Cisco Training Classes in Richmond, Virginia

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I suspect that many of you are familiar with the term "hard coding a value" whereby the age of an individual or their location is written into the condition (or action) of a business rule (in this case) as shown below:

if customer.age > 21 and customer.city == 'denver'

then ...

Such coding practices are perfectly expectable provided that the conditional values, age and city, never change. They become entirely unacceptable if a need for different values could be anticipated. A classic example of where this practice occurred that caused considerable heartache in the IT industry was the Y2K issue where dates were updated using only the last 2 digits of a four digit number because the first 2 digits were hard-coded to 19 i.e. 1998, 1999. All was well provided that the date did not advance to a time beyond the 1900’s since no one could be certain of what would happen when the millennia arrived (2000). A considerably amount of work (albeit boring) and money, approximately $200 billion, went into revising systems by way of software rewrites and computer chip replacements in order to thwart any detrimental outcomes. It is obvious how a simple change or an assumption can have sweeping consequences.

You may wonder what Y2K has to do with Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS). Well, what if we considered rules themselves to be hard-coded. If we were to write 100s of rules in Java, .NET or whatever language that only worked for a given scenario or assumption, would that not constitute hard-coded logic? By hard-coded, we obviously mean compiled. For example, if a credit card company has a variety of bonus campaigns, each with their own unique list of rules that may change within a week’s time, what would be the most effective way of writing software to deal with these responsibilities?

If you're someone who's interested in computer programming, chances are you've considered pursuing a career in it. However, being a computer programmer is definitely not for everyone, as it takes some special characteristics to succeed as a computer programmer.

Good at Math

While you don't have to be a math genius in order to be a good computer programmer, being good at math really does help. In general, as long as you know your trigonometry and advanced high school algebra, you should be set for programming.

However, in a few instances, knowledge of more advanced math ends up being necessary. For example, for shader programming, you should be familiar with integration of multiple variables, matrix algebra, and basic differentiation. You will also require considerable math skills in order to program 3D.

Excellent Problem Solver

To be a successful computer programmer, you definitely need to be an excellent problem solver. It is vital for a computer programmer to break a problem down into small parts. They must then be able to decide the best way to approach individual pieces of the problem. Computer programmers also need to know how to anticipate and prevent potential problems. While problem-solving, they also need to keep in mind things like user experience and performance.

If you're not a good problem solver, knowing a particular language and syntax will be useless if you can't even identify the problem at hand. Therefore, excellent problem solving skills are a critical foundation for computer programming.

Patience

If you are not a patient person, you will quickly become very frustrated with computer programming. Problem-solving is not always easy and fast. In fact, it may take a very long time, especially if you're either inexperienced or working on an especially hard project.

Debugging after the coding process is also very frustrating and tedious. No matter how hard you try, you will always have bugs in your coding, and these bugs, while often easy to fix, tend to be very difficult to detect. Therefore, you will end up spending a lot of your time searching for bugs that take very little time to fix.

Well-Rounded Skills

Generally, computer programmers who are very skilled in one area tend to stick around longer than jack-of-all-trades, as specialized programmers are harder to replace with outsourcing than general programmers. Therefore, it will do you well to specialize in one area of computer programming.

However, while specializing is good, you should still know at least a little about everything, especially skills that relate to the area you specialize in. For example, if you're a core Java programmer, you should know about SQL programming and ideally a scripting language or some regular expressions.

As you can see, not everyone has what it takes to pursue computer programming as a career and succeed at it. In fact, just because you love to program doesn't mean it's a good career choice for you. However, if you feel that you possess all the characteristics listed above, then you should definitely consider computer programming as a career.

There has been and continues to be a plethora of observational studies by different researchers in the publishing industry focused on how e-books have affected hard-copy book sales. Evidence from these studies has indicated that there is a significant and monumental shift away from hard-copy books to e-books.[1]These findings precipitate fears that hard-copy books might become more expensive in the near future as they begin to be less available.  This scenario could escalate to the point where only collectors of hard-copy books are willing to pay the high price for ownership.

