Career advice is off-topic per Help Center. 99% of questions with this tag are off-topic and will be closed. Study other questions under this tag closely that aren't closed before asking your question, if you want any chance of it not being closed. Closed questions add up to a possible question-ban ...

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127
votes
17answers
4k views

How to develop a career path for programmers in a small company?

I am working in a small software company, which has grown from 4 to just over 50 employees (1 to 12 developers respectively) in the last 4 years with me being the lead developer/manager of the ...
123
votes
17answers
21k views

Is there any way to get faster at solving bugs? I've just had a warning from my boss

I've just been told by my boss that I will receive a negative performance review on Monday. He wants to talk to me about why I am so slow and why my bug fix rate is so low. I love programming and ...
123
votes
22answers
22k views

Stuck due to “knowing too much” [closed]

Note more discussion at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4037794 I have a relatively simple development task, but every time I try to attack it, I end up spiraling in deep thoughts - how could it ...
92
votes
18answers
13k views

How to market yourself as a software developer? [closed]

I have noticed that this is a frequent issue among younglings from technical areas such as ours. In the beginning of our careers we simply don't know how to sell ourselves to our employers, and ...
91
votes
13answers
9k views

I'm in over my head at my job. What should I do? [closed]

About 8 months ago I was hired as the sole developer at a small company to take on a certain project. Although there are other small projects that come up from time to time, I've been spending about ...
88
votes
25answers
9k views

How do programmers quit a job? [closed]

I'm thinking about leaving my current employer and wondering how one goes about that process in the programming world. We have a lot of projects on the go at the moment and I'm the only developer. We ...
84
votes
13answers
8k views

Way in over my head! (Dealing with better programmers)

I've just been hired as a member of a group that is developing in C++. For the last 11 years, I'd been coding on and off at my last job (some C, some Fortran, some C++). The coding I'd done was ...
77
votes
20answers
5k views

Move on and look elsewhere, or confront the boss? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do you know it's time to move on from your current job? Problem: I had no prior experience when I interviewed, so I didn't know exactly what to ask them about ...
76
votes
20answers
6k views

Choosing between two programmers: experience vs. passion [closed]

I am in a position where I have to hire a programmer and have the option of 2 candidates, the first has experience but he doesn't have a passion for coding and he says so while the second doesn't have ...
76
votes
9answers
8k views

I can write code… but can't design well. Any suggestions? [closed]

I feel that I am good at writing code in bits and pieces, but my designs really suck. The question is, how do I improve my designs - and in turn become a better designer? I think schools and colleges ...
74
votes
14answers
5k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages to using your real name online? [closed]

As a programmer, do you see any professional or other advantage in using your real name in online discourse, versus an invented handle? I've always gone by a single username and had my real name ...
64
votes
15answers
9k views

I'm going to quit my job because of our platform: how can I leave a productive explanation of this? [closed]

I'm planning on leaving my current job because we're locked into using Blub, with an enterprise Blub framework and a Blub-level web server, on mediocre shared hosting. My coworkers are friendly and my ...
64
votes
19answers
12k views

Which skills would you expect and appreciate in a Junior Software Engineer?

I recently finished my Master of Science in Software Engineering, and I am about to start my professional career in a few weeks. My role will be as a Junior Developer for a company which develops ...
61
votes
28answers
866 views

Am I too young to be worrying about college right now? [closed]

I'm 19 and have been a hobbyist programmer since I was a freshman in high school (2002). I recently graduated in May of '08. Right out of high school I had my first job programming contract work for a ...
58
votes
11answers
7k views

Why is the use of abstractions (such as LINQ) so taboo?

I am an independent contractor and, as such, I interview 3-4 times a year for new gigs. I am in the midst of that cycle now and got turned down for an opportunity even though I felt like the ...
58
votes
10answers
11k views

Is there such a thing as staying in a job too long? [closed]

After reading through a few "job hopping" related threads recently, I've been thinking how the opposite of job hopping can also be a problem. I've known many people (especially in large, relatively ...
57
votes
4answers
18k views

Does having a higher paid technical job mean you do not get to code any more?

