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91
votes
13answers
10k views

I'm in over my head at my job. What should I do? [closed]

About 8 months ago I was hired as the sole developer at a small company to take on a certain project. Although there are other small projects that come up from time to time, I've been spending about ...
85
votes
13answers
8k views

Way in over my head! (Dealing with better programmers) [closed]

I've just been hired as a member of a group that is developing in C++. For the last 11 years, I'd been coding on and off at my last job (some C, some Fortran, some C++). The coding I'd done was ...
78
votes
18answers
6k views

How do you learn Regular Expressions? [closed]

I'm not asking where to learn. I've found lots of good resources online, and books etc. But how the heck do I tackle them. Where is the start of it, the end? When does the regexp processor advance on ...
76
votes
11answers
7k views

How can I make sure that I'm actually learning how to program rather than simply learning the details of a language? [closed]

I often hear that a real programmer can easily learn any language within a week. Languages are just tools for getting things done, I'm told. Programming is the ultimate skill that must be learned and ...
76
votes
9answers
8k views

I can write code… but can't design well. Any suggestions? [closed]

I feel that I am good at writing code in bits and pieces, but my designs really suck. The question is, how do I improve my designs - and in turn become a better designer? I think schools and colleges ...
74
votes
12answers
4k views

Do you spend your working hours on learning? [closed]

Do you spend your working hours learning new stuff, reading tech blogs, books on programming etc.? What's your opinion on it? Can an employer have benefits allowing developers to spend about 1-1.5 hrs ...
74
votes
17answers
5k views

How important is self-teaching in the programming field? [closed]

I'm 16. I started programming about a year ago when I was about to start high-school. I'm going for a career in programming, and I'm doing my best to learn as much as I can. When I first started, I ...
74
votes
23answers
6k views

How do developers find the time to stay on top of latest technologies? [closed]

I was a freelance web developer until circa 2004 when I started going down the management route but have decided to try to get back into development again (specifically JavaScript and HTML5 web/mobile ...
56
votes
17answers
6k views

What programming problems are best solved by using pointers? [on hold]

Well, I basically understand how to use pointers, but not how best to use them in order to do better programming. What are good projects or problems to resolve involving the use of pointers so I can ...
55
votes
13answers
2k views

When do you not give help to less experienced programmers? [closed]

Do you think that its a good idea when a junior programmer needs help to always jump in and try to educate them? Or will they ignore all the "teaching to fish" advice you give them and just focus on ...
52
votes
26answers
17k views

How do people read big technical books? [closed]

I see that most of the good programmers have the habit of reading big books for learning about technology. What does it really take to read technical books, apart from the real interest on the ...
52
votes
16answers
5k views

Is a senior programmers advice about always using books a good idea? [closed]

I am a junior developer and have only been in the industry for 5 years. At my current company there is a senior let's call him Infestus. Occasionally I am being given opportunity to shine and do ...
52
votes
10answers
2k views

How to correct a junior, but encourage him to think for himself? [closed]

I am the lead of a small team where everyone has less than a year of software development experience. I wouldn't by any means call myself a software guru, but I have learned a few things in the few ...
51
votes
9answers
2k views

Where do you find the time? [closed]

I find myself lagging behind on new skills, techniques, language features, etc, and I am finding the time to do so is lacking. Between work, professional, personal and family obligations, I'm lucky to ...
50
votes
16answers
8k views

moving from Windows to Linux [closed]

I need to reconcile these 2 facts: I don't feel comfortable working on Linux; I need to develop software for Linux. Some background: I have a 10+ years of programming experience on Windows (almost ...
50
votes
7answers
61k views

How do I learn Python from zero to web development? [closed]

I am looking into learning Python for web development. Assuming I already have some basic web development experience with Java (JSP/Servlets), I'm already familiar with web design (HTML, CSS, JS), ...
45
votes
9answers
3k views

Could spending time on Programmers.SE or Stack Overflow be substitute of good programming books for a non-beginner? [closed]

