Job assignments, positions and activities that programmers can engage in to learn, improve and perfect skills related to programming.

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61
votes
38answers
3k views

What are the warning signs of impending doom to watch out for on a project? [closed]

Having worked on a failed project is one of the few things that most programmers have in common, regardless of language used, industry or experience. These projects can be great learning experiences, ...
29
votes
20answers
4k views

Working for free? [closed]

I came across this article Work for Free that got me thinking. The goal of every employer is to gain more value from workers than the firm pays out in wages; otherwise, there is no growth, ...
18
votes
19answers
11k views

Do good project managers need a programming background? [closed]

Sometimes I can't stand it when project managers ask me to estimate time to complete for various tasks. An estimate is a guess, and guesses can be wrong. Generally, bad requirements and ...
38
votes
13answers
10k 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 ...
408
votes
21answers
21k views

Overcoming slow problem solving due to increased knowledge of what might go wrong [closed]

This has been troubling me for some time, and I'd really appreciate the input of other professionals. Short background: I started programming when my parents bought me my first computer in 1988 (at ...
9
votes
3answers
347 views

How best to involve junior developer in designing an application from scratch? [closed]

We are a team of 3 developers (2 experienced devs and a junior). We just started a brand new project. We've designed the application, concentrated efforts on choosing the right architecture and now ...
27
votes
6answers
4k views

Is reading+modifying existing code better than making your own? [duplicate]

I'm an inexperienced programmer. I have been assigned to develop a Firefox plugin with no prior experience. So I followed the tutorial at MDN. I learned so many things, it's exciting and overwhelming ...
117
votes
9answers
99k views

What's the difference between Entry Level/Jr/Sr developers? [closed]

Other than title and pay, what is the difference? What different responsibilities do they have, how knowledgeable/experienced are they? Basically what would you use to determine which one you (or ...
1
vote
3answers
339 views

How does one regrade a development team appropriately? [closed]

We have a team of 20+ developers, of mixed skills and varying levels of ability in each. Some are C#/MVC4/.Net 4.5 developers cutting new code, some are VB6-ers maintaining our critical legacy apps. ...
22
votes
14answers
995 views

How do you overcome your own coding biases when handed legacy code? [closed]

As programmers, we often take incredible pride in our skills and hold very strong opinions about what is 'good' code and 'bad' code. At any given point in our careers, we've probably had some legacy ...
0
votes
4answers
344 views

Are there metrics, like in other professions, that can be used to measure whether a programmer is considered experienced? [closed]

Driving instructors (at leas in Germany) often mention 100.000 km driven as a reference point where a driver is considered experienced. Is there a similar number for programmers? For example, how ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

How much difference does experience make? [closed]

I see many job adds which require at least x years experience. The question is how do you know when a candidate has the required years of experience? What do you expect from a person with x years ...
27
votes
7answers
5k views

How do you get into the zone? How long does it take? What steps do you take before? [closed]

Getting into zone is a pleasurable and fruitful process. We produce good source code and we get lots of satisfaction from our work done while being in the zone. But, how does one get into the 'zone'? ...
1
vote
2answers
117 views

When to bail on a proposed solution? [closed]

Here's a *hypothetical* issue. There is a performance issue in the current release. Its difficult to find the cause of this issue because the performance tests haven't been run in roughly 10+ ...
8
votes
9answers
609 views

What does long-term freelancing say about a developer's experience? [closed]

I have been interviewing candidates lately for a developer position requiring 10+ years experience and have come across a couple of CVs that I am not sure how to understand: I have interviewed a few ...
8
votes
3answers
614 views

Does the expansion of new technologies cause a perceived shortage of skill? [closed]

Systems programming and desktop application development is a well established field. In recent years, web and mobile development have shown rapid expansion. As a software engineer I understand that ...
7
votes
8answers
5k views

How can I estimate how long a project will take? [duplicate]

I'm working as a web developer and I want to be able to determine if I'm efficient. Does this include the how long it take to accomplish tasks such as: Server side code for the site logic with one ...
16
votes
2answers
400 views

How to recognize a bad client before you start to work for him? [closed]

I'm sure that many of you have encountered a bad client. I'm also sure you took some measures to prevent such encounters in the future. What is the most influential characteristic of a client that ...
3
votes
6answers
879 views

What is the correlation between programming language and experience/skills of their users? [closed]

I'm sure there is such a correlation, because experience and skill leads good programmers to picking languages that are better for them, in which they're more productive, and working in a language ...
6
votes
2answers
165 views

Does the term “Learning Curve” include the knowing of the gotchas? [closed]

When you learn new technology you spend time understanding its concepts and tools. But when technology meets real life strange and not pleasant things happen. Reuqirements are often far from ideal and ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I improve my skills while working on actual projects, in the absence of more experienced developers? [closed]

I'm the lead developer at a small company, working with C# and ASP.Net. Our team is small, 2-3 people, without much experience in development and design. I don't have the opportunity to learn from ...
71
votes
28answers
5k views

Is it possible for a good programmer to have never used version control? [closed]

I am looking for an expert programmer to help solve a difficult situation. The interviews so far have been surprisingly disappointing. The best candidate so far is a very experienced programmer who ...
31
votes
16answers
4k views

Do you think that exposure to BASIC can mutilate your mind? [closed]

It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration -- ...
10
votes
2answers
733 views

What top companies look for in an Interview? [closed]

Basically I am looking for what is it that you goof up and you are out from the remaining process ? Are elimination rounds a fair way to judge a person ? Anyone can have a bad hour :-( Should you ...
12
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there such a thing as a super programmer? [closed]