I work at a large company where technical people fall roughly in one of these categories: A developer on a scrum team who develops for a single product and maybe works with other teams that are ...
56
votes
21answers
23k views

“Don't do programming after a few years of starting career”. Is this a fair advice? [closed]

I am a little experienced developer having approximately 5 years experience in PHP and somewhat less in Java, C# and trying to learn some Python nowadays. Since the start of my career as a programmer ...
56
votes
8answers
3k views

Why do I have to choose between “management” and “technical” tracks in my career?

I was recently laid off, and although I found a new gig I'm a bit frustrated with how career tracks work in the land of software development. I really love doing a bit of everything: coding, testing, ...
56
votes
7answers
4k views

I'm the .1x programmer at my company. How can I best contribute? [closed]

I work at a newly-minted startup of five people. We have a Ph. D in machine learning, a former member of the RSpec core team, and the guy who compiles the Git binary for OS X. That's just the ...
52
votes
17answers
5k views

Is a senior programmers advice about always using books a good idea?

I am a junior developer and have only been in the industry for 5 years. At my current company there is a senior let's call him Infestus. Occasionally I am being given opportunity to shine and do ...
51
votes
8answers
3k views

Is personal branding necessary as a programmer?

I work as a Ruby developer/dev lead at a small startup company. I end up splitting my time between writing code, helping the team use more agile methodology and working with the product manager to get ...
48
votes
21answers
8k views

Years experience over unfinished degree? [closed]

I'm currently in my placement year and working for a great software development company. It was always my intention of getting to this stage through university, getting enough academic experience as ...
48
votes
12answers
13k views

What is a Ph.D. good for in the software industry? [closed]

I'm a self-taught programmer and have just started a computer science degree to supplement my knowledge and fill in the gaps. However, I'm already debating the direction of my education. I want a 4 ...
48
votes
9answers
4k views

When do you know it's time to move on from your current job? [closed]

Have you ever reached a point at your job when you just know it's time to move on? When do you move to the point that you're willing to let go of the demons you know for the ones you don't know? ...
48
votes
10answers
5k views

Graduate expectations versus reality [closed]

When choosing what we want to study, and do with our careers and lives, we all have some expectations of what it is going to be like. Now that I've been in the industry for almost a decade, I've been ...
47
votes
20answers
7k views

What's the best place for a high school programmer to get his work noticed? [closed]

I'm a 16 year old high school student, with a passion for computer programming. I'm in grade 11, and I've been learning it as part of the school syllabus for about 8 months. I've gone beyond what's ...
47
votes
5answers
2k views

Does dedicated maintenance work hamper a programmer's career? [duplicate]

The majority of my work over the last three years has largely been around maintaining legacy systems that needed patching up or the occasional revamp before being sold again. I understand the ...
43
votes
7answers
2k views

Solo developer vs. team developer : should I move on? [closed]

I work as a solo developer in a small company. There's more than enough work, but the same does not apply for money. Thus, I won't be seeing any new colleagues in the near future. I am responsible ...
43
votes
7answers
10k views

I am not a good programmer (in logic), how should I fix it?

Ok, so here is my problem: I work for a big company, some how landed a job (frankly because the interview was easy). It's not that I don't know my stuff, I am pretty good at understanding java, it's ...
41
votes
13answers
2k views

Is programming as a profession in a race to the bottom? [closed]

It seems to me that the programming industry is in a race to the bottom. If we take the practices of: Not taking time to implement best practices Using other's people code as much as possible ...
40
votes
17answers
4k views

Will my communication skills be wasted in a software engineering career?

