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What is ServiceNow?

What is ServiceNow?

Introduction

Glassdoor named ServiceNow the best place to work in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) in 2022. The company employs over 17,000 people worldwide.

This platform is made up of both employees and customers. Customers are mostly medium and large enterprise businesses from all over the world.

ServiceNow

Every large company, even if it is not an IT company, has an IT department. However, in such companies, the IT department’s goal is not to directly contribute to the company’s earnings but rather to assist the company’s business department and, together with them, increase the possibility of earning. For such businesses, the IT department alone is an expense.

To achieve the goal, the business and IT departments must work in tandem to ensure that business operations are understood by both parties. This collaboration boils down to exchanging business problems in exchange for an IT solution or service.

In theory, this sounds simple, but in practice, miscommunication is common because the business department understands business operations much better than the IT department. Because of this issue, some business operations are frequently repeated and take much longer than they should.

ServiceNow was created to address this issue. It is a platform that enables the business department to solve business problems without involving IT. ServiceNow Now is a cloud-based Application Platform as a Service platform (aPaaS).

The Now platform consists of:

  • Infrastructure
  • Platform
  • Applications
  • Workflows

The Now platform uses these elements to support all of a company’s IT needs, acting as a replacement for the entire IT department and performing cloud-based functions.

How does ServiceNow work?

The business department can tailor the platform to their specific requirements. The platform is accessible via computer or phone.

Infrastructure

The infrastructure includes several elements:

  • Hardware
  • Security
  • Service level agreements
  • Backups

Hardware refers to the data centers that house all of the platform’s computing power.

Several certified technologies protect the platform.

Data centers are linked together to provide redundancy and failover. Each layer has built-in redundancy, such as devices, power, and network resources, and non-stop operation is enabled.

Every day, a large number of backups are created to ensure that a client’s data is not lost.

Platform

The platform employs a single data model and database. It allows for the creation of custom applications and workflows that can be easily integrated into the platform.

Applications and Workflows

The platform includes a large number of configured and ready-to-use applications and workflows.

ServiceNow divides applications into four workflow types based on functionality. Workflows are classified into the following categories:

  • IT Workflows
  • Employee Workflows
  • Customer Workflows
  • Creator Workflows

Each of the listed categories has subcategories that address the company’s specific needs.

IT Workflows

  • IT Service Management
  • IT Operations Management
  • Strategic Portfolio Management
  • IT Asset Management
  • DevOps
  • Security Operations
  • Governance, Risk, and Compliance
  • Telecommunications Service Operations Management
  • Operational Technology Management

Employee Workflows

  • HR Service Delivery
  • Workplace Service Delivery
  • Safe Workplace Suite
  • Legal Service Delivery

Customer Workflows

  • Customer Service Management
  • Field Service Management
  • Financial Services Operations
  • Telecommunications Service Management
  • Connected Operations
  • Order Management for Telecommunications
  • Healthcare and Life Sciences Service Management

Creator Workflows

  • App Engine
  • IntegrationHub
  • Manufacturing Connected Workforce

In addition to all of these subcategories, if the client is unable to find a suitable application that meets all of his business requirements, he can always create his own.

Conclusion

As previously stated, the ServiceNow platform operates in the cloud, so no local installation of these applications is required. Because ServiceNow has built-in tools for creating applications, the process is significantly sped up, as creating those same applications separately from the platform would take significantly more time and effort.

The main advantage of the ServiceNow platform is that it provides ready-made applications, and if an application is missing, it is not necessary to create it from scratch. Each prebuilt application is constantly improved, and the ServiceNow platform offers clients out-of-the-box solutions.

Finally, we can describe the ServiceNow platform as an application that lives or breathes because of how it works, rather than a single application that only represents a product for sale and purchase.

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The Difference Between Relational and Non-Relational Databases

The Difference Between Relational and Non-Relational Databases

Introduction

To understand the differences between these two types of databases, we must first understand what a database is and what it is used for.

A database is a collection of structured data or information that can be searched quickly on a computer. The database’s function is to store data.

Databases are critical components of any information technology system.