Could spending time (and actively participating) on Programmers.SE and Stack Overflow help me improve my programming skills any close to what spending time on reading a book like Code Complete 2 ...
42
votes
21answers
7k views

Is it true that once you learn one language most of the rest come easy? [closed]

I was told by someone that I should start with Python and then, once I'm fluent in Python, the rest of the languages will be learned quickly. Is there any truth to this?
40
votes
16answers
3k views

How to convince a teammate, who sees oneself as senior, to learn SVN conceptual basics? [closed]

To start with some background, I took up a new developer position this summer and ended up being the newest member on the team, yet with most experience under the belt. So far I have managed to push ...
39
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I get my progress reviewed as a solo junior developer [closed]

I am currently working for a 2 person company, as the solo primary developer. My boss gets the clients, mocks up some png design templates and hands them over to me. This system has been working fine ...
38
votes
5answers
9k views

Where do you go to read good examples of source code? [closed]

I have heard a few people say that one of the best ways to improve your coding ability is to read others code and understand it. My question, as a relatively new programmer, where do I go to find ...
37
votes
10answers
3k views

Effectiveness of FizzBuzz and Beyond [closed]

As part of the interview process we initially ask the candidates to do 'FizzBuzz' nowadays the percentage of candidates that can correctly answer FizzBuzz has increased dramatically - this may be due ...
34
votes
7answers
13k views

Haskell AND Lisp vs. Haskell OR Lisp [closed]

I currently code with C, C++, and Python. I'm wanting to pick up a functional programming language, and right now I'm leaning toward Haskell. I do NOT want to start a "Haskell vs Lisp" war here; what ...
32
votes
19answers
8k views

CS subjects that an undergraduate must know [closed]

In college, I was never interested in theory. I never read it. No matter how much I tried, I was unable to read stuff and not know what was actually happening practically. Like for example, in my ...
32
votes
18answers
4k views

Learning to be a good developer: what parts can you skip over? [closed]

I have set myself the goal of becoming a decent developer by this time next year. By this I mean full experience of the development 'lifecycle,' a few good apps/sites/webapps under my belt, and most ...
30
votes
19answers
5k views

“Half of everything you know will be obsolete in 18-24 months” = ( True, or False? ) [closed]

Just ran across this, and wondering if anyone has a way to prove or disprove this statement: Something to keep in mind ... what's the half-life of knowledge in high tech? It tracks with ...
29
votes
12answers
7k views

Any programming language can be mastered easily if the fundamentals of programming are strong. A fact or a myth? [closed]

Is it true that a person with fairly good fundamentals in programming can easily learn any programming language? Well, when I say programming languages, I refer to the agile and dynamic languages ...
29
votes
15answers
2k views

Any advice from self-taught programmers on competing with more conventional types? [closed]

As a self-taught programmer myself competing in an industry dominated by CS majors, I often find myself intimidated. I have a BA in liberal arts but have found that many "trained" programmers tend to ...
29
votes
11answers
1k views

Is it wise for a high level developer to spend time studying assembly? [closed]

It is clear that the knowledge of low level stuff is very important in our work. But in a situation where you're already developing commercial software on a high level, and when you already have a ...
29
votes
5answers
2k views

As a self-taught programmer, how do I get the academic foundation without attending school again? [closed]

I've made a pretty good living as a self-taught programmer, but when I find that I discuss some low-level fundamental topics with my peers who have a CS degree, holes appear in my knowledge. I'm a big ...
27
votes
12answers
2k views

Techniques for getting off the ground in any language [closed]

When I start learning a new language, I have a couple of simple implementations that I like to complete to familiarise myself with the language. Currently, I write: Fibonacci and/or factorial to get ...
26
votes
18answers
2k views

What is the one bit of computer science theory I should know? [closed]

Speaking as someone with an Electronic Engineering rather than Computer Science degree, what is the one bit of computer science I should know to make me a better real world programmer? (By real world ...
26
votes
8answers
3k views

Why do developers need to keep up to date with technologies and methodologies? [closed]

