Questions on self-guided improvement. Because no one cares as much about you as you do.

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4
votes
4answers
3k views

How I do become a better programmer as a junior developer [closed]

I am a junior developer in South Africa. I just graduated from college last year. My current employers hired me as a developer but they do not give me anything to develop and I've been working here ...
7
votes
9answers
1k views

How does one become proficient in a language and its idioms? [closed]

I'm a recent graduate and there are a few (three generally) languages I switch between based on the requirement. What I've found is I always have to look up syntax whenever I code. I know I'm not ...
6
votes
6answers
664 views

What kinds of development jobs require knowledge of advanced concepts? [closed]

When I was in university, I participated in a programming contest; the problems turned out to be extremely difficult and boring, and they required previous knowledge about a particular set of problem, ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Site for programming tasks [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Programming Puzzles This may sound crazy, but is there a website where you can pick and choose a programming task for someone? Unpayed. As a matter of exercise. I would ...
-1
votes
2answers
372 views

Could I learn more about programming from deconstructing drupal rather than continuing with ZF? [closed]

When I was deciding how to go about learning to design PHP web applications, it made sense to sort of shoot toward the middle and go with Zend Framework so that I could be closer to the lower level, ...
0
votes
4answers
842 views

Why do we tend to make things too complicated? [closed]

The fact that principles like KISS and YAGNI are so popular, speaks clearly about our inclination to make things too complicated. Is this inclination a part of our nature or is it a part of our ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I learn design patterns or algorithms to improve my logical thinking skills? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I improve my problem-solving ability? When starting a programming task, I have trouble breaking it up into steps and figuring out how to go about solving it. I ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How should I bring my C++ back up to date with modern developments?

How should I bring some very rusty C++ up to date, as I'm sure the language and best practices have evolved? I realise this might be close to being off-topic so let my clarify some details. About 10 ...
7
votes
4answers
546 views

Are Quines useful as anything more than a programming puzzle?

Quines, which are programs that generate their own code as part or all of their output are a neat idea for a programming puzzle. However, do they have any use beyond that?
27
votes
8answers
2k views

Writing robust code vs. overengineering

How do you guys know that you are writing the most robust code possible without overengineering? I find myself thinking too much about every possible path that my code can take, and it feels like a ...
1
vote
2answers
724 views

Hate repetition to the extreme [closed]

I program in a style that everything it's expensive or I really do hate repeating anything, mostly because I develop for embedded systems. So I get very annoyed when I have to do something that causes ...
15
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it common to have downtime at a programming job?

At my company, I find that there are some days that there are very few tasks to do. I make it a point to do research to learn new things about my craft on these days. I would say that on average, I ...
3
votes
2answers
138 views

Where can I find high-quality resources for programmers who are not-English speakers? [closed]

I've recently reviewed a resume for a very promising student who is not a native English speaker (I believe his native language is Bengali). His academic record has some gaps, too - he could use a ...
45
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
679 views

Starting a hobby project [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What to plan before starting development on a project? I have been going through the SE for quite a while but could not find a relevant answer for my question.The ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Can you write a (dynamic) website using only XHTML and CSS?

I am more of a desktop developer that a web developer. Therefore I only know XHTML and CSS when it comes to the web (and C#, if that is in any way useful). I have a little experience with ASP.NET with ...
93
votes
17answers
6k views

Being stupid to get better productivity?

I've spent a lot of time reading different books about "good design", "design patterns", etc. I'm a big fan of the SOLID approach and every time I need to write a simple piece of code, I think about ...
5
votes
5answers
443 views

Learning potentially unrelated materials on company's dime, is it acceptable? [closed]

I am facing a similar problem as the OP of this question where my environment is good, but I feel like my learning is stagnating and I don't have the ability/resources to change positions/quit my job ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

How can I practice implementing data structures and algorithms? [duplicate]

I just finished learning the basics on data structures and algorithms using Python and C, completing some of the exercises from the book I read. I feel that it is necessary to implement some of these ...
3
votes
4answers
587 views

Starting a second undergraduate degree [closed]

Some background I've started programming when I was about 10 years old and truly loved it ever since. This year I've graduated from a mediocre university with a CS degree in Eastern Europe and two ...
8
votes
7answers
530 views

Determine Better Coding Practice

As a new programmer, it has always been hard to create applications, because I am still at the learning stage. I understand that to achieve a particular affect or function in an application, there ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

Are RSpec and Cucumber really worth it?

I'm a quite new programmer to Rails (about a year) always trying to discover new gems, new ways of thinking, I just love this framework. The only thing that's kind of disturbing me is testing. I know ...
1
vote
5answers
514 views

Scaling yourself up against a better programmer/role model? [closed]

After having watched this video I have to ask how a programmer can go about measuring themselves against other, better programmers much as a chess player would. How would you decide who is a role ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Best resources to really understand run-time complexity

I'm familiar with the basics of run-time analysis such as what makes certain types of code O(n) and O(n^2). But I'm having real trouble learning, understanding, and really remembering how to analyze ...
3
votes
2answers
649 views

How to deal with TODO List Overflowing? [closed]

Seriously... I need more time, and I can't find it. I've got my main project and I spent most of my time on it. I'm trying to, BUT I got a lot of minor projects, old projects support. I'm very ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you learn a language's standard framework/API/functionality? [closed]

