The Great Password Debate (Part 1)

August 22, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Posted in cybersecurity, Knowledge | 1 Comment
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Are you overwhelmed by having to remember too many passwords? Why do some experts recommend using special characters like %, $, or @? Do you really have to change your password every 90 days? Which password method will keep your accounts and data safe from hackers?

Do you ever just feel like you’ve fallen into the password abyss?

Welcome to our new blog series, “The Great Password Debate!”

If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired of keeping up with password complexity advice — which says to maintain dozens of unique special-character passwords that change every 90 days — you’re not alone. Bill Burr, who helped first come up with these password standards for National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is right there in the password abyss with you:

I have maybe 200 passwords. I can’t remember all those obviously […] It’s probably better to do fairly long passwords that are phrases or something like that that you can remember than to try to get people to do lots of funny characters.

Currently, most authenticators make users create a combination of numbers, letters and symbols for a “safe” password. However, Mr. Burr has stated recently that he believes making passwords more complicated is NOT the best way to protect your information. He now recommends longer, simpler, and more unique phrases—and, apparently, so do the recently updated NIST standards.

So, what are you to do? Go with the tried and true methods of the past ten years, or step out with the new password approach? In our upcoming blog posts, we’ll delve into this issue, presenting various password rules and seeing how they compare with the latest suggestions from security experts. It promises to be a very L1v3LY D38473.

Stay tuned…

Shahara Ruth

Kaplan IT Professionals Visit Druid Hills High School

June 12, 2017 at 9:10 am | Posted in Transcender news | Leave a comment

The Atlanta, GA office of Kaplan IT Training visited local school Druid Hills High School to participate in Career Day 2017. The event was well attended and the students seemed very interested in IT careers. They asked questions and signed up to receive more information about certification and training.

George Monsalvatge, Content Manager, gave the students an opportunity to improve their golf game, while informing them about opportunities in IT. Joshua Hester, Kaplan IT Product Director, provided insight into career options and explained the world of Information Technology to interested students. Shahara Ruth, Lead Instructional Specialist, assisted in gathering email contact information, and handing out giveaways. This was the first exposure to career information in a professional environment for many of the attendees. The Druid Hills High School principal,  Mrs. Brittany Cunningham, was welcoming and appreciative.

Kaplan IT Training would like to extend their thanks to the high school’s Business Education teacher, Mrs. Chavon Washington Hill, and the principal for inviting and hosting us. She and her staff are looking forward to the possibility of a long term relationship with Kaplan. The counseling team as well as the Business Education Department has invited Kaplan IT Training back to present information on careers in IT for the 2017-2018 school year.

Kaplan IT Training Announces New Blog Column Focusing on Women In Technology

March 30, 2017 at 10:58 am | Posted in Certification Paths, cybersecurity, Knowledge, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Women At Work In Engineering and Technology is our new blog column created especially for women working in these specializations and those who are interested in taking on the challenge. As we bring Women’s History Month 2017 to a close, this is the perfect time to introduce our new column. Let’s make Women’s History Month every month for women in technology.

Worker Shortage

Although many women are currently work in the area, education and corporations are investigating ways to encourage more women and girls to choose tech as a career option. Women have played a large part in engineering, technology, science and math, but until recently were often overlooked. The recognition is growing and so are the opportunities. There are definite shortages of technology workers, most assuredly women are missing at larger rates than men. How can we address this?

There are companies and institutions that have chosen to provide virtual classes for beginners as well as advanced learners that teach coding. Coding literacy is in demand and companies are finding innovative ways to fill the void. This is an example of how important technology has become in our world. Currently, there is a lack of employees that can take on the roles of software engineers and system administrators. Fortunately for those who acquire these skills, the need is increasing.  Other areas that contain critical shortages include cyber security and data management.

Educational Efforts In Public School Education

There are efforts in K-12 education in many schools across the nation to bring coding and advanced technology classes to students. These efforts are boosted by the United States push towards S.T.E.A.M and S.T.E.M.

S.T.E.A.M. is education’s way to encourage students’ to embrace careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts, and Math. This usually takes place in lower grade levels through middle school. S.T.E.M. is the acronym given to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math studies in high schools. Students are surrounded by technology, but oftentimes they are not aware of its power or relevance. Many educational institutions believe that if introduced early enough, students will take advantage of the knowledge over the course of their education and be more apt to be successful in an increasingly technical world. Girls, in particular, are targeted because of the scarcity of females that continue to enroll and stay on track in these courses.

Women Where Are You?

As young women and girls enter the technology field it becomes quite apparent that they are surrounded by fewer female faces. Support is often lacking, and roadblocks appear because of lack of access to find pathways to assist in continued progress.  Mentorship and encouragement is extremely important,

We Want To Help

Our goal with our new column is to provide information that can uplift women and girls in the field of technology. We will be discussing technical trends, careers, certifications, and training. We will keep you up to date on what it takes to find yourself and be successful in a technology focused career.

We will also reach out to our readers to find out your challenges, issues, personal stories as you navigate the world of technology. Technology surrounds us. We are mastering it and thriving. It’s time for us to let the world know while encouraging others. Look for us. We are here to share your stories and give you information that you can use.



