C++ Maps Explained

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Looking to learn more about maps in C++ and how to use them? Then this article is for you. We cover the details on how exactly to use maps, present some use cases for them and explain when to avoid them entirely. Let’s dive in.

What is a map in C++?

A C++ map is a way to store a key-value pair. A map can be declared as follows:

#include <iostream>
#include <map>

map<int, int> sample_map;

Each map entry consists of a pair: a key and a value. In this case, both the key and the value are defined as integers, but you can use other types as well: strings, vectors, types you define yourself, and more.



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Top Trends in Product Management to Watch

Five years ago, the role of the product manager was unclear. Some companies conflated product managers with project managers, while others treated them as a liaison to the engineering team. As time has gone by, product managers have clearly defined their roles within organizations, stepping up as leaders in executing product vision and strategy while driving revenue for the business. 

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While most other jobs have increased in demand by a steady 6.6% in the last two years, product manager roles have increased by 32%. Additionally, product managers make an average salary of $108,000 according to Glassdoor

If the availability of jobs and the promise of a good income make this field sound appealing to you, check out these top trends in product management so you can stay informed.



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Udacity appoints new Chief Financial Officer

Seamus Hennessy brings 20+ years of strategic and financial experience to Udacity. 

Udacity Seamus Hennessy

We are excited to announce the appointment of Seamus Hennessy as our new Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. 

Hennessy brings over two decades worth of financial experience with both public and private technology companies to Udacity. Prior to Udacity, he spent eight years as CFO at Ruckus Wireless, where he led the company from early-stage startup, through its successful IPO in 2012 and acquisition by Brocade Communications Systems in 2016. He has also held CFO positions at Big Switch Networks, Cohesity and Aerohive Networks. The appointment highlights Udacity’s commitment to continued financial growth as the need for upskilling and reskilling for workers continues to accelerate, particularly in the fields of artificial intelligence, cloud computing, autonomous systems, and data science. 



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Champion a Learning Agenda Inside Your Organization

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We often talk in business about continuous learning. The goal is to learn something new every day and then apply it in ways that make you – and your organization – incrementally better. That idea of constant improvement always comes back to one, fundamental truth.

Knowledge is power.

It’s why, in this age of rapid technological change, the drive toward superior performance will always be led by a focus on Learning and Development (L&D). This is where organizations truly have the opportunity to capitalize and differentiate themselves from competitors.



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Women’s History Month Recognition: Udacity Graduates Forge Path for Women to Tech Careers

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The technology industry has made many advancements to improve diversity in its ranks, but women still remain underrepresented in tech. Despite the fact that women account for around 59% of the total workforce in the US, only 20% are in tech roles at major tech companies. If you include non-tech roles at major tech organizations, such as Marketing and HR, this number increases to 30%. 

The statistics are similar when one looks at it from a global perspective. According to Michael Krigsman, an Industry Analyst, “13% of the global Fortune 500 were women, and that’s not just Chief of Information Security Officers (CISOs). That’s CISOs, CIOs, and senior executives such as a VP in the technology arena. It’s still a very, very small amount that equates to about 65 companies out of the 500,” said Krigsman. The question of diversity is no longer limited to election campaigns and political protests but is also on boardroom agendas across the country.

Women's History Month


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Thinking about a career switch? 3 Hot Industry Trends To Watch

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When looking for a new job, it’s best to have a good idea of the latest trends in the job market. Does everyone work in their pajamas now? Probably not, but with almost 5 million people working remotely these days it might feel like it.

In 2020, the top job trends are centered around the importance of data literacy in every role and field, new roles specializing in cloud security, and a dramatic increase in hiring for people with technical skills in artificial intelligence (AI).

Job Trends to Act on in 2020

Data Proficiency 

Having technological know-how is no longer limited to just the roles of engineers and programmers. Now, companies are looking for everyone they hire to have technical prowess, particularly around data.

Guy Berger stated in the LinkedIn U.S. Emerging Jobs Report that “Data science is a field that is seeing continued growth on a tremendous scale.” He goes on to mention that the need for those with data science knowledge is growing in almost every industry.

There’s never been a better time to have data skills. According to Gartner, “50% of organizations …lack sufficient AI and data literacy skills to achieve business value.” Businesses are eager to hire employees who can fill those skill gaps.