The term “DBMS” is frequently used when discussing databases. What is a DBMS and what does it do? DBMS stands for “Database Management System”, and it is used to extract data from a database based on specified queries.

Databases are classified into two types: relational databases and non-relational databases.

Let’s look at why these two types exist and what differentiates them.

Relational databases

Relational databases are structured databases because they organize data using tables. The term “relational” refers to the fact that these tables have specific relationships with one another.

This type of database is popular due to its structure, which allows users to understand the data and its interrelationships. Structured Query Language (SQL) is used in relational databases to write queries and manipulate data. As a result, relational databases are frequently referred to as SQL databases and non-relational as NoSQL databases.

The benefits of relational databases include:

  • Ease of use
  • Easy access to data
  • Integrity and accuracy of data
  • Flexibility
  • Security

Disadvantages of relational databases:

  • Performance issues
  • Setup can be time-consuming and difficult
  • There is no support for more complex data types
  • Vertical scalability

MySQL is the most widely used relational database. Other relational databases include:

  • PostgreSQL
  • SQLite
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Amazon Aurora
  • MariaDB
  • Oracle Database
  • Supabase

Non-relational databases

Non-relational databases have the advantage of being able to store both structured and unstructured data, i.e. any type of data. Functions that provide additional flexibility can be used. Non-relational database data can be more dynamic than relational database data.

Non-relational databases are document-oriented; they store data in non-tabular form using a storage model optimized for the specific needs of the data types being stored.

Data is stored in documents in this type of database. One record in the database is represented by a document. Values can be of various types, including strings, numbers, dates, arrays, or objects, and are typically stored in JSON format. As a result, non-relational databases are frequently referred to as document databases or document stores. Non-relational databases use collections in addition to documents. Collections are used to group multiple documents.

Because the data model evolves in response to changes in the application, this method of data storage is slightly more flexible than relational databases.

The benefits of non-relational databases include:

  • Management of unstructured data
  • Horizontal scaling
  • Agility
  • Readability
  • The vast majority of solutions are open-source

Disadvantages of non-relational databases:

  • Reliance on a particular DBMS
  • Limited functionality
  • Absence of standardization

The most well-known non-relational database is MongoDB. Additional relational databases include:

  • MongoDB
  • Apache Cassandra
  • Redis
  • Neo4j
  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • Firebase

How do we know if we should use a relational or non-relational database for a project?

Before creating the database, it is necessary to create a model and assess the type of data that will be stored and analyzed. Based on the type of data, it can be determined whether it can be stored more easily through rows and columns in tables or if more flexible space is required.

Also, at the outset, the amount of data must be estimated. Non-relational databases have no data size limitations and can store any type of data that can be changed later. Because of the flexibility they provide, non-relational databases are more likely to be used when dealing with large amounts of data.

Another critical consideration is whether real-time data or static data previously stored in the database will be used. Relational databases are ideal for dealing with static data. Non-relational databases are better suited for dynamic data or data that changes frequently.

Relational databases have more settings at the beginning but are easier to maintain later, whereas non-relational databases have fewer settings at the beginning but are more difficult to maintain later.

Conclusion

We have highlighted some of the more significant differences between these two types of databases in this post.

Let us quickly recap everything we said earlier.

There are two kinds of databases: relational (SQL) and non-relational (NoSQL). The choice of database type is primarily determined by the project and the skills of the project team. Following the preceding guidelines, we can conclude that relational databases are better suited for situations requiring us to work with a smaller amount of data that is structured. Non-relational databases, on the other hand, are better suited when we need to work with a large amount of data that is not structured.

Relational databases only support vertical scaling, which means that we can only upgrade the machine where our database is located, whereas non-relational databases support horizontal scaling and can be used on multiple machines at the same time.

To store data, relational databases use tables, while non-relational databases use documents.

SQL is used in relational databases, and queries must be directed at retrieving specific data. In the case of non-relational databases, the process is much more dynamic, with entire data collections typically being extracted and only specific data points from those collections chosen.

What we didn’t mention earlier is that both types of databases can be used in conjunction.

