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

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22
votes
13answers
1k views

What are your suggestions on learning how to think? [closed]

First of all, this is not the generic 'make me a better programmer' question, even though the outcome of asking this question might seem similar to it. On programmers.SE, I've read and seen these get ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

How should I study programming languages? [closed]

I am a student of computer engineering. I have never done any programming before, and as you can understand, I don't know how to study it or how to make my own programs. My English is weak [edited for ...
5
votes
5answers
701 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 ...
34
votes
9answers
2k views

At what point does “constructive” criticism of your code become unhelpful?

I recently started as a junior developer. As well as being one of the least experienced people on the team, I'm also a woman, which comes with all sorts of its own challenges working in a ...
9
votes
11answers
775 views

Do you own your tools? [closed]

A colleague of mine wrote a post a while ago asking Do you own your tools. It raises an important question. Do you? I answered way down in the comments. As an independent, I do own my tools. Even when ...
7
votes
5answers
444 views

What are the most common stumbling blocks when it comes to learning programming, in order of difficulty? [closed]

I seem to remember that linked lists, recursion, pointers, and memory management are all good examples of stumbling blocks - places where the aspiring programmer typically ends up spending significant ...
16
votes
12answers
1k views

Is it OK to live without knowing how the program you created works?

I mean, there are really useful libs that can solve problems when you are stuck and do not know how to solve this or that with your knowledge of programming language you use... For example, Boost for ...
9
votes
10answers
53k views

How long would it take to learn Python? [closed]

I have decided to take the time out after work to learn Python. Python appeals to me because at work (Web and eLearning Company), I have to follow out very repetitive tasks like delete all these tags, ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
666 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
1k views

How to convince my boss to improve code quality? [duplicate]

The place I'm working for is a service provider. We have a lot of services, which are written to deal with deadline, so their code are really terrible: No coding convention, everyone codes in his ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

What personal milestones can you use to measure growth in your programming abilities? [closed]

How can you determine objectively, over time, that you are getting any better at producing code? For example, I may sit here and feel that "I know <language> now, and I use <technique> ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the advantages and Disadvantages of Using an Aspect Orientated Programming Paradigm [closed]

Ok so here is the question: What are the advantages and Disadvantages of Using an Aspect Orientated Programming Paradigm. My advantages and disadvantages thus far: Advantages: Complements object ...
4
votes
2answers
418 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 ...
-1
votes
5answers
3k views

Which Provides a better Foundation Java or .Net (C#, ASP.NET)? [closed]

I am not asking this question to start arguments (people often consider Java and .Net as religions) but which provides a better foundation and helps to gain real programming skills (of Computer ...
27
votes
5answers
5k views

Is there such a thing as Programmer's block? [closed]

Is it possible for a programmer to suffer the equivalent of writer's block? What strategies are there to overcome it?
30
votes
17answers
6k views

Am I copy/paste programmer? [duplicate]

When ever I am stuck with a particular problem, I search for a solution in Google. And then I try to understand the code and tweak it according to my requirement. For example recently I had asked a ...
6
votes
5answers
294 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 ...
13
votes
11answers
999 views

What are you telling yourself if you can't understand new concept, paradigm, feature …? [closed]

Programming always required to learn new concepts, paradigms, features and technologies and I always have been failed at first attempt to understand new concept what i encounter. I start to blame and ...
1
vote
4answers
547 views

Skillset improvement in coming new year [closed]

Here is a little background information. I have been working for Java 10 years. The product I am working on went to live about 3 years ago. Now, the product is getting stable. After all the ...
15
votes
13answers
4k views

Is using ELSE bad programming? [closed]

I've often come across bugs that have been caused by using the ELSE construct. A prime example is something along the lines of: If (passwordCheck() == false){ displayMessage(); }else{ ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Should I focus on being deep or broad [closed]

I have been a professional developer for just over half a year and have been amazed at how big the world really is out of college. I have continued to learn in my free time but I am wondering where ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Where can I find design exercises to work on? [closed]

I feel it's important to continue practicing my problem-solving skills. Writing my own mini-projects is one way, but another is to try and solve problems posted online. It's easy to find interesting ...
6
votes
3answers
201 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
379 views

If someone offers you an unverified statement regarding software development practices, do you respond with “citation needed”? [closed]

Recently I attended a lecture given by Greg Wilson (Chief Scientist of Software Carpentry). From the abstract: The idea that claims about software development practices should be based on evidence ...
-1
votes
3answers
354 views

What's more important for advancement writing lots of code (maybe only bug patches) or learning more CS? [closed]