I understand how to code. I know how to get around the basics of the languages I use regularly. I know how to write slightly-above-basic regular expressions, I can talk to databases, I can accept ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I grok NHibernate's QueryOver API? [closed]

I've run into the limits of what NHibernate 3.0's LINQ provider is capable of and decided it's time to learn about one of the more powerful (or at least feature-complete) options: the QueryOver API. ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What tools do PHP Developers use? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What would you consider best practice workflow tools for web application (PHP) development? I start my new job next week as a PHP Developer which is my dream job but ...
6
votes
2answers
455 views

How do I improve my skills working in a small shop? [closed]

I'm a self-taught programmer and I'm working for a company that doesn't deal directly with building software (a glass manufacturer with a small IT team). I'm the only .NET developer there, although ...
11
votes
7answers
917 views

How can you measure your own daily contributions?

I've recently finished the The Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni and one of his core ideas is that you need to have some form of measurement. I have a pretty standard internal ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

Can I take a year off without hurting my career?

I've been working since I graduated for the past year at a bank as a developer, first starting out maintaining a legacy application, then transitioning into developing new workflows. The work's okay, ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I improve my user interface and usability design skills? [closed]

I invested most my time and resources in programming, and now I think it's time I should invest some time in learning about user interface design, user experience, and usability. What are some good ...
86
votes
17answers
11k views

Does Scrum turn active developers into passive developers?

I'm a web developer working in a team of three developers and one designer. It's now about five months that we've implemented the agile scrum software development methodology. But I have a weird ...
12
votes
4answers
625 views

The best method to get personal projects done

I have numerous personal projects I've begun and never seem to finish because I get sidetracked with other ideas. I was wondering what the best method to get personal projects done is? Any tricks or ...
3
votes
3answers
158 views

Moving from academics to workforce

I have worked for the past 4 years as a programmer and research assistant. It is my second major job out of college(CS degree). It was a good position at the time, but I grew frustrated at the slow ...
37
votes
20answers
4k views

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

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
444 views

Technical manager (not lead architect) of development team

Can you be a technical manager of a development team, without knowing the technology they work with? I'm very technical, having been a tech lead for a while, now I'm a manager, and the new team ...
5
votes
2answers
731 views

Improving analysis skills

I am a software engineer with a couple of years of experience. However I feel my problem solving skills need to be improved. To put in crude terms given facts A and fact B I have difficulty in ...
3
votes
3answers
227 views

Is rewriting project a good way to practice the skills?

I find nothing to do in my spare time. And I want to practice my c++ skills on project. The idea is to rewrite a project in c++, such project like Minix. Is this a good way to improve my programming ...
2
votes
4answers
267 views

Is experience in business analysis useful when moving into a programming career?

Note: If you want the gist of this post, skip to the last two paragraphs. Before expanding on the question, just a short preamble: I figured that the Programmers Q&A network was a better place ...
8
votes
2answers
258 views

How to evaluate how well one knows functional programming [closed]

I've been wondering how to determine if I know functional programming. By know I mean in a Journeyman sense, not a master, but competent enough to do the work. I like languages w/ query/data shaping ...
2
votes
7answers
1k views

Becoming a better C/Java programmer [closed]

I've currently hit a plateau and want to get better at coding in C and Java. I want to improve, but I think I hit a plateau on my learning curve. I can't find any "advanced" tutorials on the net; most ...
2
votes
1answer
823 views

What is the best way to study and become involved in software engineering process work? [closed]

This might sound rather strange for someone who just graduated with an undergraduate degree in software engineering, but I'm extremely interested in the process and people side of software ...
2
votes
2answers
208 views

Social Impact projects

I'm working at a software consultancy that a has a lot of volunteers available for about a month and a half at a time (when we're between projects and learning things) and we'd like to start ...
9
votes
5answers
627 views

Is it a must to focus on one specific IT subject to be succesful?

Lately I'm deeply disturbed by the thought that I'm still not devoted to one specific IT subject after so many years of doing it as a hobby. I've been in so many different IT related hobbies since I ...
23
votes
13answers
2k views

What do you do when you have nothing to do? [closed]

Let's say that you are idling. There is no ongoing project and you are left nothing to do sometimes. Or there are probably some project is running but you can't proceed. So, you have nothing to do and ...
28
votes
5answers
778 views

How do I demonstrate what I've learned outside of the workplace? [closed]

I consider myself a well-rounded developer. I read books, delve into technologies at home, go to developer meet-ups, frequent Stack Overflow, and so forth. But how do I show this to the prospective ...
5
votes
3answers
252 views

Is it worth trying my IT experience in a totally different domain? [closed]

I have a good breadth of experience now (over a dozen) primarily as a dba,developer, BI admin, data analyst. I started my career in a couple of startups and now for a big internet company. The culture ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

At what point does programming become a useful skill? [closed]

This is probably a very difficult question to answer, because of its subjectivity, but even a vague guess would help me out: Now that Khan Academy is beginning to offer Computer Science lectures I'm ...
8
votes
8answers
894 views

Programmer / Developer Personal Organization [closed]

What tools / methodologies / strategies do you use to keep organized in doing your work as a developer? Can you provide details?