Have you come across a super programmer? What identifies him or her as such, compared to "normal" experienced/great programmers? Also. how do you deal with a person in your team who believes he is a ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Excellent knowledge of C++ [closed]

I recently saw a recruiting page for a software company where one of the requirements was "Excellent knowledge of C++." Now, I know this somehow implies as expert knowledge of C++, but where exactly ...
1
vote
9answers
699 views

Experience vs. versatility [closed]

Let's say a .NET programmer works at a company which provides software on demand, not as a product. The programmer works in WPF for a period of time and he/she invests lots of time in it. He/she get ...
4
votes
4answers
801 views

Introducing a (new) test method to a team [closed]

A couple of months ago I was hired in a new job. (I'm fresh out of my Masters in software engineering) The company mainly consists of ERP consultants, but I was hired in their fairly small web ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I get more programming experience [closed]

I am going to be a third year computer science student and I have read Head first Java, Head First C, and I am currently reading C++ which is the language that I like the most since it has a good ...
34
votes
14answers
2k views

What is the right level of site blocking for you as a developer? [closed]

Almost all developers who work for a large corporation find themselves on the wrong side of site blocking software. It can be both frustrating ("Just let me read that damn blog!") and helpful ("Woah! ...
20
votes
1answer
3k views

Any experience with Mono on production servers? [closed]

I am curios to use .NET for some web applications (e.g. ASP.NET MVC 2). However my budget is limited so I would like to use Mono on Linux. I have never used Mono before, and I haven't read about any ...
6
votes
8answers
468 views

Should I change language to stop becoming stale? [closed]

I'm an ASP.Net/C# programmer using SQL Server as a back end. I am the Technical Director of the company, I'm extremely happy in everything I do and consider the languages and system we use to be ...
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
13answers
5k views

Is it worth to learn Experimental Languages? [closed]

I'm a young programmer who desires to work in the field someday as a programmer. I know Java, VB.NET and C#. I want to learn a new language (as I programmer, I know that it is valuable to extend ...
2
votes
1answer
399 views

Do I have to change my company to make sure I'm good enough? [closed]

I have been working as a developer since my fourth year of university until now. I'm getting my master's degree next year (in math modeling). I've worked for the same company all the time, first on ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How to gain experience? [closed]

This is a problem that I think many people will find very common and some guidance from the expert users around here will be appreciated. Background Basically I'm a junior web developer in a team of ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Backtrack My “Education” [closed]

A while ago, I decided to start programming. I really, just jumped into a language (Perl) and went from there. What I regret is that I just jumped in: I didn't learn the basics (if you would call ...
6
votes
6answers
399 views

Need Help in Pointing to focus on the Key elements in Code Review Phase? [closed]

Please share your views on the code review process. If someone gave a code snippet and asked you to review that code, then what are the major things you will focus on that code Review process? For ...
0
votes
4answers
12k views

How to gain Professional Experience in Java/Java EE Development [closed]

I have been seeing opportunities go past me for just 1 reason: not having professional industry experience. I say to many employers that I'm capable of doing the job and show them the work I've done ...
4
votes
1answer
248 views

Attending my first software conference - any tips before I go? [closed]

My nice employer allowed me to visit a software conference in June (International PHP Conference, for those who care). Wanting to make the most of it, I would ask the more experienced conference ...
20
votes
14answers
1k views

Is the abundance of frameworks dumbing down programmers? [closed]

With all of the frameworks available these days, ORMs, dependency injection (DI), Inversion of control (IoC), etc., I find that many programmers are losing or don't have the problem solving skills ...
4
votes
2answers
176 views

Programming IDEs feature to add a forgotten open parentheses? [closed]

I very often find myself in situations where I should have opened a parentheses, but forgot and end up furiously tapping the left arrow key to get to the spot I should have put it, and doing the same ...
8
votes
2answers
442 views

Good practices every startup should follow [closed]

A couple of friends at work an me are going to set up a little startup / create our own software, probably moonlighting at first, since we cant yet afford to quit our day jobs. Neither of us has have ...
19
votes
11answers
7k views

How many programming languages is a programmer expected to be an expert at? [closed]

Do most programmers specialize on a single stack, leaving other things be, or are they expert at multiple languages at the same time? If it's more than one, how many is standard? By expert, I mean ...
3
votes
5answers
583 views

How to network effectively to get a job [closed]

I have been working for 5 years at the same company now. I want to go and find a new job. Finding jobs or getting interview calls has been difficult, there are have far and few. And to compound the ...
26
votes
19answers
3k views
3
votes
3answers
314 views

Getting to the big leagues & managing time as a novice game developer? [closed]

I'm a 23-year-old novice game developer who just got his first job in the industry a year ago. Unlike most programmers I know, I started programming pretty late, during my second year in college, and ...
7
votes
8answers
1k views

How much experience on average should a Sr. developer have to be competent with a framework or library? [closed]

If you are a Senior developer with say 8+ years experience, how much time spent doing programming is reasonable for competency on average? Specifically working with some library or framework ...
21
votes
7answers
2k views

Resume dilemma for professional job [closed]

On my resume, I list myself as having "7 years of hands-on experience programming in C". To clarify, I am a self-taught C programmer with some college courses thrown in the mix. I've worked on some ...
14
votes
9answers
902 views

Work experience instead of education? [closed]

I wanted to name this topic as "Education vs. Experience", but this topic already exists. I've read that discussion and though what I'd like to ask is related with that topic, the question is quite ...