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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

15
votes
5answers
9k views

What to plan before starting development on a project? [closed]

Say I've received the specifications for a project from a client, and now its time to start developing it. Normally, I just start with the first module (usually user registration) and then go from one ...
21
votes
11answers
5k views

Is it a really required skill to program without API documentation? [closed]

I barely passed my Java programming exam today. I had to answer some general questions about threading which I did well and to write a little threaded program which was worse. I had to connect my ...
43
votes
7answers
5k views

What should junior developer expect from their senior team lead [closed]

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer. I work for a small company, in which few people are developers, others are QA/Test and 1 is ...
51
votes
26answers
66k views

How can I improve my problem-solving ability?

Everyone says the same thing: "a real programmer knows how to handle real problems." But they forget how they learned this ability or where: it's not taught in schools. What can I do to improve my ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

How much time should I dedicate to refactoring my code? [closed]

I don't know if it's just with me, but when I start refactoring some code I waste a lot time doing that and it never ends. Every time I read the code again, I find something that can be improved, ...
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
704 views

What books or resources would you recommend to learn practical OO design and development concepts? [closed]

I'm a self taught programmer; I understand the foundations of programming and what classes are, but my code tends to be messy with class methods interacting with a half a dozen other classes, and my ...
876
votes
360answers
157k views

What is the single most effective thing you did to improve your programming skills?

Looking back at my career and life as a programmer, there were plenty of different ways I improved my programming skills - reading code, writing code, reading books, listening to podcasts, watching ...
52
votes
90answers
24k views

What should every programmer know about programming?

Please, stay on technical issues, avoid behavior, cultural, career or political issues.
50
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 ...
22
votes
8answers
8k views

How to improve programming skills as a Junior without Senior [duplicate]

At the moment I'm 23 and working as a junior programmer at a software service provider. While I'm really happy with my job and my colleagues, I sometimes would love to have someone who could tell me ...
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 (...
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 ...
15
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 ...
23
votes
8answers
2k views

Is it necessary to understand what's happening at the hardware level to be a good programmer?

I'm a self-taught programmer, just in case this question is answered in CS 101. I've learned and used lots of languages, mostly for my own personal use, but occasionally for professional stuff. It ...
5
votes
2answers
887 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 ...
39
votes
10answers
62k views

How do I learn algorithms and data structures? [closed]

This is in continuation to my previous question where I asked is it necessary to learn algorithms and data structures. I feel yes it is. Now I work in an environment where I won't ever get the chance ...
57
votes
34answers
7k views

What non-programming books should a programmer read to help develop programming/thinking skills? [closed]

There are a lot of questions about what programming books should be on the programmer's bookshelf. How about non-programming related books that can help you become a better programmer or developer? It ...
101
votes
61answers
16k views

What's the most absurd myth about programming issues?

To put it another way... What is the most commonly held and frustrating misunderstanding about programming, you have encountered? Which widespread and longstanding myths/misconceptions do you find ...
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 ...
123
votes
36answers
21k views

Programming with ADD/ADHD [closed]

I have diagnosed ADD. Mild but enough to affect my work: Easily distracted Can't concentrate on one project at a time Addicted to the web Procrastination etc. What strategies do you use to ...
93
votes
17answers
15k 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 ...
57
votes
34answers
11k views

When would someone be considered a bad programmer? [closed]

How would you consider that a programmer is bad at what he or she is doing? If possible... How should he/she improve?
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.
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 ...
31
votes
12answers
12k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
34
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you keep your basic skills from atrophy? [closed]

Coding is only one aspect to professional programming. My job requires me to code, but it also requires me to do other things for extended periods – sometimes days or weeks go by when I'm not just ...
28
votes
7answers
18k views

What do you do to improve your logical programming skills? [duplicate]

Do you think that only the programming pratice will help you to improve your logical programming skill or do you train your brain with puzzle games, trying imagine how universe works, playing ...
22
votes
11answers
5k views

How to write efficient code despite heavy deadlines

I am working in an environment wherein we have many projects with strict deadlines on deliverables. We even talk directly to the clients so getting the jobs done and fast is a must. My issue is that ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Time management and self improvement [closed]

I hope I can open a discussion on this topic as this is not a specific problem. It's a topic I hope to get some ideas on how people in similar situation as mine manage their time. OK, I'm a single ...
13
votes
12answers
7k views

Getting Overwhelmed: Tips for noobs [duplicate]

As a newbie, I am overwhelmed by the amount of information out there and the amount of self-direction that one needs to develop as a programmer. How did you get oriented in the programming world? Are ...
7
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
26
votes
11answers
991 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 ...
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 ...
13
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
10answers
57k 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, ...
5
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
714 views

What can / should be done with regular expressions? [closed]

I've recently learnt regular expressions and I love writing / using them. I'm looking for ideas and more opportunities to use them, however I don't want to overuse them as an all purpose tool, as ...
18
votes
9answers
727 views

Balance between “right tool for the job” and familiarity [closed]

So when choosing what language to use for a project, in an ideal world the language is chosen because it's the right tool for the job. However, I often prefer to use a language that I am fluent in ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Switching to a career in Machine Learning [closed]

My day job is plain old software development. I am also doing my Masters in CS (part time, course based). I took a course on AI and found machine learning quite fascinating but like most courses it ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

How to gain experience? [closed]

This is a problem that I think many people will find very common and some guidance from the expert users around here will be appreciated. Background Basically I'm a junior web developer in a team of ...
6
votes
3answers
622 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
423 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
vote
3answers
317 views

Are design patterns essential for good code? [duplicate]

Are design patterns (e.g. factory pattern, observer, etc...) required to be known to write good code? I often have no idea of what people mean when they talk about inserting pattern name here pattern ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it worth listing testing or self-learning repositories on my résumé? [closed]

I have a GitHub repository with toy programs that I write when I learn something. For example, when I read an about an algorithms or data structures, I write up a quick implementation of of it to make ...
9
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...