Microsoft Training Classes in Minnetonka, Minnesota

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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

For those newly moving into the realm of programming, the important question to mull over is what programming language or technology to specialize in. On the other hand, those who are already working as a software developer, the constant worry remains whether their current technology would become obsolete very soon.

Both these concerns could be easily addressed by checking the list of programming languages that are highly in demand and formulating the career by modifying your specialization accordingly. The supply for the developers have not met with the demand in these programming languages yet, making them most viable options for career.

Popular Programming Languages Based on TIOBE Index

The top 10 list of programming languages which are highly in demand in 2014 is listed below in the order of popularity. These languages are identified from the TIOBE Programming Community index which consists of 20 top programming languages. TIOBE index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages and is updated once in every month.  This index is calculated using multiple search engines, and the ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors.

A project manager acts as the primary link between business and technical teams. A project manager is responsible for maintaining the project schedule, developing project estimates, working with external teams and tracking project issues. The project manager belongs to either the technical team or the project management office (PMO). The project manager works with business teams, technical teams, business counterparts, testing resources, vendors and infrastructure teams.

A project manager is often challenged with diagonally opposite views from the business side and technical side. A project manager’s success depends on balancing the needs and emotions of both sides.

Understanding the Requirements
A project manager must familiarize with the project’s requirements as defined by the business or product managers. This will help you understand the business vision behind the project. You will need this knowledge while negotiating with the technical teams.

Understanding the Technical Landscape
A project manager must also understand the technical systems, resource skills and infrastructure capabilities available for the project. Business teams come up with expectations that are sometimes beyond the capabilities of the technology team. It is the responsibility of the project manager to understand the technical capabilities available to the project.

Walkthrough of Business Requirements
This is a critical step in the project delivery process. The project manager must invite members from the business team, technical team, testing team, infrastructure team and vendors. The project manager must encourage the various stakeholders to ask questions about the requirements. Any prototypes available must be demonstrated in this meeting. The project manager must find answers to all questions resulting from the requirements walkthrough. The project manager must get the final version of the requirements approved by all stakeholders.

Managing Conflicts in Timelines and Budgets
All project managers will face the conflicts arising from shortened timelines and limited budgets. Business teams typically demand many features that are nearly impossible to deliver within short timeframes. The project manager must work with business and technical teams to prioritize the requirements. If the project is executed in a product development organization, then the project manager could utilize agile methodologies to deliver projects incrementally. In this case, the project manager may be required to act as a scrum master to facilitate scrum meetings between various stakeholders.

The Art of Saying “No”
As a project manager, you may be forced to say “no” to demands from both business and technology teams. However, it is important to create a win-win situation for all parties when you are faced with conflicting demands. You can work with the stakeholders individually before bringing all parties together. Most stakeholders prefer to work together. The success of a project manager depends on how effectively he or she can bring out the best in everyone, driving everyone towards a common goal.

Finally, the job of a project manager is not to satisfy the demands from all corners. The project manager must identify the essential deliverables that will meet the business needs, with a solid understanding of what is possible within the limits of technology.

 

Related:

Smart Project Management: Best Practices of Good Managers

Is Agism an Issue in IT?

Viruses, trojans, and other malicious programs are everywhere. There's always a new threat to your computer's security, and many of these threats invade your computer without you even knowing. Most viruses aren't going to loudly announce themselves, so it's important to know the hidden ways in which your computer can become infected.


Infected Files from Other Computers

Whether you're borrowing someone's flash drive or grabbing a file from their computer, your computer can become infected if the file or device you're using already contains a virus, trojan, or other form of malware.

This is a very common issue, and you won't even know there's a problem most of the time. For example, if your computer is connected to other devices on a network, and you decide to pull an important file off of another computer on the network, your computer will become infected if the file you took has a virus attached to it.

Also, if you forgot your flash drive, and you need to use your friend or coworker's device for the day, then even plugging the device into your computer can cause the infection in the flash drive to be transmitted.


