VMWare Training Classes in Juneau, Alaska

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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.

With the rise of the smart phone, many people who have long seen themselves as non-gamers have began to download and play to occupy themselves throughout the day. If you're a game developer who has a history of writing your code in C#, then perhaps this still emerging market is something you should consider taking advantage of. This, however, will require the familiarization with other programming languages.

One option for moving away from the C# language is to learn Java. Java is the programming used for apps on the android platform, billions of phones run on this programming language.

If you want to break into the android market, then learning Java is an absolute must.

There are both some pros and some cons to learning java. Firstly, if you already know C# or other languages and understand how they work, then java will be relatively easy to learn due to having similar, but quite simplified, syntax to C-based languages, the class library is large and standardized, but also very well written, and you might find that it will improve the performance and portability of your creations. Not to mention, learning java opens you up to the entirety of the android app and game market, a very large and still growing market that would otherwise stay closed off to you. That's too much ad and sale money to risk missing out on.

The few cons that come with learning the language is that, when coming from other languages, the syntax may take some getting used to. This is true for most languages. The other problem is that you must be careful with the specifics of how you write your code. While java can be written in a very streamlined fashion, it's also possible to write working, but bulky, code that will slow down your programs. Practice makes perfect, and the knowledge to avoid such pitfalls within the language.

If you wish to develop for the iOS on the other hand, knowledge of Objective C is required. The most compelling reason to learn Objective C is the market that it will open you up to. According to the website AndroidAuthority.com, in the article "Google play vs. Apple app store", users of iPhones and other iOS devices are much more likely to spend money on apps rather than downloading free ones.

Though learning Objective C might be a far jump from someone who currently writes in C#, it's certainly learn-able with a little bit of practice.

 

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When businesses are trying to expand and require professionals to lead teams, terminology may get in the way of who performs what roles. When it comes to information technology (IT), new and vital professionals may seem hard to differentiate between one another. However, there are key differences between specific professionals needed with IT departments. Here are the responsibilities that differentiate between an IT manager and an IT project manager.

IT Managers

IT managers are the leaders of the entire IT infrastructure a business has to function properly. The IT manager must lead the entire IT department to regulate and maintain the IT network for the business. As a manager, this IT professional corresponds with other departments in the business about how the IT department is implementing the goals the business is aiming toward. In addition, the manager must be fiscally responsible and answer to executives and financial officers in the business the reasons behind certain costs and investments. Because of the dual computer technology and business acumen this profession requires, many IT managers have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) related to information technology.

IT Project Managers

Many of us who have iPhones download every interesting app we find on the App Store, especially when they’re free. They can range from a simple payment method app, to a game, to a measurement tool. But, as you may have noticed, our phones become cluttered with tons of pages that we have to swipe through to get to an app that we need on demand. However, with an update by Apple that came out not so long ago, you are able to group your applications into categories that are easily accessible, for all of you organization lovers.

To achieve this grouping method, take a hold of one of the applications you want to categorize. Take a game for example. What you want to do is press your finger on that particular application, and hold it there until all of the applications on the screen begin to jiggle. This is where the magic happens. Drag it over to another game application you want to have in the same category, and release. Your applications should now be held in a little container on your screen. However, a step ago, if you did not have another game application on the same screen, and since you can’t swipe, try putting the held game application on any application you choose, and simply remove that extra application from the list, after moving over another gaming application from a different page.

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