Category Archive Beginner

ByJayanthi

What are Smart Contracts?

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‘Smart Contracts’ is a term that is often used in the Blockchain world. ‘Smart Contracts are similar to legal contracts but are encoded in the ‘Blockchain’ . ‘Ethereum’, the public blockchain is the most popular way to create smart contracts.

We encounter physical ‘contracts’ throughout our life. Contracts are present when we start a new job(detailing the job details and the date of salary payments)  , when we buy a new house(detailing our mortgage payments and the corresponding dates , when we buy a new vehicle(detailing loan payments)

Home loans, car loans and most other critical dealings come with contracts. ‘Contracts’ enable the buyer and seller to keep their word. In a home buying scenario, once the buyer completes all his mortgage payments, the loaner company should release the title and deed and all appropriate paperwork to the buyer. There are lengthy clauses which cover every aspect of our business dealings.

An example of a legal statement might be as follows: ‘If the bill is not paid by a certain due date, then add a corresponding late fee or revoke the license’. 

What if this could be automated and enforced without any manual intervention? Is this possible? yes – by means of smart contracts. 

In a ‘smart contract’ the contract itself is coded and it is further stored and monitored by the Blockchain network.  Once a condition is met, the contract executes automatically. This ensures transparency along with elimination of middlemen.

‘Smart Contracts’ are mostly written in the ‘Solidity’ programming language.

This is just a short glimpse into the world of ‘smart contracts’. Join me as I uncover more technical topics about the ‘Blockchain’ world  in subsequent posts…

 

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smart contracts
ByJayanthi

Wireshark

Reading Time: 3 minutesFor those who would like to look deep into their networks and not just on the outside, “Wireshark – the network protocol analyzer,” is the way to go!  We will understand what is meant by β€œsniffing”, why it is used and how the Wireshark network protocol analyzer works in this post.

What are sniffers?

While social media rages on one side giving rise to new professions, there is another equally quiet but stealthy profession too – monitoring other people’s networks and activities by means of β€œsniffing”. Since a firewall cannot detect all malicious traffic we use β€œsniffers” to monitor the traffic across the network.  As with everything else in security, β€œsniffers” can be used in a positive and negative way either by employers monitoring their employees or by scrupulous individuals trying to hack systems.

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ByJayanthi

Blockchain lingo!

Reading Time: 2 minutes Blockchain, AI and machine learning are the latest buzzwords in the IT industry. Building a blockchain is also becoming a need for various businesses. Recall, that a “Blockchain” is the distributed shared ledger for recording and storing transactions. Each of the participant in the business network has a copy of the ledger which is updated regularly.

Before building a blockchain, there are a few keywords that have to be mastered and we will discuss them today.

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ByJayanthi

Myths about the US

Reading Time: 3 minutesAs I start my writing again, I gravitate towards my pet topic of India and US again! πŸ™‚

As I see the numbers swell outside the US Consulate to obtain a US visa, I recollect some of the myths that we dealt with when we were stepping into the US(many,many years ago!)