Downloading Legitimate Programs

Another way your computer can be secretly infected is when you download a legitimate program and run it. There are numerous legitimate programs on the internet that can help you in many ways. The programs themselves could be infected, though.

Also, one of the most common ways your computer can become infected is when you don't read the fine print before you download a program. Some of them may insist that you install another small program in addition to the one you initially chose. The boxes that you are supposed to click to give your consent may already be clicked.

This small extra program is the one that may carry an infection that will spread to your computer when you run the main program. You may get a lot of good use out of the legitimate program, but the virus attached to the extra hidden program can cause you a lot of trouble.


Using Vulnerable Applications

Security is a serious matter. If even one of the applications you use on your computer is vulnerable to becoming hacked or infected, then your entire computer is at risk and could become secretly infected. Anything from PDF viewing applications to your operating system can become infected if you don't download the latest security patches and keep everything up-to-date.


Not Using Antivirus Software

Antivirus software can protect your computer from a number of viruses, trojans, and other problems. Your computer can become infected in a number of ways, so you need to have good antivirus software to provide strong protection from hidden attacks.


Viruses, trojans, and other malware can infect your computer in a variety of hidden ways. To prevent infection and problems, you need to be careful about what you download, and you should keep your applications secure. Also, find reliable antivirus software to help.

 

Related:

How Do IT Placement Agencies Work?

5 Disruptive Technologies for the Enterprise: What are the Implications?

Tech Life in Minnesota

Minnesota is one of the healthiest states, and has a highly rate of literacy. The state supports a network of public universities and colleges. It encompasses thirty two institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, as well as five major campuses of the University of Minnesota. According to U.S. News & World Report six of the private colleges rank among the nation's top 100 in liberal arts.
The only source of knowledge is experience ~Albert Einstein
other Learning Options
Software developers near Minnetonka 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 Minnesota that offer opportunities for Microsoft developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
The Affluent Traveler Saint Paul Travel, Recreation and Leisure Travel, Recreation, and Leisure Other
Xcel Energy Inc. Minneapolis Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Minneapolis Financial Services Personal Financial Planning and Private Banking
CHS Inc. Inver Grove Heights Agriculture and Mining Agriculture and Mining Other
Hormel Foods Corporation Austin Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
St. Jude Medical, Inc. Saint Paul Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Devices
The Mosaic Company Minneapolis Agriculture and Mining Mining and Quarrying
Ecolab Inc. Saint Paul Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Donaldson Company, Inc. Minneapolis Manufacturing Tools, Hardware and Light Machinery
Michael Foods, Inc. Minnetonka Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
Regis Corporation Minneapolis Retail Retail Other
Fastenal Company Winona Wholesale and Distribution Wholesale and Distribution Other
Securian Financial Saint Paul Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
UnitedHealth Group Minnetonka Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
The Travelers Companies, Inc. Saint Paul Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Imation Corp. Saint Paul Computers and Electronics Networking Equipment and Systems
C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. Eden Prairie Transportation and Storage Warehousing and Storage
Ameriprise Financial, Inc. Minneapolis Financial Services Securities Agents and Brokers
Best Buy Co. Inc. Minneapolis Retail Retail Other
Nash Finch Company Minneapolis Wholesale and Distribution Grocery and Food Wholesalers
Medtronic, Inc. Minneapolis Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Devices
LAND O'LAKES, INC. Saint Paul Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
General Mills, Inc. Minneapolis Manufacturing Food and Dairy Product Manufacturing and Packaging
Pentair, Inc. Minneapolis Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
Supervalu Inc. Eden Prairie Retail Grocery and Specialty Food Stores
U.S. Bancorp Minneapolis Financial Services Banks
Target Corporation, Inc. Minneapolis Retail Department Stores
3M Company Saint Paul Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals

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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 Minnesota 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 Microsoft programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Microsoft experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Microsoft 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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Interesting Reads Take a class with us and receive a book of your choosing for 50% off MSRP.