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

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87
votes
14answers
4k views

Hiring a programmer much more qualified & experienced than yourself? [closed]

My employer is hiring a programmer - more specifically, I am interviewing and selecting the person who will fill the position. The best candidate right now is far more qualified than I am, older, and ...
31
votes
16answers
3k views

Will staying in this position affect my career negatively? [closed]

I work at a small software company where the owners are also the managers. My concern is that any and all progression in technology is met with utter disdain by management. Some of the comments are as ...
115
votes
30answers
64k views

How old is “too old”? [closed]

I've been told that to be taken seriously as a job applicant, I should drop years of relevant experience off my résumé, remove the year I got my degree, or both. Or not even bother applying, because ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

Does C# experience translate well to C++? [closed]

My programming classes in school were C++, but I ended up working a job doing C# for the last few years. If there was a position that required say 1 or 2 years experience in C++, would my experience ...
46
votes
7answers
226k views

What is the difference between these senior software engineer titles? [closed]

I'm currently a senior research software engineer at a large company and am being offered a "senior staff engineer" position somewhere else. I am not sure if the new position's title conveys a ...
14
votes
5answers
38k views

How do you report “startup experience” on your resume? [closed]

Say you've spent a significant amount of time (5 years) serially starting up companies, with enough success to keep going for 5 years, but not enough to retire rich. And now, with a mortgage and a ...
31
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'? ...
7
votes
4answers
624 views

portfolio building, working for closed-source vs open-source? [closed]

I've currently graduated from my first run at higher education, landed my first full-time gig as a web application developer, and absolutely love it. My question is that in looking for jobs I ran ...
186
votes
19answers
182k views

When should you call yourself a senior developer? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Whats the difference between Entry Level/Jr/Sr developers? I'm curious what senior developer means because apparently the definition doesn't mean what I thought it would. I ...
58
votes
4answers
36k 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 ...
140
votes
9answers
128k 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
86k views

What's the difference between junior, middle, and senior developers? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Whats the difference between Entry Level/Jr/Sr developers? There seems to be three common java programmer qualification levels: Junior Middle Senior What makes a ...
3
votes
1answer
285 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I know how much to ask for in salary? [closed]

I'm heading into my first job (i.e. they're bringing me on for a full position) in Software Development and am quite nervous about how the whole salary negotiation thing goes. Glassdoor.com says that ...
63
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, ...
31
votes
20answers
5k 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, ...
20
votes
19answers
12k 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 ...
416
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
376 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 ...
22
votes
14answers
1k 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
355 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 ...
53
votes
27answers
3k views

What is the most egregious waste of money you have seen, and what did you do about it? [closed]

Often we as programmers see large organisations wasting huge sums of money on bloated and inefficient solutions to problems. This pains me greatly because I like organisations to benefit from best of ...
1
vote
2answers
118 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
640 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 ...
7
votes
8answers
6k 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
411 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 ...
31
votes
13answers
6k views

What was your most difficult bug hunt and how did you find it and kill it?

This is a "Share the Knowledge" question. I am interested in learning from your successes and/or failures. Information that might be helpful... Background: Context: Language, Application, ...
3
votes
6answers
931 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
168 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 ...
72
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 ...
30
votes
18answers
3k views

When can you call yourself good at language X?

This goes back to a conversation I've had with my girlfriend. I tried to tell her that I simply don't feel adequate enough in my programming language (C++) to call myself good. She then asked me, "...
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 -- Edsger ...
10
votes
2answers
740 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 ...
8
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
812 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! ...
21
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
507 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 ...
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
404 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
13k 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 ...
21
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 ...