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

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392
votes
21answers
20k 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 ...
87
votes
9answers
70k 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 ...
84
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 ...
70
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 ...
57
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, ...
37
votes
13answers
9k 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 ...
37
votes
20answers
5k views

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

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 ...
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! ...
33
votes
37answers
3k views

Biggest mistake you've ever made [closed]

Similar to the question I read on Server Fault, what is the biggest mistake you've ever made in an IT related position. Some examples from friends: I needed to do some work on a production site so ...
30
votes
16answers
3k 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 -- ...
30
votes
11answers
916 views

Has programming for a living ruined your ability to enjoy technology? [closed]

To quote Arthur C. Clarke: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Used to be I looked on technology with wonder and amazement. I wanted to take it apart, ...
27
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, ...
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 ...
27
votes
7answers
4k 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'? ...
26
votes
19answers
2k views
26
votes
17answers
2k 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 ...
24
votes
16answers
4k views

What is the hardest bug to find? [closed]

If possible write how to avoid this kind of bug (besides testing, of course, please write a specific technique)
22
votes
14answers
955 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 ...
22
votes
11answers
2k views

What to choose: freeware, shareware or payware? [closed]

A few years ago I've developed a program that has a steady group of users. It became quite popular and now we have close to two million downloads on Download.com. At first I provided the application ...
22
votes
7answers
516 views
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 ...
21
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
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 ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Haskell web frameworks survey [closed]

There are several web frameworks for Haskell like Happstack, Snap, and Yesod, and probably a few more. In what aspects do they differ from each other? For example: features (e.g. server only, or ...
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 ...
18
votes
7answers
755 views

Does using new techniques hurt productivity? [closed]

It seems that as experience with the specific set of tools you have to work with grows, the incentive to try out new things weakens. When I was new at this programming job, trying out new things, ...
17
votes
19answers
9k 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 ...
17
votes
11answers
6k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
387 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 ...
15
votes
11answers
2k views

Helping junior programmers get past their shortcomings? [closed]

What are your common gripes about junior developers that join your team or whom you have to work with? Obviously they are inexperienced so you can't expect them to know everything, but what skills are ...
15
votes
14answers
1k views

Education vs. Experience [closed]

I'm going through a rough time. I'm a CS student at UIUC, which I hear is one of the top schools for CS. I love computers and programming. I've been pretty much doing it my whole life. I'm a freshmen ...
14
votes
9answers
874 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
563 views

Have You Ever Had To Code “Badly” For Your Team? [duplicate]

I've been on the constant road of learning new concepts in OOP, Software Design, Architecture, etc. But there are times when you are in a team where those concepts are foreign to them and they don't ...
13
votes
17answers
508 views

What do you consider to be the prime cause of software defects (and how to minimize them) [closed]

I define defect as : "something within the application design or code which prevents it functioning as per requirements." I'm looking for ideas about the causes of defects, eg the human factor, ...
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 ...
12
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
9answers
448 views

What mistakes do your users make, and how can you update your application to handle them? [closed]

In fact this question is about cautions to be taken to enhance quality user experience and reduce avoidable support calls.
11
votes
7answers
808 views

Should every programmer keep a “Lessons Learned” journal? [closed]

Every time I've finished a project, there is always something that I've learned (otherwise I don't find it very motivating). But I can't remember everything, and much later I may stumble across the ...
10
votes
4answers
530 views

Do FOSS version control systems work for enterprises? [closed]

Let's say a large corporation is planning to replace it's existing version control system. Let's say it is only considering systems from major vendors that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars ...
10
votes
6answers
945 views

To what extent can choosing a particular job limit future opportunities? [closed]

I'm at the beginning of my career and I'm currently looking for jobs. I know that the farther you get away from college graduation, the more employers look at your experience as opposed to your actual ...
10
votes
2answers
728 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
500 views

How important are the people I work with? [closed]

I'm a very lucky individual who's managed to push a job I enjoy as a junior developer (I say push as I was hired as a Business Analyst but moved into development by proving I could do the work). I'm ...
9
votes
3answers
301 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

What can we do to improve the way outsourcing/offshoring works? [duplicate]

These days one only gets to hear the anti-outsourcing argument citing failed projects, lost jobs, cultural differences, communication issues and so on. The success stories, cost savings, shared ...
8
votes
6answers
639 views

Is it normal for a software developer to have lots of issues after product went live? [closed]

In recent months, our product (which went live probably 9 months ago) experience an increase in the number of users using it. We faced lots of queries, problems, and complaints from users. Sadly, it ...
8
votes
4answers
393 views

When a developer should change technology or framework? [closed]

I'm an ASP.NET developer since 3 years ago and I'm now pretty powerful in WebForms. But now it seems that everybody is moving or shifting towards ASP.NET MVC, and my company is also taking this shift. ...
8
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
9answers
578 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 ...