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How to Learn Programming

How to Learn Programming

Introduction

Programming is very popular today and a large number of people choose to learn to program. The world is becoming more and more digital, and there is a huge need for developers. New jobs are being created with good conditions and high salaries.

However, learning programming is not easy, it requires a lot of work and effort. In the world of programming, many things are important and need to be learned. For that reason, before you even start learning to program, you need to have a plan and you need to understand what programming involves.

Here are some steps and tips that will undoubtedly serve as a basic guide to learning to program.

1. Fundamentals

There are different opinions about which programming language is best for beginners, but it doesn’t matter that much. It is important to assess in which direction you plan to develop your programming career and what you want to be your ultimate goal. This allows you to choose the first programming language or type of programming language more precisely. Whichever programming language you choose, it is important to learn the basics. Once you have mastered the basics, it is easy to switch to another programming language of the same type. Certainly, in the world of programming, there is always something new to learn, and it is also one of the qualities you must have or acquire, a willingness to constantly learn and improve.

The basics of any programming language are the most extensive and require a great deal of commitment to complete understanding. For that reason, a large number of people make the same mistake because they skip the basics or superficially teach them everything to reach the goal more easily. This approach should be avoided because problems arise later due to the lack of some parts from those bases. It’s like starting to put together puzzles without even looking at what the final image should look like, so you try to put some puzzles together by heart. Skipping will not help you in project design or technical job interviews, so it is very important to know the basics of programming.

2. Documentation

The Internet is full of information about any field, so, of course, it can be helpful in your programming learning process.

What is important to know right from the start is that a large number of technologies have written official supporting documentation that explains everything that this technology encompasses. Depending on the technology, some documentation may be better and some may be worse. If you want to learn a concept and have not understood it using a source from the Internet, you can always look for another that may be clearer to you. Some technologies may not have official documentation or the documentation may be poorly written, so you will need to look for a suitable area on another internet source.

The ability to quickly find quality information means a lot and helps in the process of learning programming. If you opt for a programming language, be sure to surround yourself with all the additional quality sources of information related to the programming language you have chosen.

3. Ask questions

To learn, you need to ask questions and ask for help. The sooner you understand this, the easier it will be for you and you will surely progress faster.

First, try to solve the problem yourself several times, and when you have no idea, ask someone to help you. If you don’t have a friend who can help you, you can always ask a question and ask for help on a forum like StackOverflow. It would be great if you could find a mentor because that would make the learning process much easier for you.

Questions can also help in the learning process by asking yourself a question and trying to find the answer.

4. Build projects

Because programming is complex, it takes much more than reading some professional books, taking notes, and watching tutorials. You need to apply what you have learned concretely. When you read or watch, the usual material seems simpler, but when you start to put it all into practice, it becomes much harder.

When it comes to programming, creating projects is the best way to learn to program. Programming requires continuity in learning and practice, and creating projects includes just that. When you learn something, then you practically apply that knowledge to projects. Regular project work is the best way to determine the material you have learned.

If you are not sure what to choose for your first project, keep in mind that it is best to choose something that interests you, start with something simple, and try to create something that will be useful to you or other people.

Creating projects will not only help you learn and understand programming but also build your portfolio. Whether you are a student, a self-taught person, or a person already working in the profession, your projects remain behind you as a guarantee of your experience, which later increases your chances of employment or advancement to a higher position. A typical example is the GitHub platform.

5. Broaden your knowledge

Reading code is not the same as understanding code. Whenever you have the opportunity to go through a piece of code, instead of reading it, always try to understand how that piece of code works. This approach helps a lot in spreading your knowledge.

Broaden your knowledge by investing in specific courses. Courses are much more useful when you already have some prior knowledge than when you are starting from scratch. Like courses, you can broaden your knowledge by purchasing or borrowing an appropriate professional book. Books usually contain great examples.

To develop logic, you should invest some time in data structures and algorithms. Data structures and algorithms are extremely important areas involved in the job interview process.

If you have completely learned one programming language, you can choose another to learn. Saturation often occurs in programming, and some minor changes can have a positive effect on your daily productivity. Of course, after the first programming language, the second programming language will be much easier for you to master.