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  1. Rosy dream starts right away? Nope, the rosy dreamy takes time and patience… πŸ™‚ I hear so much about people getting paid much better in US than in India – but that might not be true immediately. If you are in high demand states like California or New York in high demand professions like IT, it may be a possibility. But everybody goes through a settling phase of a new employer, new country, new prices , new car and so on. So, the magical six figure salary in US dollars might not arrive instantly for all.
  2. Cost of living in US is much higher than in India. Period. πŸ™‚
  3. Even though we feel that “everybody” from India is in the US, the fact is that we cannot see “everybody” or “anybody” since everybody is in a different state and going from state to state to meet anybody/everybody is not feasible. So, in all possibilities you will see “everybody” in India, only! πŸ™‚
  4. Will you earn better if you have a US degree? Nope, there too. It has always been the economics concept of ‘supply vs demand’ that has brought Indian professionals to the US. If you have the right skills that are in demand currently in the US, you don’t need a US degree to validate your experience(although pursuing higher education in the US is a delight πŸ™‚ and a higher degree might prove beneficial later on in the career)
  5. Are jobs stable in the US? Nope, again! πŸ™‚ Just as software professionals get paid astronomically they get laid off easily too. After all what is a company to do – when they themselves are sinking? And with immigration policies constantly changing, jobs are never a certainty. In addition, professionals ‘on the bench’ waiting for the next project is also a reality.
  6. “Can I start studying immediately?” might be another thought for those on dependent visas. Pursuing higher education in US is a wonderful experience but it does pinch the pockets. In order to pay for your graduate education, you may have to work as a research assistant or teaching assistant or do other eligible jobs(within visa conditions) Bottom line, US education is good but not cheap.
  7. Professionals get paid according to their location – it might not be so evident in India – but it is in the US. If you make $50K in Georgia, you need $81K in San Diego, California!!  For more information on cost of living calculators in the US, visit this link (Source: http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/index.html)
  8. Health insurance is  an absolute necessity for all members of the family and for all visiting family members too. It can be quite tricky too. When living abroad, pray that you never fall seriously sick. Not only will you not have enough moral support, the physical support will be missing as well.
  9. Is driving hard in the US? Nope – on the other hand, it is quite a pleasure πŸ™‚ One will definitely enjoy the perfectly regulated traffic and lane discipline. I know, I did! πŸ™‚
  10. And lastly the spouses of those on H1 visas and F1 visas cannot work. This can be a real bummer particularly for women who were actively working in India.

Once you are done with all the ups and downs of finding the perfect employer and perfect place to live along with a good community, living in the US will be a dream come true! πŸ™‚ (at least for a couple of years!)

ByJayanthi

Cryptography

Reading Time: 2 minutesAfter having done numerous posts on Information security, here is another basic and elementary concept in Information security – ‘Cryptography’. The concept of Cryptography also encloses encryption and decryption. 

Like any other subject, the field of Cryptography is another massive ocean of information. It is the technique of hiding information to bolster secure communication. Cryptographic techniques are an absolute necessity in this digital age where any information can be snooped on. These are a few basic concepts related to Cryptography:

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ByJayanthi

XOR operator in Java

Reading Time: 1 minuteIn the Java programming language, a ‘variable’ is used to store a value. Different kinds of operations can be performed on the variables by means of ‘operators’.  The Java programming language has a number of operators and these are listed below:

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ByJayanthi

VPN(Virtual private network)

Reading Time: 3 minutesVPN or ‘Virtual Private network’ is exactly what it states – it is a private and virtual connection to your corporate network. While it is easy and comfortable to make use of free and open Wi-Fi in open spaces to access corporate resources, it is highly susceptible to different types of attacks(stealing your password might be the simplest one) VPNs enable professionals to access corporate resources in a safe and secure manner.

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ByJayanthi

Object oriented programming

Reading Time: 2 minutes‘Object oriented programming’ is a type of programming which involves object oriented principles like encapsulation, polymorphism and inheritance. These principles are implemented by means of classes, methods, variables and other constructs in Java. We saw a sneak peek into object oriented programming in the Java 101 post. 

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ByJayanthi

List of Information security certifications

Reading Time: 2 minutes‘Information security’ briefly is that branch of study that deals with securing data and identifying weaknesses in systems and sealing them. Anti-virus software, firewalls are simple aspects of ‘Information security’ that we use unknowingly. There are a number of Information security certifications and we will review some of them here:

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ByJayanthi

Java 101

Reading Time: 2 minutes‘Java’ the object oriented programming language was developed by James Gosling of Sun Microsystems(now a part of Oracle) in 1995. It is a platform independent programming language meaning that once a Java program is written and compiled – the compiled program can run on any architecture(Apple, Windows etc)It is this feature that makes it flexible. It is also much easier to work with Java than other programming languages like C++.

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