Plus, Forbes reports that data science roles and related jobs have grown more than 650% in the last 8 years, while the number of qualified individuals is not enough to fill the need. With an abundance of opportunity and high growth potential, now is a great time to invest in your data skills.

Cloud Security

“The cloud” has been a buzzword for years, but that doesn’t keep it from still being a top trend. In the past two decades, more and more companies have migrated to the cloud and made it a key part of their infrastructure. In fact, according to Kaspersky Lab, “over three quarters (78%) of businesses…already make use of at least one form of cloud service and the same number (75%) are planning to move more applications to the cloud in the future.”

With all of this data going into the cloud, the demand for professionals with knowledge of the cloud and a speciality in security is skyrocketing. Entrepreneur predicts that cloud cyber-security platforms are “expected to become a $460 million industry,” and they are all looking to hire. Making it the perfect time to pursue a career in cloud computing

Artificial Intelligence

Roles for people with skills in artificial intelligence have been steadily rising for years, and they’re not stopping now. According to Indeed’s best jobs of 2019 report, hiring for Machine Learning Engineers grew more than 300% between 2015 and 2018, and that number has only increased.

And now, hiring for AI roles has expanded beyond just Machine Learning Engineers. According to Guy Berger, the principal economist at LinkedIn, “AI has infiltrated every industry, and right now the demand for people skilled in AI is outpacing the supply for it.”

Forbes reports that hiring growth for AI roles “encompasses a few different titles within the space that all have a very specific set of skills despite being spread across industries.” After all, AI is used for more than just self-driving cars and Pandora’s radio algorithm. These days, it’s common for enterprise companies to use it to automate everything from HR to their own applications. With that in mind, the opportunities in AI are endless.

Ready to Look for a Job?

If these job trends for 2020 have you excited about the possibility of finding a new role, then it’s time to get yourself out there. Start by taking online courses in data science, cloud computing, security, and artificial intelligence so your technical skills are on trend.

You’ll be on your way to your new role in no time!

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Introducing the Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree program

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Udacity is excited to introduce the newest addition to our School of Business: the Product Manager Nanodegree program. Product management has become one of the hottest career fields today. From MBA graduates to former entrepreneurs, the product manager position is a role in the tech industry coveted by some of the boldest and brightest. Over the past decade, interest in the product management profession has grown by 300%; and rightfully so. Rated as a top 15 job on LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report,  product managers boast a 24% job growth rate and an national average base salary of $125,000 a year.  

As Alex King, Product Manager Nanodegree program instructor and Product Manager at Uber, states, the Product Manager role entails high responsibility and reward.

“Product Managers play a critical role in making sure that the right product gets built. This starts by deeply understanding your users and the problems that you are solving for, then working with a number of different teams to identify and build a solution. After launching a product, it’s an amazing feeling when you see people using your product in the real world.”

This Nanodegree program is great for those looking to break into the Product Management space, and has no technical prerequisites, so it’s accessible to learners from a variety of backgrounds. Once you learn the foundational skills required in Product Management, you will be equipped to further specialize your skillset with the AI Product Manager Nanodegree program, as well as the Growth and Data Product Manager Nanodegree programs coming soon.

Udacity Product Manager Nanodegree program

Product Managers Drive Company and Customer Value

Let’s go through a few examples of why Product Managers are so valuable to companies.  Have you heard of ICQ? Most likely not. However, most of you probably have used or at least heard of AOL’s Instant Messenger. ICQ was an early messenger tool similar to AOL’s Instant Messenger, but unlike Instant Messenger, ICQ had too many features that struggled to deliver customer value; as a result, it never took off because it became too overwhelming and inadequate for users. Now, let’s examine an example that is a little more recent. When Apple released its first version of the iPod in 2001, Microsoft released a competitive offering five years later called Microsoft Zune. However, unlike Apple’s iPod, Microsoft’s Zune failed to deliver any additional value to listeners and was late to the market, resulting in listeners sticking with Apple’s iPod instead of switching over to Microsoft’s Zune, causing Microsoft to discontinue production of the Zune product after a few years.

