DO NOT USE THIS TAG. THIS TAG IS BEING ACTIVELY CLEANED UP.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1050
votes
130answers
254k views

I'm graduating with a Computer Science degree but I don't feel like I know how to program

I'm graduating with a Computer Science degree but I see websites like Stack Overflow and search engines like Google and don't know where I'd even begin to write something like that. During one summer ...
392
votes
29answers
99k views

I don't program in my spare time. Does that make me a bad developer?

A lot of blogs and advice on the web seem to suggest that in order to become a great developer, doing just your day job is not enough. For example, you should contribute to open source projects in ...
330
votes
63answers
18k views

Is 4-5 years the “Midlife Crisis” for a programming career?

I’ve been programming C# professionally for a bit over 4 years now. For the past 4 years I’ve worked for a few small/medium companies ranging from “web/ads agencies”, small industry specific software ...
237
votes
33answers
67k views

Will high reputation in Stack Overflow help to get a good job?

In a post, Joel Spolsky mentioned that 5 digit Stack Overflow reputation can help you to earn a job paying $100k+. How much of that is real? Would anyone like to share their success in getting a high ...
146
votes
15answers
17k views

Are 9 to 5 programmers looked down upon?

I would consider myself a 9 to 5 programmer. What I mean by this, is that I have a programming job, but after I leave work, I leave my work there and do not take it home. I very much enjoy my career ...
129
votes
16answers
22k views

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

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 ...
98
votes
21answers
62k views

How can a new programmer impress the software engineer (boss)? [closed]

I'm working at my first programming job. My boss is a very smart software engineer, and I feel like I have very little to offer compared to him. Problem is, he is always busy, and needs someone to ...
91
votes
25answers
13k 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 ...
80
votes
19answers
7k 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 ...
80
votes
14answers
6k 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 ...
78
votes
20answers
6k 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 the ...
66
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
26k views

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

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 ...
63
votes
21answers
35k 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 ...
61
votes
28answers
992 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 ...
59
votes
10answers
13k 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 ...
58
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 ...
57
votes
4answers
18k views

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

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 ...
54
votes
11answers
2k views

How does one network at software conferences? [closed]

I'm still at Microsoft TechEd, and the response to my question about how to effectively use my time at software conferences was overwhelmingly "networking is the most useful part of software ...
52
votes
12answers
22k 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 ...
52
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? ...
50
votes
20answers
12k 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 ...
50
votes
7answers
24k views

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

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 ...
48
votes
21answers
9k 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 ...
46
votes
10answers
77k views

How to be a successful programmer without a CS degree [closed]

Disclaimers (Please read before jumping to answer): I've seen a number of questions similar to the one I would like to ask, so here are some similar questions. IMHO They are neither completely what ...
40
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
7answers
3k 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, ...
39
votes
17answers
6k views

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

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
4k 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
13answers
5k 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 ...
34
votes
13answers
30k views

Career advice: stay with PHP or start a new career in something else ( .Net?) [closed]

I'm planning on moving to NY in 6-12 months tops, so I'm forced to find a new job. When I'm planing to start my life in another city it's also probably a good time to think about career changes. I've ...
33
votes
11answers
4k views

Is ageism in software development based on anything other than bias? [closed]

I am sure that this question will piss off some people, but that is not my intent. We are all in the same boat - I will be subject to it one day as well. According to Milton Friedman's view, who was ...
33
votes
6answers
5k views

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

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 ...
29
votes
20answers
2k views

You are or will be a laid off programmer - what do you do a year ago, right now, tomorrow, and next week? [closed]

Many programmers, software engineers, and other technology professionals are out of work, facing layoffs, or are unprepared for layoffs though they feel secure right now. What should every ...
27
votes
5answers
5k 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
976 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 ...
26
votes
17answers
3k views

What's the best lesson you have learned in your career? [closed]

I think mine is "there's no such thing as a five minute job" - that programmers tend to be overly optimistic about development and that we should really think through a the implications before ...
25
votes
11answers
1k views

How do you cope with the dynamic nature of high-level software development? [closed]

I consider myself a high level software developer. I enjoy reading a lot, and it's helped me over the course of my career. I think I am doing well. Right now, I spend a lot of time learning new ...
25
votes
9answers
34k views

Web Developer or Software Engineer? [closed]

A question that I have been asking myself and really confused which path to take. So I need your guys help as to the pros and cons of these 2 professions in today's world. I love web applications ...
24
votes
17answers
902 views

How do I evaluate if writing a book, article, or presenting at conference is worth it? [closed]

I'm trying to understand how I should evaluate writing a book, article, or conference presentation. Writing a book is a lot of work. Same for writing an article in a magazine or presenting in a ...
23
votes
9answers
1k views

Improving without mentor [closed]

Although I consider myself not much experienced, I keep landing in jobs as the leader somehow (in the current one I am tech director of the company, in a previous one I was the R&D head). I ...
22
votes
22answers
9k views

Is learning how to use C (or C++) a requirement in order to be a good (excellent) programmer? [closed]

When I first started to learn how to program, real programmers could write assembly in their sleep. Any serious schooling in computer science would include a hefty bit of training and practice in ...
22
votes
15answers
4k views

How do I deal with the need to know multiple programming languages? [closed]

I am a relatively young programmer. I am 23 and I have been programming professionally for about 5 years. As most programmers I started with C, learned some x86 assembly for fun and then I found C++ ...
22
votes
13answers
1k views

Is “as long as it works” the norm? [closed]

See my more recent question: Is programming as a profession in a race to the bottom? My last shop did not have a process. Agile essentially meant they did not have a plan at all about how to develop ...
22
votes
6answers
2k views

Professionalism of online username / handle [closed]

I have in the past, and continue currently, used the handle "thanatos" on a lot of Internet sites, and if that isn't available (which happens ~50% of the time), "deathanatos". "Thanatos" is the name ...
21
votes
7answers
5k views

How do you address the gap on your resume after a self-funded sabbatical? [closed]

There are a ton of questions on Programmers.SE about whether or not taking extended time off is a good idea and what to do during that time off to maintain your skill level: Will taking two years off ...
21
votes
7answers
1k views

Involuntarily becoming a programmer: how to do it right? [closed]

My background is electrical engineering, DSP to be more precise. The company I currently work for does a lot of diverse projects, mostly building analog hardware. Being somewhat closer to computers ...
19
votes
8answers
1k views

Is it possible to get a job in a high-demand company without having hobby projects? [closed]

I was curious if the recruitment team at high-demand companies such as Google takes a lack of hobby projects into consideration when evaluating candidates. I'm a straight 40 hour/week programmer, who ...
19
votes
11answers
5k views

How does one keep up with all the new tools/languages/framework? [closed]

Just wondering how everyone keeps up with it. I mainly work with ASP.NET and Windows form, but I'm stuck using 3.0 for business reasons. So most of my self education is on my own time (weekends, ...
19
votes
9answers
8k views

Need advice: Staying techie or going the MBA way? [closed]

I know this is a very subjective question and I am the best person to decide this for myself...but I am just looking for your views. I have 5 years of experience as a professional developer. I have a ...