SOA Training Classes in Battle Creek, Michigan

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Another blanket article about the pros and cons of Direct to Consumer (D2C) isn’t needed, I know. By now, we all know the rules for how this model enters a market: its disruption fights any given sector’s established sales model, a fuzzy compromise is temporarily met, and the lean innovator always wins out in the end.

That’s exactly how it played out in the music industry when Apple and record companies created a digital storefront in iTunes to usher music sales into the online era. What now appears to have been a stopgap compromise, iTunes was the standard model for 5-6 years until consumers realized there was no point in purchasing and owning digital media when internet speeds increased and they could listen to it for free through a music streaming service.  In 2013, streaming models are the new music consumption standard. Netflix is nearly parallel in the film and TV world, though they’ve done a better job keeping it all under one roof. Apple mastered retail sales so well that the majority of Apple products, when bought in-person, are bought at an Apple store. That’s even more impressive when you consider how few Apple stores there are in the U.S. (253) compared to big box electronics stores that sell Apple products like Best Buy (1,100) Yet while some industries have implemented a D2C approach to great success, others haven’t even dipped a toe in the D2C pool, most notably the auto industry.

What got me thinking about this topic is the recent flurry of attention Tesla Motors has received for its D2C model. It all came to a head at the beginning of July when a petition on whitehouse.gov to allow Tesla to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states reached the 100,000 signatures required for administration comment. As you might imagine, many powerful car dealership owners armed with lobbyists have made a big stink about Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO and Product Architect, choosing to sidestep the traditional supply chain and instead opting to sell directly to their customers through their website. These dealership owners say that they’re against the idea because they want to protect consumers, but the real motive is that they want to defend their right to exist (and who wouldn’t?). They essentially have a monopoly at their position in the sales process, and they want to keep it that way. More frightening for the dealerships is the possibility that once Tesla starts selling directly to consumers, so will the big three automakers, and they fear that would be the end of the road for their business. Interestingly enough, the big three flirted with the idea of D2C in the early 90’s before they were met with fierce backlash from dealerships. I’m sure the dealership community has no interest in mounting a fight like that again. 

To say that the laws preventing Tesla from selling online are peripherally relevant would be a compliment. By and large, the laws the dealerships point to fall under the umbrella of “Franchise Laws” that were put in place at the dawn of car sales to protect franchisees against manufacturers opening their own stores and undercutting the franchise that had invested so much to sell the manufacturer’s cars.  There’s certainly a need for those laws to exist, because no owner of a dealership selling Jeeps wants Chrysler to open their own dealership next door and sell them for substantially less. However, because Tesla is independently owned and isn’t currently selling their cars through any third party dealership, this law doesn’t really apply to them. Until their cars are sold through independent dealerships, they’re incapable of undercutting anyone by implementing D2C structure.

Information Technology is one of the most dynamic industries with new technologies surfacing frequently. In such a scenario, it can get intimidating for information technology professionals at all levels to keep abreast of the latest technology innovations worth investing time and resources into.

It can therefore get daunting for entry and mid-level IT professionals to decide which technologies they should potentially be developing skills. However, the biggest challenge comes for senior information technology professionals responsible for driving the IT strategy in their organizations.

It is therefore important to keep abreast of the latest technology trends and get them from reputable sources. Here are some of the ways to keep on top of the latest trends in Information Technology.

·         Subscribe to leading Analyst Firms: If you work for a leading IT organization, chances are that you already have subscription to leading IT analyst firms notably Gartner and Forrester. These two firms are some of the most recognized analyst firms with extensive coverage on almost every enterprise technology including hardware and software. These Analyst firms frequently publish reports on global IT spending and trends that are based on primary research conducted on vendors and global CIOs & CTOs. However, subscription to these reports is very expensive and if you are a part of a small organization you may have issues securing access to these reports. One of the most important pieces of research published by these firms happens to be the Gartner Hype Cycle which plots leading technologies and their maturity curve.Even if you do not have access to Gartner research, you can hack your way by searching for “Gartner Hype Cycle” on Google Images and you will in most cases be able to see the plots similar to the one below

Let's face it, IT roles have evolved and are no longer meant for the IT department alone. Most departments tend to have a technical person that can help make sense of data. These days, businesses encourage data democratization, meaning that everyone in the business is responsible for the information that the organization receives. Departments no longer have to wait for data to pass through IT before they receive it. The departments get information as it comes. Then, they make decisions based on that data. 

IT Job Roles and Responsibilities

1. Project Manager

A project manager, in this case, is someone that plays a managerial role in a company’s project. In fact, this is one of the most important IT job roles. The manager is responsible for his or her team. He or she makes sure that deadlines are met, and the project proceeds as planned. It mainly includes planning, design, initiation, monitoring, execution, and control. 