I've been in the financial engineering arena (after BA Math and BA Computer Science) for about 5 years (20% analysis/programming, 80% communicating) and take pride in my ability to communicate with ...
39
votes
16answers
3k views

Why job postings always looking for “rockstars?” [closed]

I have noticed a recent trend in requesting programmers who are rockstars. I get it, they're looking for someone who is really good at what they do. But why (pray) make the reference to a rockstar? ...
38
votes
4answers
14k views

What skills should I cultivate to become a development/technical lead? [closed]

I am currently a professional programmer. I want to expand my skillset, but I also want to make the career jump to being a dev lead as part of a team. I know there's got to be a lot to learn (and this ...
38
votes
7answers
2k views

How much time can I spend learning at work? [closed]

I've been working as a software developer for about 2 years by now. It seems obvious that in a field so rapidly evolving as software development, you need to spend time on learning new technologies, ...
37
votes
13answers
3k views

Is having your own website important? [closed]

How necessary or important is it? I try to keep a running list of blogs or sites to follow, but a lot of the time I pull up someone's profile and notice there isn't anything there. Is it really ...
37
votes
20answers
4k views

What are the steps in beginning a large project, when all I have is a big idea?

I am computer engineering student. I've been thinking about how I can handle a big project. What should be my first step to reach my goal in a more efficient and effective way? When I come up with a ...
37
votes
18answers
2k views

How can I improve my technical writing?

Writing documentation is part of programming, and writing well is part of what makes the documentation useful. So, what are some hints or guidelines for good writing in the technical realm? What are ...
36
votes
13answers
7k views

When should I stop programming / coding? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How old is “too old”? I often hear from my senior colleagues and other peers that being passionate about programming is ok but at certain experience/age one ...
36
votes
11answers
2k views

Should I blog about specifically about programming in English or in my native language? [closed]

I had a blog which was written in my native language, but now I'm wondering if I should switch to english because of a wider audience given that the technical field's default language is English. For ...
35
votes
11answers
2k views

Is mentioning my blog on my resume helpful or hurtful to a job search? [closed]

I have a blog that I use mostly to record solutions to problems I have had, that I had some trouble finding an answer to. Mostly problems where the online doc I googled provided too much info, and I ...
34
votes
12answers
3k views

How to explain my 5 burnt-out years off to a new employer? [closed]

Five years ago, I lost my ability to concentrate long-term, and therefore ability to code with professional efficiency. I know why it happened, I understood how it happened, and on top of being able ...
33
votes
6answers
4k views

Employer admits that its developers are underpaid and undervalued. Time to part ways?

My employer recently posted an opening for a C# Developer with 3-5 years of experience. The requirements and expectations for the position were fair, up until the criteria for salary determination. It ...
31
votes
7answers
7k views

Becoming a “maintenance developer” [duplicate]

So I've kind of been getting angry about the current position I'm in, and I'd love to get other developers' input on this. I've been at my current place of employment for about 11 months now. When I ...
30
votes
15answers
62k views

Does having Master's degree in Computer Science help your career? [closed]

I am curious about experiences of programmers who have gone beyond college or university and now work in the industry. I am not talking about academia (you need PhD there anyway). Do you have a ...
30
votes
14answers
1k views

Should a programmer be indispensable?

As a programmer or system administrator, you could either strive to have your fingers in every system or to isolate yourself as much as possible to become an easily-substituted cog. Advantages of the ...
29
votes
7answers
19k views

How to get a job with no experience? [closed]

I am about to be a new college grad and I am trying to get an internship or a jr software engineer position. However, I have no experience at all in the field. All I will have is my degree and my in ...
29
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the IEEE and ACM good for?

Membership in the IEEE and ACM is sometimes portrayed as a sign of professionalism. But all that is involved, as far as I can tell, is sending them your money. In return, besides the potential resume ...
27
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the career path for a software generalist? [closed]

A question on software specialties inspired this question. How valuable is a software generalist compared to a specialist? When I say generalist, I mean someone who can take a project from ...
27
votes
0answers
955 views

Does being a jack-of-all-trades hurt your career? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it better to specialize in a single field I like, or expand into other fields to broaden my horizons? Looking at job postings, the vast majority ask for extremely ...