Learning new skills, programming languages, frameworks, ways to get in the zone, remembering, and generally improving one's skills. Closely related to teaching.

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18answers
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How do I “ease into” programming coming from a designer background?

Is there a way I can 'ease in' to programming. Like learning to use/modify CGI scripts to add some functions to a basic html site? Even if it's the only thing I learn it's still useful, right?. Unlike ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

“Gödel, Escher, Bach” still valid today? [closed]

I have just completed a course on computability and logic which was an interesting course. The lecturer recommend a few books on his slides, which include "Gödel, Escher, Bach". I can see the book is ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

Is having trouble with data structures common for beginners?

I'm taking my second course on Java. We are getting into data structures. I have done an assignment on a linked list, and now a stack. I had a hard time with the linked list. The stack gave me a ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

If one is to learn a new programming language each year, what should the list be? [closed]

In chapter one of "The Pragmatic Programmer" the first learning goal is: Learn at least one new language every year. Different languages solve the same problems in different ways. By learning ...
17
votes
12answers
1k views

How to get motivation and time to learn outside of work? [closed]

I work 40 hours as a programmer, and by the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is code some more. However, I feel like I am not getting better, and I do love software engineering. So how do ...
17
votes
6answers
386 views

How does one rein in the complexities of web development?

I have been a server-side programmer for most of my career and have only recently started spending more time on web development. I am amazed at the number of things I need to master in order to write ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it still worth learning desktop gui development?

For the last couple of years, all of the serious projects I have worked on have been either web based, or had a non graphical user interface (services, command line scripts etc...). I can throw ...
16
votes
16answers
3k views

Is job hopping the best way to keep moving and learning at work? [closed]

Leaving aside anything you could do outside of work like OSS or self study, do you think job hopping is a good way of continuously learning new skills. In this context, my definition of job hopping ...
16
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7answers
3k views

Learning C++ properly (not C with classes) [duplicate]

The typical reason I hear to why people bash C++ is that they don't actually know C++, they just know "C with classes", which apparently is different. I am just beginning to learn C++, however, I want ...
16
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7answers
2k views

What is the correct order to read these books? [closed]

I'm a junior C# developer, I learned at home and now I got my first job :) I want to buy these books. But what is the correct order to read these books? Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of ...
16
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14answers
3k views

Understanding how Code works is the way to actually 'Learn' programming, right?

I have a friend who is struggling with learning how to program (he wants to make games; as do I). Several books, tutorials, etc. His mentality is he has to memorize the code itself, as in the exact ...
16
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9answers
9k views

Resources on learning to program in machine code? [closed]

I'm a student, fresh into programming and loving it, from Java to C++ and down to C. I moved backwards to the barebones and thought to go further down to Assembly. But, to my surprise, a lot of ...
16
votes
10answers
7k views

Is Ruby on Rails supposed to have a steep learning curve or is it just me? [closed]

I'm a self-taught programmer. I've been learning RoR since October with varying intensity (sometimes all day, sometimes nothing for several weeks). Before that I knew only Java, but knew it pretty ...
16
votes
10answers
972 views

Which are the topics in Mathematics that a developer should absolutely know? [closed]

I've studied mathematics and found the subject very interesting, but after getting into programming and coding stuff, I feel like I've forgotten most of the advanced stuff that I've studied. I know ...
16
votes
12answers
1k views

What is the best way for a top-down procedural programmer to learn OOP?

I'm an old school top-down procedure programmer. I started with Turbo Pascal on the DOS environment. Every time I try to learn OOP on my own I stumble. I try and make OOP somehow fit into my ...
16
votes
3answers
695 views

Should I let my “beginnerishness” hold me back? (not rhetorical) [duplicate]

My situation is that I've been programming for about three years and have learned a lot but still have a long long way to go. I have an idea for an app that I believe would take off, but I'm afraid ...
15
votes
16answers
931 views

What's the most important, useful or enlightening thing you learnt in the last 12 months? [closed]

A lot of people in the coding community talk about continuous improvement, deliberate practice and so-on - but when they talk about their current practices it's almost like they 'sprang fully formed ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

Programming vs Planning

Recently, I have been tasked with more high-level planning assignments due to the lead developer of my team leaving. I hate long-term planning. My brain just doesn't naturally seem wired for it, and ...
15
votes
14answers
2k views

Explaining interfaces to beginning programmers?

I've had discussions with other programmers on interfaces (C#). I tried to use the analogy of interfaces being like a contract between programmers. Meaning that when you design to an interface, you ...
15
votes
7answers
4k views

Learning to program in C (coming from Python) [closed]

If this is the wrong place to ask this question, please let me know. I'm a Python programmer by occupation. I would love to learn C. Indeed, I have tried many times, but I always get discouraged. In ...
15
votes
12answers
843 views

When learning JS, what was your your Aha-moment? [closed]

Do you remember when you were learning JavaScript? What was the moment that you suddenly "got it"? (For example, my CSS aha-moment was when I learnt about the box model...) The reason I´m asking is ...
15
votes
8answers
1k views

Should a newcomer to Perl learn both Perl 5 and 6?

I have started playing around with Perl 5 lately, and it seems very interesting. I would like to spend some time learning it more in depth when I can. My question, since Perl 6 is slowly taking place ...
15
votes
12answers
806 views

Is it worth reading the language specification?

