The tag has no wiki summary.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

122
votes
27answers
7k views

What are the worst false economies in software development?

What are the worst false economies (that is ways of saving money that ultimately cost more than they save) prevalent in the software industry and how do you combat them?
48
votes
11answers
7k views

Metric by which to hold developers accountable [duplicate]

I asked a question on lines of code per hour and got torn a new one. So my matured follow-up question is this: If not lines of code, then what is a good metric by which to measure (by the ...
41
votes
10answers
2k views

Is there any hard data on the (dis-)advantages of working from home? [closed]

Is there any hard data (studies, comparisons, not-just-gut-feel analysis) on the advantages and disadvantages of working from home? My devs asked about e.g. working from home one day per week, the ...
36
votes
9answers
3k views

Why not have a High Level Language based OS? Are Low Level Languages more efficient?

Without being presumptuous, I would like you to consider the possibility of this. Most OS today are based on pretty low level languages (mainly C/C++) Even the new ones such as Android uses JNI & ...
28
votes
18answers
1k views

Why companies don't buy developers entertaining instruments? [closed]

Many times when I get tired of development and my mind doesn't really help me any more (at home), I simply do something entertaining and my mind gets free for more hours of work with higher ...
28
votes
7answers
1k views

What arguments are there against easter eggs? Are there any arguments to even support easter eggs?

I'm a bit of a jester so the idea of an easter egg still appeals to me. I have added them in my code before but my group of friends has a running joke of using CTRL-FU to trigger the egg. Now I'm ...
25
votes
10answers
4k views

When I test out the difference in time between shifting and multiplying in C, there is no difference. Why?

I have been taught that shifting in binary is much more efficient than multiplying by 2^k. So I wanted to experiment, and I used the following code to test this out: #include <time.h> #include ...
20
votes
4answers
21k views

Is Python Interpreted or Compiled?

This is just a wondering I had while reading about interpreted and compiled languages. Ruby is no doubt an interpreted language, since source code is compiled by an interpreter at the point of ...
18
votes
4answers
551 views

Educational, well-written FOSS projects to read, study or discuss [closed]

Before you say it: yes, this "question" has been asked other times. However, I could not fine many of such questions and not that easily, and those I found had similar results. What I'm trying to say ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

Does modular programming affect computation time?

Everyone says that I should make my code modular, but isn't it less efficient if I use more method calls rather than fewer, but larger, methods? What is the difference in Java, C, or C++ for that ...
16
votes
5answers
7k views

How to slow down your computer (for testing purposes)?

As most people agree, encouraging developers to make fast code by giving them slow machines is not a good idea. But there's a point in that question. My dev machine is fast, and so I occasionally ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

At what point is asynchronous reading of disk I/O more efficient than synchronous?

Assuming there is some bit of code that reads files for multiple consumers, and the files are of any arbitrary size: At what size does it become more efficient to read the file asynchronously? Or to ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

Importance of learning to google efficiently for a programmer?

This is not a debate on usage of Google being good or bad for programmers. Kindly refrain from doing so in your answers. Most people (a vast majority of who use the Internet) use Google these days. ...
14
votes
7answers
1k views

How do you program effectively when it takes a long time to simply test your code?

My workflow has always been to write one logical step and then run the program and inspect the output. This process have served me incredibly well for assignments in university. However, as I do more ...
14
votes
6answers
548 views

How do you manage projects left over by other employees? [closed]

It happens that some one just leaves the company all of sudden. Now his work needs to be completed and you are being assigned it. Having no idea what was he up to (was it 90% done or 9%), how do you ...
11
votes
3answers
583 views

Do teams get more productive by adding more developers? [duplicate]

Suppose you've got a project that is running late. Is there any proof or argument that teams become much more productive by adding more people? I am looking for answers that can be supported by facts ...
11
votes
6answers
7k views

Is there any reason to use varchar over text columns in a database?

Is varchar just a remnant from before text came around, or are there use cases where you would want to use a varchar? (Or char for that matter..) (I use Postgres and MySQL (MyISAM) daily, so those ...
10
votes
5answers
833 views

Is it ever too early to learn a new language? [closed]

Personal context: I've been learning C++ formally the last 6 months at university. Prior to this I dabbled in JavaScript for a year. Now I am considering learning Python during a month off school. By ...
9
votes
5answers
618 views

Can a pure-functional solution to this problem be as clean as the imperative?

I have an exercise in Python as follows: a polynomial is given as a tuple of coefficients such that the powers are determined by the indexes, e.g.: (9,7,5) means 9 + 7*x + 5*x^2 write a function to ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Is try-finally expensive

In case of code where you have to do a resource cleanup before exiting a function, is there a major performance difference between these 2 ways of doing it. Cleaning the resource before every return ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Are There Any Programming Focused Notebooks? [closed]

I know that engineering paper exists, but are there any companies that make programmer-specific notebooks for notes/pseudo-code/designs? Paper is my preferred way of outlining things, so the addition ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the biggest support a boss can give to his/her developers?

Buying the best hardware, paying the most precious bonus or reward, treating them politely, provide the opportunity for improvement, etc.? We want to improve the productivity of our development team. ...
8
votes
1answer
625 views

Subset sum problem is NP-complete?

If I know correctly, subset sum problem is NP-complete. Here you have an array of n integers and you are given a target sum t, you have to return the numbers from the array which can sum up to the ...
7
votes
9answers
791 views

What's Your Method of not forgetting the end brackets, parentheses

disclaimer: for simplicity sake, brackets will refer to brackets, braces, quotes, and parentheses in the couse of this question. Carry on. When writing code, I usually type the beginning and end ...
7
votes
13answers
590 views

When do you think of efficiency? Before/During/After actually coding?

