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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

6
votes
13answers
3k views

Google is good or bad for programmer? [closed]

Recently I was being interviewed by a company and faced one question. The interviewer asked me a question and at that time I didn't know the answer but if I had been asked about just 4 months ago, I ...
6
votes
12answers
3k views

Is it possible to learn maths via programming, or you should learn maths for programming? [closed]

I am not the best in maths, not very horrid either, but lower than the average, I've always been thinking to improve my maths, but schools and books didn't do the job because I get bored too fast. The ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Becoming a polyglot programmer [closed]

I know a few programming languages. The most marketable ones being Java, Javascript, as well as non-trival stored procedures. I also know some Python, Actionscript and a few dinosaurs language. I ...
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Jack of all trades, master of none [closed]

I've got a question similar to this one: Is constantly looking for code examples a sign of a bad developer? though not entirely. I got off college 2 years ago and I'm currently struggling with a ...
6
votes
8answers
595 views

How much time do you invest in exploring new technology? [closed]

Sometimes, I see potential in a new technology eg. AIR (not new but I haven't tried it much), and I play around with it. After sometime, I feel inspired to try a new personal project out of it. It was ...
6
votes
5answers
546 views

Which way is practical for improving your skills with pet project? [closed]

About your own project, in which way does it give you more improvement? Read high quality code in the same domain, implement your own. Write one project from scratch with your imagination. My ...
6
votes
5answers
608 views

Learning a new concept - write from scratch or use frameworks? [closed]

I have recently been trying to learn about MVVM and all of the associated concepts such as repositories, mediators, data access. I made a decision that I would not use any frameworks for this so that ...
6
votes
6answers
518 views

How to make consistent progress towards the goal of becoming better, as opposed to just coding for fun? [closed]

I'm in senior year in high school. I enjoy programming (Java) very much and aspire to do it as a career in the future. However this isn't the topic of this question. My question is: how can I start ...
6
votes
6answers
674 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, ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I improve my memory and recall? [closed]

How do I go about improving my memory and recall as it relates to Programming? I have a tendency to cache API information short term and then immediately put it out of my head as I move on to ...
6
votes
6answers
409 views

Getting graduates up to speed?

This question got me thinking about how comapnies deal with newly-hired graduated. Do experienced programmers expect CS graduates to write clean code (by clean I mean code easily understandable by ...
6
votes
4answers
309 views

Should I expect my peers to read or practice on a regular basis? [closed]

I've been debating asking this question for some time. Based several of the comments I read in this question I decided I had to ask. This feels like I'm stating the obvious, but I believe that ...
6
votes
3answers
615 views

Finding the balance between the important and the interesting [closed]

Sometimes I go for what I find interesting instead of what is considered important. Having this attitude has been educational and it has let me produce work that I'm exceptionally proud of but it has ...
6
votes
4answers
319 views

How do you learn to effectively use more than one framework [closed]

Someday, my leader told me that don't reinvent the wheels, use framework built-in classes. (with a serious mood) when I implement some algorithm has been supported by .NET fx. And seriously, I didn't ...
6
votes
3answers
693 views

As a professional .NET developer, should you learn to work with MSIL using reflection? [closed]

I was reading through the code of StackOverflow's new SQL Object Mapper. And I noticed at the bottom of the SqlMapper.cs there is some code that I had never seen before. After reading some of the ...
6
votes
4answers
450 views

Being a good mentee - a protégé [closed]

The complement of the Being a good mentor question. I work with many very senior people that have vast amounts of knowledge and wisdom in Software, Engineering and our business domain. What are ...
6
votes
3answers
200 views

Publishing: Hows and Whos of Peer Reviews

So, I'm sitting here, chewing on a couple of novel data structures. I'm thinking of coding them up, but I'ven't got any professional use for them at the moment. Nonetheless, they solve interesting ...
6
votes
1answer
343 views

What activities, outside of writing code, have been shown to improve one skill as a programmer? [closed]

The mantra is to become a better software developer, write more software. However, are there activities I could partake in when I am not actually at the computer programming such as doing certain ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I practice design patterns and refactoring in a deliberate way? [closed]

I was reading the book Refactoring to patterns and was wondering how I can get chance to practice the skills, because without deliberate practice on new ways to refactor and use patterns, my skills ...
6
votes
1answer
644 views

What benefits do I get from learning Scheme? [closed]

I'm a java programmer and I've decided to learn a bit about theoretical computer science. I don't have a degree in that and a little background would help me a lot since I don't know anything other ...
6
votes
3answers
409 views

It is inconsiderate to place editor settings inside code files?