6. Consistent practice

Continuity and regular programming are the keys to mastering any programming language. It takes time to understand programming well. Because the more consistently you exercise, the better your chances of mastering programming are.

Try to make the process of learning programming fun. While coming up with an idea for a project, join a programming community, exchange ideas, or register on a programming forum. Start some topics, try to do something different, or explore some modern technology. Find some sites that offer various challenges for developers so you can further practice and strengthen your skills. If you have simply made a project and everything is working properly, try to experiment a bit and improve some segments if possible.

The goal is to make programming a part of your everyday life and to experience it as a game so that you don’t get bored or too tired at some point.

Conclusion

Learning programming is a big challenge, and a large number of people give up, which is completely normal. Some do not have enough will and motivation, some do not have an adequate background, and some simply realize that programming is not for them.

However, if you are determined and create your learning plan well and adhere to all the guidelines we have given you, you will have a great chance of succeeding in this field. You should always keep in mind that all the developers struggled a little in the beginning. You will have super productive days, but also days when you will want to give up more than once.

If we accept all this and understand that it is part of a learning process that simply works that way, it will be easier for us to achieve the continuity in work that we need to master programming. The most important thing is to stay persistent and never give up.

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Best Visual Studio Code Extensions in 2022

Best Visual Studio Code Extensions in 2022

Introduction

If you have searched the Internet intending to find the best and most popular desktop code editor, you have probably come across Visual Studio Code many times. After Visual Studio Code appeared, it quickly became number one in this domain. There are several reasons why this happened, and one of those reasons is the use of extensions. Since the topic of this post is related to extensions, we will not deal with other reasons, but we will focus on extensions.

Whether you are a beginner who is just starting to use Visual Studio Code or someone who has the desire to adapt it to their needs, we have singled out a few extensions that will surely be of great use to you when developing new projects in 2022.

Let’s start with the basics needed to develop an application using the Visual Studio Code editor.

You will use curly braces many times when writing code. Visual Studio Code uses a default theme that marks all curly braces the same color. The problem arises when you have a lot of lines of code, which is a common situation, and then it becomes difficult to distinguish which bracket belongs to which block of code.

Bracket Pair Colorizer

Bracket Pair Colorizer is a Visual Studio Code extension that marks the brackets of different blocks of code with different colors so that you can identify which brackets belong to which blocks of code. This is a simple extension that makes a big difference. It makes reading your code easier, not only for you but also for others who will try to read and understand your code.

Visual Studio Code recently has a built-in option that does exactly what Bracket Pair Colorizer does, and you have the ability to adjust all colors. If you prefer to adjust every detail yourself, then this option may be better for you.

Available at: Bracket Pair Colorizer

Reading and understanding code is clearer when we use the Visual Studio Code extension Bracket Pair Colorizer. However, other things make writing and reading code even easier.

Every developer likes to write code in their own way. Some like to put a semicolon everywhere, while others like to put a semicolon only where it is needed. Some like to separate two tab places, while others like to separate four tab places when they start writing a line of code. The tools used for this purpose are called code formatters.

Prettier

The Prettier Visual Studio Code extension is a code formatter that helps you stay consistent in the way you write your code in your unique way. The prettier extension is the most popular when it comes to code formatters. To use it successfully, you need a little adjustment, but after that, it contributes a lot to your work.

Just save the file you are working on and Prettier will do the rest for you. It will format the code according to your settings, check if you left out the semicolon somewhere, and then add it, delete the excess tab space, add the missing one, and much more. After formatting, your code will look meticulously written, which automatically makes it easier to read and understand the code.

If you are interested, you can try the Prettier extension via the following link: Prettier demo

Prettier is not an extension that can only be used with Visual Studio Code but can also be used with other code editors.

Available at: Prettier

When creating projects, things can easily get complicated, and you may end up with a large number of files with different extensions. In the beginning, while we have a small number of files, this is not a problem. However, when we enter the deeper phase of application development, we get a large number of files where the visibility of these files is not so simple and they are harder to find. This problem can be easily solved by using some of the icon extensions.