2. IT Director

In most cases, the term director is associated with big positions in a company, and is often associated with a board role. As one of the top IT job roles, the IT director is responsible for planning, managing and executing the core-infrastructure of a company. The primary role of the IT director is to oversee all the technology operations within the firm. The director then evaluates what his or her team does to make sure that the activities are in line with firm’s main objectives. On top of that, the IT director makes sure that all departments have their technology needs met by his or her team. 

3. IT Manager

The rank of an IT manager is definitely lower than that of a director, however, the role is still very crucial for any IT department. Every IT department has staff members that are meant to deliver results at the end of the day. The IT manager supervises most of the workers in the IT department. He or she is in charge of motivating them and making sure that they do what they are supposed to do. The IT manager’s roles include monitoring, planning, coaching, disciplining employees, and counseling.

4. Software Engineer

This position can also be referred to as a software architect, system engineer or application programmer. The main work typically involves creating and programming system-level software such as database systems, operating systems, and embedded systems. Their primary role is to ensure that they understand how both software and hardware work and to use them appropriately. However, the responsibilities don’t stop there. The software engineer is also required to interact with both colleagues and clients to explain which system or solution is going to be more suitable for use. 

5. Systems Analyst

A systems analyst can also be called a solutions specialist, product specialist or a systems engineer. Their primary work mainly involves identifying, analyzing, and coming up with new information systems that will provide a viable solution. This is mostly done as a response to the requests of customers or just for the business. They also have to make sure that they determine the costs and total time required to bring the information systems into effect. 

6. Helpdesk Support

There are times when your team could encounter system problems. Perhaps, a piece of hardware or software has malfunctioned. You need helpdesk support to deal with such issues. This is a professional that knows about common computer problems. Without them, business operations could stall because an employee can be stranded, and there’s no one to help. 

7. Network Designer

As much as helpdesk support can solve most IT problems, there are other issues that they can’t solve. You may experience system shutdowns or slow internet. In that case, you need an expert in maintaining communication systems. These professionals will also be responsible for setting up cyber security systems for the organization. 


IT involves many job roles and responsibilities that all work hand-in-hand to deliver results. As you begin your business, you should know about these roles so that you can know which ones are going to be the most suitable for your firm. 

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 Michigan

Home of the Ford Motor Company and many other Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 Companies, Michigan has a list of famous people that have made their mark on society. Famous Michiganians: Francis Ford Coppola film director; Henry Ford industrialist, Earvin Magic Johnson basketball player; Charles A. Lindbergh aviator; Madonna singer; Stevie Wonder singer; John T. Parsons inventor and William R. Hewlett inventor.
Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.  ~Vernon Howard
other Learning Options
Software developers near Battle Creek 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 Michigan that offer opportunities for SOA developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Lear Corporation Southfield Manufacturing Automobiles, Boats and Motor Vehicles
TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. Livonia Manufacturing Automobiles, Boats and Motor Vehicles
Spartan Stores, Inc. Byron Center Retail Grocery and Specialty Food Stores
Steelcase Inc. Grand Rapids Manufacturing Furniture Manufacturing
Valassis Communications, Inc. Livonia Business Services Advertising, Marketing and PR
Autoliv, Inc. Auburn Hills Manufacturing Automobiles, Boats and Motor Vehicles
Cooper-Standard Automotive Group Novi Manufacturing Automobiles, Boats and Motor Vehicles
Penske Automotive Group, Inc. Bloomfield Hills Retail Automobile Dealers
Con-Way Inc. Ann Arbor Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
Meritor, Inc. Troy Manufacturing Automobiles, Boats and Motor Vehicles
Visteon Corporation Van Buren Twp Manufacturing Automobiles, Boats and Motor Vehicles
Affinia Group, Inc. Ann Arbor Manufacturing Automobiles, Boats and Motor Vehicles
Perrigo Company Allegan Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Pharmaceuticals
BorgWarner Inc. Auburn Hills Manufacturing Automobiles, Boats and Motor Vehicles
Auto-Owners Insurance Lansing Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
DTE Energy Company Detroit Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Whirlpool Corporation Benton Harbor Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
Herman Miller, Inc. Zeeland Manufacturing Furniture Manufacturing
Universal Forest Products Grand Rapids Manufacturing Furniture Manufacturing
Masco Corporation Inc. Taylor Manufacturing Concrete, Glass, and Building Materials
PULTEGROUP, INC. Bloomfield Hills Real Estate and Construction Real Estate & Construction Other
CMS Energy Corporation Jackson Energy and Utilities Energy and Utilities Other
Stryker Corporation Portage Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Devices
General Motors Company (GM) Detroit Manufacturing Automobiles, Boats and Motor Vehicles
Kellogg Company Battle Creek Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
The Dow Chemical Company Midland Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Kelly Services, Inc. Troy Business Services HR and Recruiting Services
Ford Motor Company Dearborn Manufacturing Automobiles, Boats and Motor Vehicles

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