So what distinguishes exciting ideas from industry-changing innovations? A Product Manager. Product Managers make visions a reality by tactfully blending insight-driven strategy with influential execution. Whether it’s adding a feature that enhances customer delight for an existing product, such as in AOL’s Instant Messenger, or a completely new offering into the market, such as Apple’s iPod, Product Managers serve as the bridge between what problems a company spends their resources solving and the value that gets delivered to the company’s customers. 

Moreover, with the rise of digitization in the past few decades, all companies, including ones that were previously primarily selling physical products, such as Nike, Procter & Gamble, and Lego, now need Product Managers that can guide the development of software products. As a McKinsey article states, Product Managers are critical for companies in today’s digital era, connecting software-engineering teams to the rest of the organization, and ensuring resources spent internally create extraordinary customer value externally. Such an influential role requires a dynamic set of skills, including mastery of both soft skills, such as influencing without authority, and hard skills, such as distilling customer and market-based insights into a product spec. Being able to apply this breadth of skills throughout the product development lifecycle is what allows impactful products to be delivered into the market at the right time with the right features.  

There is a Product Management skill gap in the market due to a lack of industry-relevant programs that focus on both the soft and hard skills

However, this dynamic set of skills that set Product Managers apart are a rare breed in the workforce, especially in countries like Australia and India. The gap of skilled Product Managers in the workforce can be attributed to the lack of practical, industry-relevant training. McKinsey claims the maturity of a Product Manager can be measured across six pillars, and that the best way to upskill in these pillars is through working on real-world projects with regular coaching and feedback. In other words, Product Managers need to have a good sense of business, tech, and design, and be capable of seeing synergistic opportunities and switching contexts between those three domains constantly. However, there are very few Product Management training programs available in the market that enable synergistic problem solving across the business, tech, and design domains, and there are even fewer that teach the hard and soft skills needed to work effectively at the intersection of these three spheres.      

Program Details

The projects in the Product Manager Nanodegree program will prepare you to lead a cross-functional team in your organization, and act as the CEO and general manager of a mini-startup within your company.

Students who enroll in the Product Manager Nanodegree program will learn to define product strategy and KPIs based on market analysis, pitch a product vision to get stakeholder buy-in, and design a user-centered prototype that adheres to engineering constraints. Then, you will develop an execution timeline that handles competing priorities, communicate a product roadmap that builds consensus amongst internal stakeholders, and create a comprehensive go-to-market plan based on product KPIs. Finally, you will build tests to enhance product features based on market data. Projects in this Nanodegree program include:

Project 1: Pitch a Product Vision

Perform market research to identify target users and size the market opportunity for a new product. Compile your analysis into a pitch deck, and present the vision of your product to business stakeholders.

Project 2: Run a Design Sprint

Take a product opportunity and explore potential solutions. Narrow down ideas to the most compelling one, create a storyboard and prototype, conduct user research, refine ideas, and incorporate findings into a final product spec.

Project 3: Manage the Product Development Process

Balance competing priorities, relationships, and expectations to make sure your product will be built and launched within a given timeline.

Project 4: Deliver a Product to Market

Create a pre-launch process, including identification of launch risks and mitigations. Develop a marketing and pricing strategy, and create collateral to prepare the Sales and Customer Support teams to evangelize the product. Use customer feedback to design an A/B test for a new product feature.

Collaborating with Top Product Management Professionals

To develop this program’s world-class curriculum, we collaborated with professionals from companies including Cornerstone OnDemand, Lyft, and Microsoft. Each of these collaborators contributed guidance and feedback to focus the program on the most in-demand skills. Also, each of the instructors in the program has extensive professional experience as Product Managers in technology. Below is a list of contributors to the program.

Instructors

  • Alex King, Product Manager at Uber
  • Anastasia Root, Product Manager at Google
  • Yuva Murugan, Product Consultant

Begin Your Career in Product Management Today

Product Management roles in the US have grown an astounding 32% over just a two year period, from August 2017 to June 2019, higher than software engineering job growth (21%) and overall US job growth (6%) during that same time span.

This program will teach you both the hard skills of leading product development, and the soft skills of sourcing user feedback and influencing cross-functional teams. Udacity’s Product Manager Nanodegree program allows learners to develop experience across the business, design, and tech domains through hands-on, industry-relevant projects and mentor feedback. Enroll today to begin your career in Product Management!

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