Visual Studio Code Icons (vscode-icons)

This is a simple extension that brings icons to the Visual Studio Code editor as they do not come installed during installation. Icons contribute to the visibility of the folder and file structure within a project. Special purpose folders have different icons as well as files with different extensions. In addition to the visual appearance, the icons make teamwork easier, make the application development experience more interesting, and shorten the time it takes for a developer to return to a project after a long time. There are also customization options.

In addition to the vscode-icons extension, there are other popular icon extensions such as:

Available at: vscode-icons

Developers during application development, especially front-end developers, like to have the application open in real-time so that all changes can be visually accessible. As a result, you can often see that developers have more than one monitor.

However, for the application to be updated in real-time, you need to configure certain scripts or simply find an extension that will do it for you. Otherwise, the application project would have to be restarted during each change.

Live Server

Live Server the Visual Studio Code extension runs a local application development server that provides live reloads for both static and dynamic pages. Every time you make a certain change in the code and save the file, the changes will be immediately available and visible within the browser. In addition to making it easier to work with, this extension allows you to spot code errors faster and provides the ability to easily and quickly test certain code changes.

Available at: Live Server

Visual Studio Code does a phenomenal job of automatically closing all open tags. The problem arises when it is necessary to rename certain tags, which often happens.

Auto Rename Tag

Auto Rename Tag is a Visual Studio Code extension that allows you to rename open and closed tags at the same time, thus saving a lot of time while writing code.

Visual Studio Code also has a built-in option where the same effect can be achieved. You only need to enable this option because it is disabled by default.

Available at: Auto Rename Tag

For front-end developers, CSS is of great importance. Projects often have a large number of classes and IDs that contain various CSS code blocks, and it can be difficult to find those code blocks.

CSS Peek

CSS Peek is a Visual Studio Code extension that solves the above problem in a way that clicking on any class or ID immediately displays the CSS block of code that is linked. This allows the developer to quickly view the code and directly access the appropriate block if there is a need for changes.

Available at: CSS Peek

Git and GitHub are unavoidable things when it comes to serious projects. Since there are great chances that you will work on projects in teams, using Git within Visual Studio Code will be of great benefit. Visual Studio Code already has a built-in Git usage module that offers basic functionality. Some extensions are more advanced and offer more opportunities for work on serious projects, where it will be necessary to monitor the work of the entire team.

GitLens

GitLens is a great example of an extension that complements Git within the Visual Studio Code Editor. Visually, it helps to distinguish between lines of code by different authors using Git. This extension is great because it helps in understanding the code. It is possible to look at the history of writing codes, and it is possible to conclude who wrote or changed the code, why, and when.

Available at: GitLens

Conclusion

Code editors with extensions became available even before Visual Studio Code. How come some of those editors didn’t become number one? What did Visual Studio Code do differently?

Programs were not usually designed to have many additional extensions, as multiple extensions complicated the operation of the application and increased the number of possible problems. Also, each extension would have to be tested and regularly maintained, which took a lot of time.

Visual Studio Code made extensions an integral part of the application, something like WordPress did. Since it is open-source, there were no problems with ideas for extensions or creating and maintaining them. Everyone has the opportunity to create their own Visual Studio Code extension and participate in upgrading some others if they wish.

Due to this approach, where the user can fully customize, Visual Studio Code is not a classic code editor but a lightweight development environment.

The number of extensions should be kept to a minimum, so it is recommended that you install only those extensions that you will certainly use every day. In this post, we have singled out some of the most useful extensions for you. We hope that some of them will be useful to you and that you will add them to your collection.

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Our Team’s Point of View – How to Build a Successful Career in the IT World

Our Team’s Point of View – How to Build a Successful Career in the IT World

Henry Ford’s quote, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself,” is one of our personal favorite quotes on teamwork.

Because it’s true: Teamwork has the incredible power to increase productivity, job satisfaction, and even each person’s individual performance.

To inspire you to embark on a journey through the IT world, together with our team, we have prepared an interview that covers a few frequently asked questions and concerns.

Below you can read what we talked about, our experiences and impressions so far, as well as important tips on the IT industry that can help you.

What attracted you the most to the world of programming, can you tell us more about the very beginning of your career?