The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, made a statement in July 2010 that sales of digital books had significantly outstripped U.S. sales of hard-copy. He claimed that Amazon had sold 143 digital books for its e-reader, the Kindle, for every 100 hard-back books over the past three months. The pace of this change was unprecedented;  Amazon said that in the four weeks of June 2010, the rate of sales had reached 180 e-books for every 100 hard-backs sold. Bezos said sales of the Kindle and e-books had reached a "tipping point", with five authors including Steig Larsson, the writer of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, and Stephenie Meyer, who penned the Twilight series, each selling more than 500,000 digital books.[2] Earlier in July 2010, Hachette said that James Patterson had sold 1.1m e-books to date.

According to a report made by Publishers Weekly, for the first quarter of 2011, e-book sales were up 159.8%; netting sales of $233.1 million. Although adult hard-cover and mass market paperback hard-copies had continued to sell, posting gains in March, all the print segments had declined for the first quarter with the nine mass market houses that report sales. Their findings revealed a 23.4% sales decline, and that children’s paper-back publishers had also declined by 24.1%.[3] E-book sales easily out-distanced mass market paperback sales in the first quarter of 2011 with mass market sales of hard-copy books falling to $123.3 million compared to e-books’ $233.1 million in sales.

According to .net sales report by the March Association of American Publishers (AAP) which collected data and statistics from 1,189 publishers, the adult e-Book sales were $282.3 million in comparison to adult hard-cover book sales which counted $229.6 million during the first quarter of 2012. During the same period in 2011, eBooks revenues were $220.4 million.[4] These reports indicate a disconcerting diminishing demand for hard-copy books.

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

Tech Life in Virginia

Virginia is known as "the birthplace of a nation,? is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and has had 3 capital cities, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Richmond. The state motto is "Sic Semper Tyrannis"??Thus always to tyrants? More people work for the U.S. government than any other industry in this region. Virginia's largest private employer is also the world's largest ship building yard. Because the state hosts some major Net firms such as AOL, Network Solutions, and MCI WorldCom it has dubbed itself the "Internet Capital of the world".
A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it. Albert Einstein
other Learning Options
Software developers near Richmond 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 Virginia that offer opportunities for Cisco developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Brink's Inc. Richmond Business Services Security Services
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) Mc Lean Financial Services Lending and Mortgage
General Dynamics Corporation Falls Church Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
CarMax, Inc. Henrico Retail Automobile Dealers
NVR, Inc. Reston Real Estate and Construction Construction and Remodeling
Gannett Co., Inc. Mc Lean Media and Entertainment Newspapers, Books and Periodicals
Smithfield Foods, Inc. Smithfield Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
ManTech International Corporation Fairfax Computers and Electronics IT and Network Services and Support
DynCorp International Falls Church Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
Genworth Financial, Inc. Richmond Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
MeadWestvaco Corporation Richmond Manufacturing Paper and Paper Products
Dollar Tree, Inc. Chesapeake Retail Department Stores
Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. Abingdon Agriculture and Mining Mining and Quarrying
SRA International, Inc. Fairfax Business Services Business Services Other
NII Holdings, Inc. Reston Telecommunications Wireless and Mobile
Dominion Resources, Inc. Richmond Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Norfolk Southern Corporation Norfolk Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
CACI International Inc. Arlington Software and Internet Data Analytics, Management and Storage
Amerigroup Corporation Virginia Beach Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Owens and Minor, Inc. Mechanicsville Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Personal Health Care Products
Advance Auto Parts, Inc Roanoke Retail Automobile Parts Stores
SAIC Mc Lean Software and Internet Software
AES Corporation Arlington Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Capital One Financial Corporation Mc Lean Financial Services Credit Cards and Related Services
Sunrise Senior Living, Inc. Mc Lean Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Residential and Long-Term Care Facilities
Computer Sciences Corporation Falls Church Software and Internet Software
Altria Group, Inc. Richmond Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Northrop Grumman Corporation Falls Church Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
Alliant Techsystems Inc. Arlington Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
Markel Corporation Glen Allen Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management

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