Azure and Linux: A Powerful Pair

April 22, 2015 at 11:18 am | Posted in Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Microsoft recently announced that Azure HDInsight (Hadoop) will be one of the first cloud services to run on Linux. Previously, Azure was equipped to work with six different types of Linux distributions. Azure will now be able to deploy, host, and manage its services on Linux servers. This technical merge will increase the service capabilities of Azure by allowing it to run on Ubuntu Linux Virtual Machines in addition to offering Hadoop on Azure.  The powerhouse of Azure HDInsight’s cloud service leadership joined together with Linux will add the ability to expand the storage of big data while allowing an increase in organization’s ability to provide data streams that can be turned into intelligible information.

The Microsoft Learning map for HDInsight offers an emulator, tutorials, video instruction, and technical articles for this technology.

Ready to learn more about open-source Azure solutions? Microsoft Virtual Academy has several free training sessions on Azure and Linux as well, including the following:

Happy developing,

Shahara Ruth

ASP.NET MVC 6: What’s New

March 10, 2015 at 9:37 am | Posted in Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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ASP.NET 5 MVC 6 is the latest installment in the ASP.NET with MVC family of cloud- and desktop-based application processing. ASP.NET 5 MVC 6 is now fully integrated with the ASP.NET API to create a more powerful processing environment.

There are many advantages to incorporating the new product into your development toolkit. One main advantage is its capacity to synchronize application tasks to avoid duplication of efforts and streamline the process. In the past, MVC only ran in IIS. The new ASP.NET vNext will allow MVC to combine with Web API to create a unified processing environment. There will be one model to hold one set of unified concepts.

Even more excitement is in store when developers note the smooth transition from Web Pages to MVC. In addition to creating pipeline efficiency, you will now be able to run application processing on IIS or enable your application to self-host, based on the new request pipeline contained in ASP.NET vNext. MVC 6 can even run on top of your existing desktop or cloud optimized run-time is an option. Even your Web Forms can run on top cloud optimized run-time.

These developments continue to show that ASP.NET MVC is fluid, growing and aims to meet your development and creative needs for new products and services. Stay tuned as we learn how Microsoft plans to incorporate MVC 6 into the current generation of MCP and MCSD certifications.

— Shahara Ruth

Benefits of the Microsoft MVC5 Update

December 22, 2014 at 10:33 am | Posted in Microsoft | 5 Comments
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The Microsoft ASP.NET MVC5 is the latest upgrade in the MVC family of development products. The sleek, seamless, platform-friendly design gives additional flexibility to developers as applications are created. When ASP.NET MVC5 is used with Visual Studio 13 as part of an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) pattern-based structure, the developer can produce the application with ease.  MVC5 allows you to use its toolbar for greater accessibility to commands as you build application templates. The toolbar includes new options that make the command options simpler to find.  For example, instead of going to the Start page to create a new project, you will find the New Project option under the File menu, which is comparable to the design and functionality of the Microsoft Word toolbar.

New User Ease

Because of the new toolbar addition and the user-friendly pattern-based design, MVC 5 enables new developers to quickly master the templates. Controllers, Models, and Views are found within a short time after starting the application due to the ease of navigation with this enhanced version of MVC. The expanded framework functions allow users to easily look up and locate information without having to delve too far into the application’s architecture for initial design build, setup, and save information.

More Great New Features

You can gain additional support when using views. In MVC5, versioning, header-based route choices, and constraint backing are innovative features now supported by customizable attribute routing.  The @Html.EnumDropDownListFor() is a new helper method that should be applied similarly to other HTML helpers.  However, the expression must be able to assess an enum type or in cases where there is a Nullable<T> whenever T is an enum type. When you are required to manipulate a select list before calling, you can incorporate the new EnumHelper.GetSelectList() method. Developers can also use the method to display names that will appear when using @Html.EnumDropDownListFor().

As a developer, you can use unobtrusive validation to handle properties for client-side validation.  This feature aids developers as it relates to the attributes of properties that include MinLength and MaxLength. This context is now maintained in an Unobtrusive Ajax. OnBegin, OnComplete, OnFailure, and OnSuccess are callback functions that are able to find the invoking element through this context.

Developer Challenges

One noted change is that ASP.NET MVC5 will show ambiguities as it employs attribute routing matches. This will lead to a reported error instead of selecting the first available match.  Limitations on attribute routes use as applied to actions include the prohibition of controller use and action parameters.

Secure Connectivity  

Moreover, MVC 5 boosts its attractiveness to users by providing the developer with the ability to build and apply social media-friendly website connectivity securely using an ASP.NET MVC 5 web app.  Currently an ASP.NET MVC 5 secure web app can be created by developers to support users so that they may log in with credentials from Facebook and Google. As with all software applications, it is necessary on occasion to ensure that known bugs are repaired.  The current upgrades are package versions 5.1.0 and 5.1.1.

Flexibility, accessibility, user-friendliness, and secure connectivity are all advantages for developers who take the plunge and upgrade to ASP.NET MVC5.


Until next time!
–Shahara Ruth




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