As someone who started his formal education in a completely different profession, I started programming relatively late. However, I have always had affinities with what this job requires and offers, so at one point I realized that programming is what I want to do. After that, it was easy to decide and choose a career as a programmer.

For a start, I can’t say that it was difficult, but certainly challenging, because it represents an entry into a new world of people, terminology, and technology, but I already knew that this is what I want to do and very quickly I felt like I was for a long-time part of it all.

What’s the thing you like the most about your job, what are the challenges you face daily?

From the very beginning in this business, I was attracted by the challenges of solving problems that arise every day. I experience this every working day as an opportunity to feel valuable and satisfied when I overcome a new challenge. Then I can see the result in front of me.

Every day is different and specific because it is an opportunity for new knowledge and obstacles, but in the end, there is always a sense of satisfaction with the results achieved.

The main goal of this interview is to bring the juniors in the field of the IT industry closer to what it looks like to do this job and what they can expect in their career. What is your advice to your future colleagues who want to enter the world of programming and build their careers?

I have noticed that colleagues new to this business have fear or insecurity and doubt whether they can do something. I want to tell them that these beginnings should not scare them and that it is all a process that takes time and perseverance. They need to have faith in their ability to acquire new knowledge and overcome new obstacles. This is a job that, in addition to knowledge, also requires critical thinking and creating solutions.

They need to improve their knowledge and not be afraid to take the initiative. It is a process that brings results, and the results again create new self-confidence and enthusiasm for further work.

We work in a fast-paced industry, where we have to stay up-to-date with the technology changes and future trends. Career advancement requires additional engagement and dedication to learning new skills. This often results in more time spent at work as well as various types of training which usually means less time for yourself. How do you deal with that?

As much as I like the job I do, I try to leave it all behind at the end of the workday and recharge my batteries for the next day. In general, I try to keep my workday at a certain pace that does not tire me and at the same time makes me the most productive.

What advice would you give to your colleagues when it comes to their personal and professional development?

I think everyone has a different process and way of learning and developing. Practical work helped me the most during my studies. The most important thing for beginners in this business is accepting new challenges and learning new things.

IT companies usually provide many benefits that motivate employees to be better and more productive at work. What motivates you at Elephant Solutions?

The atmosphere that greeted me in the company made the beginning of work and the period of getting used to and learning much easier. It certainly means a lot to go to work where there is a healthy and pleasant atmosphere. In addition to organized gatherings and joint activities, most of us share some interests that connect us, so it is much easier to have a motive to work and stay when it is in an environment that is pleasant to work and socialize.

To overcome professional challenges, we need a lot of energy which we usually exploit from various sources that satisfy us. Do you think that one of the key sources is the team you work for, friendly relations in the team?

As we have already said, I think this is the key thing that makes Elephant Solutions a healthy work environment. It is not uncommon for people to gather again in their free time after a whole day at work, which I think proves that there is a positive atmosphere and friendly relations.

How important is the team, the working atmosphere and why?

What makes us happy when we do our job is the moment, we see the results of our together work. It is very important. I think that applies to everyone and not just to me personally. When you know that you have people in the team that you can rely on at any time, it reduces the pressure on everyone. That means that I can fully dedicate myself to solving a problem, knowing that I have a team with me that is equally dedicated.

If it were not for that, it would very quickly harm the relations in the team and the results achieved. I think that effects of working together bring good relations, which contribute to better performance.

And finally, tell us, if you had to describe your experience at Elephant Solutions in one sentence, what would that sentence be?

Elephant Solutions is the ideal environment for any ambitious programmer to express themselves through their individuality and through this process contribute to their development and collective success and spend quality time at work and outside. All in all, my final impression could be summed up like this – “I’d do it again”.

We want you to build careers that last and that will help you stay healthy, happy, and productive because only careers that fit into the wider context of your life are sustainable. We hope that our story inspired you to challenge yourself daily. Who knows, you might be surprised by how far you can go!

Also, we invite you to share your experience with us. We would be happy to learn something more about good practices. So, feel free to send us your suggestions at support@elephantsolutions.net.

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