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200
votes
40answers
15k views

My Dad is impatient with the pace of my learning to program. What do I do? [closed]

So my Dad bought me 5 books on programming (C++, Java, PHP, Javascript, Android) about a month ago. He's an architect and he knows NOTHING about programming. He bought me them because I told him ...
152
votes
11answers
75k views

How can I find a good open source project to join? [closed]

I just started working a year ago, and I want to join an open source project for the same reasons as anyone else: help create something useful and develop my skills further. My problem is, I don't ...
100
votes
10answers
74k views

How can I teach a bright person, with no programming experience, how to program? [closed]

I have been asked to take a person in our IT department who has no programming experience but is a smart and capable person and help him move into programming at lets say an entry level developer ...
82
votes
38answers
8k views

What programming skills have provided you the best return on investment? [closed]

What are the things that took you only a little time to learn, but had a big payoff? And how long did it take to learn enough before the they began to pay off? For instance, I’m not a master of ...
80
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 ...
79
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 ...
77
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 ...
75
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 ...
59
votes
19answers
8k views

What differentiates the exceptional programmers from the really good ones? [closed]

You know who they are. They are the rock stars of programming: They code 10X faster. Their code just works. They not only know their primary language inside and out, but they also know how it ...
58
votes
15answers
38k views

I don't know C. And why should I learn it? [closed]

My first programming language was PHP (gasp). After that I started working with JavaScript. I've recently done work in C#. I've never once looked at low or mid level languages like C. The general ...
57
votes
26answers
24k 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 ...
55
votes
17answers
7k views

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

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 ...
53
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 ...
52
votes
16answers
9k 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
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 ...
49
votes
7answers
102k 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), ...
46
votes
13answers
17k views

How to find a programming mentor? [closed]

I decided to learn programming. I've been reading SO for few days, and I think I will start with C++, as I read some articles. I am aware of loops, arrays, program logic and objects a little and I ...
46
votes
10answers
76k views

How to be a successful programmer without a CS degree [closed]

Disclaimers (Please read before jumping to answer): I've seen a number of questions similar to the one I would like to ask, so here are some similar questions. IMHO They are neither completely what ...
45
votes
5answers
16k 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 ...
44
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
11k 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 ...
36
votes
7answers
15k 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 ...
34
votes
18answers
13k 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
39answers
3k views

What are some things you have read that inspired and guided you as a programmer? [closed]

For example, being a beginner, I find a lot of inspiration and direction from reading this post by Bryan Woods.
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
12answers
10k 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
8answers
25k 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 time?...
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 ...
28
votes
10answers
5k views

Any tips to learn how to program with severe ADHD? [closed]

I have a difficult time trying to learn how to program from straight text-books. Video training seems to work well for me in my past experiences with PHP. I am trying my hardest to stay focussed and ...
28
votes
6answers
13k 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 ...
27
votes
25answers
12k views

Is C++ suitable as a first language? [closed]

A local college is teaching C++ to first year college students (16 years old) with no prior programming experience. As first programming language, is C++ suitable?
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
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
2k 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
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
8answers
9k 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. ...
25
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
24
votes
10answers
25k views

Why would I learn C++11, having known C and C++? [closed]

I am a programmer in C and C++, although I don't stick to either language and write a mixture of the two. Sometimes having code in classes, possibly with operator overloading, or templates and the oh ...
24
votes
8answers
22k views

Ruby or Python? [closed]

This question is extremely subjective and open-ended. It might even sound like something I should just research for myself and make my own decision. But I'd like to put it out there and get some ...
24
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
23
votes
17answers
37k views

Is COBOL still worth learning? [closed]

Does learning COBOL still make sense?
23
votes
11answers
15k 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 ...
23
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 ...
23
votes
7answers
4k views

what should a developer know/address to build commercial Android Apps? [closed]

Android and mobile development is an exciting area of development. As it is a new discipline, what would be expected of an android developer to build commercially robust applications in terms of ...
22
votes
16answers
35k views

How can I figure out if programming is right for me? [closed]

I have an IT background and was pretty confident until an opportunity came up at work to go into programming(C#). I have never programmed before this, and the software I am programming for is a ...
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 ...