I know this is kind of a subjective question, but I'm curious if there's any good reason to place (or not place) editor settings inside code files. I'm thinking in vi modelines, but it is possible ...
6
votes
5answers
291 views

When returning from a period of not programming, do you find you've improved? [closed]

It seems as though whenever I take an extended break from programming—whether to pursue other interests or simply because I fall out of the habit for a while—I invariably find that when I ...
6
votes
2answers
162 views

Does the term “Learning Curve” include the knowing of the gotchas? [closed]

When you learn new technology you spend time understanding its concepts and tools. But when technology meets real life strange and not pleasant things happen. Reuqirements are often far from ideal and ...
6
votes
2answers
459 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
661 views

Where can I find interesting project to work on? [closed]

If I want to learn a new programming language, I cannot master it without digging it deeply. Maybe a project would be good, but I am lacking idea for them. Where can I find projects to work on, maybe ...
5
votes
4answers
582 views

How to ask a programmer a question without getting a solution as the answer [closed]

We've all had the experience. You go to someone who you know has the answer to a question, ask that person the question and they answer with the typical response "why?". You explain why you need to ...
5
votes
9answers
1k views

How would you rank these programming skills in order of learning them? [closed]

As a general purpose programmer, what should you learn first and what should you learn later on? Here are some skills I wonder about... SQL Regular Expressions Multi-threading / Concurrency ...
5
votes
5answers
444 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
492 views

How do you prevent getting stuck in “research-mode” on a big project you're unfamiliar with? [closed]

I'm in a situation where there's a big project that I need a lot of background know-how to accomplish. yet I'm not moving fast enough in the research/study phase - and seeing myself off-track ...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
694 views

Better programming by programming better? [closed]

I am not convinced by the idea that developers are either born with it or they are not. Where’s the empirical evidence to support these types of claims? Can a programmer move from say the 50th to 90th ...
5
votes
5answers
286 views

Should documentation be a company policy or every programmer's responsibility? [closed]

I have been struggling lately with the whole subject of documentation at my current position. I am at a point in my programming career in which I feel I have just been birthed into the whole world of ...
5
votes
12answers
389 views

What are your initial three steps when you are first presented with a software problem? [closed]

I am curious about the very early steps that a programmer's mind takes when it first encounters a problem that it is supposed to solve. How do you start reasoning about it ? What are the first ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you keep consistent self confidence while coding? [closed]

As the number of bugs in a codebase increases, that number not only decreases the quality of the code, it also affects the mindset of the developers. Developer self-confidence falls when things are ...
5
votes
9answers
616 views

How can I retain knowledge about new technologies I don't use every day? [closed]

At work we mostly do WinForms development and it’s not a secret that it is already very outdated. I have a passion to learn new stuff like WPF, MVVM and want to use full advantages of C# 4.0. There is ...
5
votes
6answers
756 views

How to bootstrap managerial experience? [closed]

Most engineering manager positions require X years of managerial experience in the job description. That means as an individual contributor I can never qualify. But this experience has to come from ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

How long does it take for one to become really comfortable in a programming language and coding starts being fun? [closed]

I am just starting out in programming learning Aspect and I'm nearing the end of the introduction. I've learned about algorithms and functions and types of code and Python and briefly the basic ideas ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
942 views

Does learning to play an instrument improve programming ability? [closed]

I've seen plenty of questions asking if listening to music boosts productivity, etc. but I haven't been able to find one about performing music. Learning to play the piano has been on my to-do list ...
5
votes
3answers
381 views

Should I be looking up the answers to programming exercises? [closed]

I have recently started my journey to learn programming, and got my self a book on Objective-C. The thing is though: I get stuck quite often, trying to figure out how to solve the different ...
5
votes
3answers
243 views

As a tech team lead, how should I handle team members' coding mistakes and bad practices? [duplicate]

I'm a tech team leader on a team of about 5 developers. The team size is somewhat dynamic as team members periodically leave for other projects and others join the team from other projects. ...
5
votes
2answers
778 views

Improving analysis skills [closed]

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 ...
4
votes
5answers
863 views

Does relying on intellisense and documentation a lot while coding makes you a bad programmer? [duplicate]

Is a programmer required to learn and memorize all syntax, or is it ok to keep handy some documentation? Would it affect the way that managers look at coders? What are the downside of depending on ...
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 ...
4
votes
7answers
2k views

How to ensure quality of code? [closed]

I have been learning programming in C# for about a year and a half now. How should I ensure that the code that I am writing and the habits are forming are good ones? ie. I don't want to end up having ...
4
votes
2answers
412 views

If most of team can't follow the architecture, what do you do?

I'm working on a greenfields project with two other developers. We're all contractors, and myself and one other just started working on the project while the orginal one has been doing most of the ...
4
votes
3answers
460 views

Internship vs Open Source in terms of experience [closed]

I'm currently a second year undergraduate Computer Science student. I'm having a hard time deciding to either apply for an internship or spend the summer back home, working on some fields I feel I ...
4
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...