I'm wondering if it is worth reading language specifications/standard documents (e.g. The Java Language Specification) if you aren't going to write a compiler/interpreter for the language or something ...
15
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5answers
1k views

How to identify potential for becoming a programmer [closed]

There's heaps of information out there on hiring someone who's already a programmer. (Or claims to be one.) But what about identifying someone who has the potential to become a programmer, with ...
15
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10answers
624 views

Your Approach to Learning Language(s)? [closed]

This question is geared specifically towards finding out what techniques you employ when faced with learning a new language - feel free to skip to the last paragraph for the straight-forward question. ...
14
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15answers
2k views

Is learning technology by reading books obsolete? [duplicate]

I am confused if one should read books thoroughly (sometimes they are very bulky and if they contain many aspects of the technology they can be 1500 odd pages or even more). I have also read some ...
14
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18answers
10k views

Assembly as a First Programming Language?

How good of an idea do you think it would be to teach people Assembly (some variant) as a first programming language? It would take a lot more effort than learning for instance Java or Python, but one ...
14
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8answers
4k views

Why should I not do a masters degree [closed]

I have left university on July 2010 where I studied web design (as we all know you learn more by your self but that’s not the issue at the moment). Since then I have not managed to find a job (apart ...
14
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8answers
1k views

Is perfectionism a newbie's friend or enemy? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where do you draw the line for your perfectionism? I see that the development community is very focused on doing things the right way and personally I would like to do ...
14
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5answers
1k views

Is a well written documentation a good enough reason for learning a programming language?

I am learning Python currently which wasn't part of my college curriculum. I was asked in an interview why I chose Python and I replied that it is easy to learn and the documentation is very well ...
14
votes
7answers
686 views

How should I describe the process of learning someone else's code? (In an invoicing situation.)

Edit: Justin Cave made a good point that this sort of communication should be up front in my quoting / estimations. Is this case, I'm still interested to know what sort of language people use to ...
14
votes
6answers
810 views

How often do you expand your skill set? [closed]

In the ever changing world of programming, how often to you catch up on a new language or technology? I have heard it said that one should learn a new language yearly. Is that always true?
14
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8answers
670 views

Combating the Einstellung Effect

The Einstellung Effect refers to "a person's predisposition to solve a given problem in a specific manner even though there are "better" or more appropriate methods of solving the problem." As a ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

What can a technically proficient senior software developer study to keep improving

Say you have been programming for over 10 years. You know many languages, with few of those at very detailed level. You have been designing architecture for solutions, worked on and delivered larger ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

On the path to Enlightenment: Scheme, Common Lisp, Clojure? [closed]

A lot of people smarter than me keep writing about when you learn Lisp it makes you a better programmer because you "get it". Maybe all I hear about Lisp(s) changing your life is just a big practical ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I understand an open source project code?

I open the source code and it's folder upon folder of infinite files each with infinite lines of code which doesn't make much sense to me because I dont have the context, and half of it uses functions ...
14
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7answers
4k views

The advantages & disadvantages to be had from using a Web Framework?

This question is focused on extracting the advantages and disadvantages of using Web based Frameworks: such as Cake PHP, Zend, jQuery, ASP.NET). This question is completely language agnostic. Let me ...
13
votes
10answers
1k views

I code rarely. Is this a bad sign? [closed]

I am a computer science student and learning Java now a days. I want to be a good developer/programmer. I like reading books. I search on the internet for the related topics and study them. I ...
13
votes
11answers
6k views

Why is Python recommended as an entry level programming language?

I've read here on P.SE more questions in which beginner programmers are advised to pick Python as their first programming language. Don't get me wrong, I like Python. I like it a lot! But its ...
13
votes
10answers
2k views

How do you approach database design? [closed]

I am primarily a web developer and I have a couple of personal projects which I want to kick off. One thing that is bugging me is database design. I have gone through in school db normalization and ...
13
votes
10answers
1k views

What is a good toy example to teach version control? [closed]

I am looking for practical examples to use when teaching version control. Breaking down the material to basic concepts and providing examples is an obvious way to teach version control, but this can ...
13
votes
11answers
1k views

Does programming knowledge have a half-life? [duplicate]

In answering this question, I asserted that programming knowledge has a half-life of about 18 months. In physics, we have radioactive decay which is the process by which a radioactive element ...
13
votes
5answers
882 views

Javascript - is this a grey area for anyone else?

I have a firm understanding of HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL (and to some extent apache/linux) and find that one of the things missing from my 'web development knowledge base' is javascript - creating richer ...
13
votes
9answers
575 views

Should I avoid or embrace asking questions of other developers on the job?

As a CS undergraduate, the people around me are either learning or are paid to teach me, but as a software developer, the people around me have tasks of their own. They aren't paid to teach me, and ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Handle complexity in large software projects

I am a lead developer in a larger software projects. From time to time its getting hard to handle the complexity within this project. E. g. Have the whole big picture in mind all the time Keeping ...
13
votes
9answers
1k views

Will enterprise software development kill my dreams? [closed]

I'm since a few months back working at a software development firm which creates an enterprise product. I've always dreamt of being an awesome game developer, but I'm fearing all this enterprise ...
13
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10answers
3k views

Programmer aptitude test [closed]

I have many friends that see what I do, find it interesting and ask me the question Do you think I could be a programmer? My response is ... ummm ... do you like math? I'd like to have a ...
13
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8answers
1k views

Great Lunch and Learn Topics

We recently revived the lunch in learns for the programming department in the company I work for. We were all asked if we had any ideas for a session, and if we would be interested in doing a ...
13
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6answers
492 views

Tips about how to spread Object Oriented practices

I work for a medium company that has around 250 developers. Unfortunately, lots of them are stuck in a procedural way of thinking and some teams constantly deliver big Transactional Script ...
13
votes
14answers
1k views

If you had to go back and re-learn your skill set, how would you do it? [closed]

My younger brother is looking to start programming. He's 14, and technically-inclined, but no real experience programming. He's looking to me for guidance, and I don't feel as if my experience is ...