I've been programming in Java for quite some time and I always find myself doing very little "planning" (I haven't worked on anything HUGE yet, but im no stranger to big projects) and develop ideas ...
7
votes
11answers
437 views

How to program something with the expectation that it will work the first time?

I had a friend in college who programmed something that worked the first time, that was pretty amazing. But as for me, I just fire up the debugger as soon as I finally get whatever I'm working on to ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it a good idea to use something like the Twitter Bootstrap in production?

I'm interning at a new startup, and I've been tasked with designing the front-end of the site. I really, really want to use the new Twitter Bootstrap (http://twitter.github.com/bootstrap/). It's all ...
7
votes
5answers
268 views

Programming principles with regard to software (computational) efficiency and the use of variables

I'm classically trained psychologist, not a programmer, so sometimes the more advanced aspects of programming escape me, in particular regarding program efficiency and/or certain best practices, in ...
7
votes
2answers
284 views

How can I estimate the lifespan of a line of code?

I'm trying to figure out a way to analyze code longevity in open source projects: that is, how long a specific line of code is active and in use. My current thinking is that a line of code's lifespan ...
7
votes
2answers
291 views

What is an efficient algorithm for randomly assigning a pool of objects to a parent using specific rules

I need some expert answers to help me determine the most efficient algorithm in this scenario. Consider the following data structures: type B { A parent; } type A { set<B> children; ...
7
votes
5answers
626 views

Interrupting Work Productivity: The Name? [closed]

Certainly it is a productivity killer when a developer is constantly interrupted by other workers, bosses, etc - but it is even worse when the developer is constantly interrupted by his or her own ...
7
votes
3answers
332 views

Computed Values and Simple Reads - A nagging pain for my Domain Driven Designs!

The problem I continually face is how to deal with computed values driven by domain logic while still working efficiently against the data store. Example: I'm returning a list of Products from my ...
6
votes
6answers
4k views

Why is binary search,which needs sorted data, considered better than linear search?

I have always heard that linear search is a naive approach and binary search is better than it in performance due to better asymptotic complexity. But I never understood why is it better than linear ...
6
votes
11answers
727 views

Effective versus efficient code

TL;DR: Quick and dirty code, or "correct" (insert your definition of this term) code? There is often a tension between "efficient" and "effective" in software development. "Efficient" often means ...
6
votes
6answers
600 views

Why are marketing employees, product managers, etc. deserving of their own office, yet programmers are jammed in a room as many as possible?

I don't understand why many (many) companies treat software developers like they are assembly line workers making widgets. Joel Spolsky has a great example of the problems this creates: With ...
6
votes
4answers
804 views

regular, average programmer - scared of geeks and their skills [closed]

Just like in any other field, 90% of workers do trivial routine things and only less than 10% actually do the most difficult things. Most programmers in the industry are average, and so am I. There ...
6
votes
8answers
8k views

What is the best way to INSERT a large dataset into a MySQL database (or any database in general)

As part of a PHP project, I have to insert a row into a MySQL database. I'm obviously used to doing this, but this required inserting into 90 columns in one query. The resulting query looks horrible ...
6
votes
5answers
416 views

Maintaining good form while learning new technologies

I find that I have to learn new technologies fairly regularly as a contractor in order to keep competitive. However, I also find that (not only, but especially) in these circumstances, I tend to end ...
6
votes
3answers
250 views

NP hard/complete

I have never been very clear on this concept. Please help: At the end of the day, we should want to identify useful problems for which we don't have polynomial solution so far and only have ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

Efficient coding in Visual Studio (or another IDE), with touch typing

Moving the cursor to another position in code is one of the most frequent actions when coding. I don't write my programs from the beginning to the end, like a letter. However, moving the cursor ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Programming languages differences and efficiency, does it matter?

I am fairly new to programming, I have studied in computer science for 3 years at college, but as you know, school is only 2% of what really makes one a fully-fledged programmer. I have a lot of ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Quickest way to split a delimited String in Java

I am building a Comparator that provides multi-column sort capability on a delimited String. I am currently using the split method from String class as my preferred choice for splitting the raw String ...
5
votes
4answers
559 views

How do you keep track of what stage you are at in a program? [closed]

Like many, I'm developing a couple of applications on my own (not at the same time) to eventually sell. But I also have websites to run, college work and a social life etc., so often I can forgot what ...
5
votes
3answers
518 views

Starting on a large project, should I split it into more concise parts?

Background: Currently an intern at a company and working on repurposing older programs (still in use, but for different departments) for use in testing new hardware. The new hardware is different in ...
5
votes
5answers
379 views

Alternatives for comparing data from different databases

I have two huge tables on separate databases. One of them has the information of all the SMS that passed through the company's servers while the other one has the information of the actual billing of ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

What is a good measure of testing/tester efficiency?

I am about to participate in a discussion with management regarding measuring our testing efficiency as a QA organization. The main reason behind this is that half of our team is contracted out and ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Amortized Analysis? (Worst-case Performance Guarantees)

What is Amortized Analysis? And how can it help me achieve worst-case performance guarantees in my programs? I was reading that the following techniques can help the programmer achieve Worst-case ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

How many make threads to use?

When I (re-)build large systems on a desktop/laptop computer, I tell make to use more than one thread to speed up the compilation speed, like this: $ make -j$[ $K * $C ] Where $C is supposed to ...
4
votes
2answers
578 views

How much logic can be put into an object-pooling factory class before it does more harm than good?

The main language I'm interested in doing object pooling in is AS3, which is known to need it in many cases. In the past I've always made a brand new factory class for every type I was going to try ...
4
votes
2answers
479 views

Developing With Ruby/Rails Easier, Faster Than Developing With PHP/CakePHP?

What is your experience when developing web applications using one of these two languages/frameworks? Which have you found to be more convenient and faster to develop with?