I am always given the advice that developers need to stay up to date with the latest in technology - things like webrtc, updates on html5 and css3 and new js libraries, software methodologies like ...
26
votes
10answers
1k views

Should I be paid for time spent learning a framework? [closed]

To give light to the situation: I am currently one of two programmers working in a small startup software company. Part of my job requires me to learn a Web development framework that I am not ...
26
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you maximise the knowledge that you gain from a programming book? [closed]

Not because I care how long it takes someone to read a book, but more because I'm interested in how people get the knowledge from a book (or I guess other sources) into their brains in the best, most ...
25
votes
8answers
14k views

Learning Multiple Languages Simultaneously [closed]

When learning new languages, is it better to commit yourself to one language 100% and wait until you've "mastered" it to move on to another, or to work on learning different languages at the same ...
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 ...
25
votes
15answers
4k views

Can One Get a Solid Programming Foundation Without Going To College/University? [closed]

First, I have already searched the site and read all the previous "self-taught vs. college" topics. The majority of the answers defended that going to college was the best choice, for two main ...
25
votes
8answers
8k views

The importance of javascript and the best way to learn it? [duplicate]

I'm a new graduate, but I have been doing web development for about six months. When I was finishing university the server side languages (PHP, Java) were more important then client side languages. ...
24
votes
7answers
4k views

Should I keep investing into data structures and algorithms? [closed]

These days, I'm investing heavily in data structures and algorithms and trying to solve some programming puzzles. I'm trying to code and solve with Java and Clojure. Am I wasting my time? should I ...
24
votes
6answers
8k views

How would you practice concurrency and multi-threading? [closed]

I've been reading about concurrency, multi-threading, and how "the free lunch is over". But I've not yet had the possibility to use MT in my job. I'm thus looking for suggestions about what I ...
23
votes
9answers
2k views

How should I go about learning a very large and complex application? [duplicate]

Being a young and fairly inexperienced developer recently employed by a "real" software company I'd like some opinions and pointers on how to do the following: Approaches on how to get familiar with ...
22
votes
27answers
5k views

What language should an 11-year old start with to learn game programming? [closed]

I have a 11-year old son who wants to do game programming. I've started him on C++ (C++11) and he's learned iostreams, looping, functions, logic and flow control. I'm using the standard library and ...
22
votes
14answers
2k views

What would motivate you to do free programming work for work after work? [closed]

I'm not talking about working overtime for a project, but R&D, or test bed applications that benefit the company. These would become teaching tools, and eventually sales tools. I know it sounds ...
22
votes
15answers
2k views

What are the barriers to adopting best practice? How can they be overcome? [closed]

We've all seen (and most of us have written) plenty of poorly written code. Why? What makes us adopt poor practices rather than good ones? The most obvious answer (to me) is "ignorance", but I'm sure ...
22
votes
11answers
13k views

How necessary is it to learn JavaScript before jQuery? [closed]

In my opinion, when I looked at JavaScript, it looked like not my cup of tea. When I came across jQuery, I loved it. I sat and watched Nettuts+ 15 days of jQuery screencasts, 1 year later and now I'm ...
22
votes
9answers
1k views

Improving without mentor [closed]

Although I consider myself not much experienced, I keep landing in jobs as the leader somehow (in the current one I am tech director of the company, in a previous one I was the R&D head). I ...
22
votes
7answers
1k views

Involuntarily becoming a programmer: how to do it right? [closed]

My background is electrical engineering, DSP to be more precise. The company I currently work for does a lot of diverse projects, mostly building analog hardware. Being somewhat closer to computers ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

Which algorithms and data structures should a developer absolutely know? [closed]

I want to be a successful enterprise Java developer. With what algorithms and data structures should I be well versed? What books would you recommend to me? To be a successful Java developer, do I ...
21
votes
15answers
3k views

How do I deal with the need to know multiple programming languages? [closed]

I am a relatively young programmer. I am 23 and I have been programming professionally for about 5 years. As most programmers I started with C, learned some x86 assembly for fun and then I found C++ ...