I'm currently a graduate student in Computer Science. I've had a few jobs before coming back (doing some coding for the Army while in) and working in an Oracle shop. Both jobs could be done by monkeys ...
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
786 views

As a programmer, what paths should I take concerning education? [closed]

After a burst of ranting about homework, the applicability of the classes I'm taking, and my computer science teacher, I have some questions concerning education for my career path as a developer. I ...
15
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
454 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 ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

Programmers forgetting syntax

Do good programmers need to have syntax at the tip of their tongue when writing code? What do you make of them if they google for simple stuff online? Are they good or bad(maybe they know where to ...
19
votes
11answers
7k views

How many programming languages is a programmer expected to be an expert at? [closed]

Do most programmers specialize on a single stack, leaving other things be, or are they expert at multiple languages at the same time? If it's more than one, how many is standard? By expert, I mean ...
49
votes
7answers
4k views

What is the most productive way to handle development-related failures? [closed]

We've all been there: Your project failed or got cancelled. The code you spent days working on got rejected by your team. The design pattern you introduced to the team created chaos. Everyone ...
2
votes
2answers
151 views

How to retain familiarity with previously worked on technology/language/feature [closed]

One problem that I have faced over the years is that when I stop using a technology (COM,QT)/language (VBScript)/feature (Templates) for development over the time I lose skill in that. What in your ...
10
votes
9answers
2k views

What do you do to improve your speech communication skills? [closed]

Being a programmer is not just grokking the latest cool technology or debugging a sneaky code error , we have to speak to our coworkers, project manager or boss, in the most effective way possibly; we ...
31
votes
10answers
1k views

Ship Early, Ship Never [closed]

This started as a "Note to Self," so please excuse me if the frustration is all too evident and the writing is less than stellar... Three major subjects I've had at the forefront of my mind lately: ...
3
votes
4answers
298 views

How do you keep from running into the same problems over and over?

I keep running into the same problems. The problem is irrelevant, but the fact that I keep running into is completely frustrating. The problem only happens once every, 3-6 months or so as I stub out ...
13
votes
9answers
2k views

What are some of the more useful Keyboard Shortcuts for Visual Studio? [closed]

I keep learning new keyboard shortcuts for Visual Studio and I find some of them increase my productivity a lot. I was wondering what keyboard shortcuts in VS you found useful and why. I know I ...
28
votes
12answers
11k views

Do I need to understand algorithms and data structures to be called a programmer? [closed]

It has been six years since I have been coding. Coding into all kinds of things like ActionScript, JavaScript, Java, PHP, Ajax, XML HTML, ASP, etc. I have used arrays, maps, linked lists, sets, etc ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

Starting as a developer what are the possible career steps? [closed]

I would like to know what kind of jobs/roles one could expect on their career path if they start as a developer. I also want to know how many years you'll be expected to stay in the same role until ...
13
votes
8answers
2k views

Great Lunch and Learn Topics [closed]

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 ...
42
votes
20answers
5k views

How do you stay motivated for hobby projects? [closed]

I started seriously programming as a hobbiest, student and then intern about 4 years ago and I've always done small projects on the side as a learning exercise. Schools over now though, and I spend ...
26
votes
11answers
955 views

Why is it you never get as much done as you'd planned? [closed]

I always start the day thinking "I'll easily get this done by the end of the day" and set what looks like a realistic target. So why do I never hit it? The task always ends up taking 3x longer due to ...
14
votes
16answers
1k 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 ...
28
votes
6answers
905 views

What do you do if you've had a series of bad employers? [closed]

So I've had a series of really bad experiences and am wondering what I'm doing wrong. I started out as a part time programmer at a major university. I developed a problem with my wrist and asked ...
21
votes
12answers
3k views

How do you deal with the anxiety of not knowing enough? [closed]

I just finished college a couple of months ago and im taking time out to improve my knowledge. I love programming but i feel like i dont know enough to be confident if I went for an interview. Last ...
4
votes
2answers
115 views

Anyone know of any resources for someone who wants to learn WPF and F# [closed]

It's easy to find resources for learning WPF, similarly it's pretty easy to find resources for F#. But I feel that I could save some time if I could learn them both at the same time. So can anyone ...
10
votes
3answers
768 views

What is the most effective work rhythm for a programmer? [closed]

I was wondering what is the best work rhythm for the job a programmer does? I am coding all day long and sometimes I get stuck in a problem and it keeps me occupied a few hours before I realize that ...
5
votes
12answers
395 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 ...
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 ...