector. Most information technology managers hold a bachelor's degree in computer science or information technology, and a growing number of employers prefer a graduate degree. The job growth is expected to grow at 15% between now and 2022.

Mobile Application Developers

This job will grow by leaps and bounds as millions of people continue to purchase mobile devices and download apps for business and entertainment purposes. It creates expanded opportunities for those who want to become mobile application developers. A mobile application developer often works with other developers to create mobile-friendly apps or mobile-friendly versions of business websites for consumers. The developer may have his own firm or he may be employed with a larger company, and he will need to understand the basics of web design and different kinds of codes to succeed in this career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the job growth is expected to be at 28% by 2020.

Health Information Technology

Another fast growing sector within information technology is health information technology and there are various jobs to choose from. You can work with health insurance providers and your duties would include processing patients' insurance claims and managing patients' insurance information using a computer database. Another option is to work as a medical biller in a doctor's office preparing patient’s invoices. The good thing about these jobs is that you do not need a four-year degree to get the training; you can obtain a two-year associates degree or a certificate in health information technology.

Search Engine Optimization Consultant

This is an important information technology career because most businesses have websites and if these websites are going to receive high traffic from visitors and earn profit, proper search engine optimization is necessary. The SEO consultant's job is to ensure that a business website gets high rankings on the major search engines and plenty of traffic from visitors. A good SEO consultant at a minimum will know how to research keywords effectively and implement these into the website's content based on the website's theme and he would utilize web analytics as part of the job. An SEO consultant may work on a freelance basis or be employed with an advertising company as an example.

Best Cities for Technology Careers

If you're thinking about relocating for your career, here are some of the best cities currently for information technology jobs listed in Forbes

 

Tech Life in Tennessee

Tennessee has played an important role in the development of many forms of American popular music. Bristol is known as the birthplace of country music while Memphis is considered by many to be the birthplace of the blues. Tennessee is a right to work state, as are most of its Southern neighbors. Major corporations with headquarters in Tennessee include FedEx Corporation, AutoZone Incorporated and International Paper
The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained. ~ David Bohm
other Learning Options
Software developers near Nashville 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 Tennessee that offer opportunities for Project Management developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
First Horizon National Corporation Memphis Financial Services Lending and Mortgage
Vanguard Health Systems, Inc. Nashville Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
The ServiceMaster Company Memphis Consumer Services Consumer Services Other
Eastman Chemical Company Kingsport Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. Brentwood Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Residential and Long-Term Care Facilities
Scripps Networks Interactive Knoxville Media and Entertainment Radio and Television Broadcasting
Dollar General Corporation Goodlettsville Retail Retail Other
IASIS Healthcare Corporation Franklin Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
Thomas and Betts Corporation Memphis Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Tractor Supply Company, Inc. Brentwood Retail Clothing and Shoes Stores
TeamHealth, Inc. Knoxville Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Doctors and Health Care Practitioners
UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEM, INC. Knoxville Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
Corrections Corporation of America Nashville Business Services Security Services
AutoZone, Inc. Memphis Retail Automobile Parts Stores
Mueller Industries, Inc. Memphis Manufacturing Metals Manufacturing
UNUM Group Chattanooga Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Fred's, Inc. Memphis Retail Grocery and Specialty Food Stores
International Paper Company Memphis Manufacturing Paper and Paper Products
Regal Entertainment Group Knoxville Media and Entertainment Motion Picture and Recording Producers
Genesco Inc. Nashville Wholesale and Distribution Apparel Wholesalers
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. Lebanon Retail Restaurants and Bars
Lifepoint Hospitals Inc. Brentwood Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
FedEx Corporation Memphis Transportation and Storage Postal, Express Delivery, and Couriers
Community Health Systems Franklin Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
HCA Holdings, Inc. Nashville Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
HealthSpring Inc. Franklin Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotech Other

training details locations, tags and why hsg

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 Tennessee 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 Project Management programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Project Management experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Project Management 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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