2190
votes
1answer
310k views

What technical details should a programmer of a web application consider before making the site public?

What things should a programmer implementing the technical details of a web application consider before making the site public? If Jeff Atwood can forget about HttpOnly cookies, sitemaps, and ...
140
votes
31answers
20k views

How do you dive into large code bases?

What tools and techniques do you use for exploring and learning an unknown code base? I am thinking of tools like grep, ctags, unit-tests, functional test, class-diagram generators, call graphs, ...
121
votes
20answers
11k views

How would you know if you've written readable and easily maintainable code?

How would one know if the code he has created is easily maintainable and readable? Of course in your point of view (the one who actually wrote the code) your code is readable and maintainable, but we ...
168
votes
8answers
49k views

Where can I find programming puzzles and challenges? [closed]

I'm trying to find places where I can hone my craft outside the context of school or work. Are there places online, or books available, where I can access lists of programming puzzles or challenges?
12
votes
11answers
3k views

How does one keep up with all the new tools/languages/framework? [closed]

Just wondering how everyone keeps up with it. I mainly work with ASP.NET and Windows form, but I'm stuck using 3.0 for business reasons. So most of my self education is on my own time (weekends, ...
81
votes
14answers
5k views

How can I convince management to deal with technical debt?

This is a question that I often ask myself when working with developers. I've worked at four companies so far and I've become aware of a lack of attention to keeping code clean and dealing with ...
81
votes
8answers
5k views

What is the most effective way to add functionality to unfamiliar, structurally unsound code? [duplicate]

This is probably something everyone has to face during the development sooner or later. You have an existing code written by someone else, and you have to extend it to work under new requirements. ...
148
votes
11answers
41k 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 ...
130
votes
24answers
12k views

When is a BIG Rewrite the answer?

Just read the question about the Big Rewrites and I remembered a question that I've been wanting answered myself. I have a horrible project passed down to me, written in old Java, using Struts 1.0, ...
75
votes
24answers
15k views

How do I improve my coding skills? [closed]

Here's a bit information about me, before starting with the question. I am a Computer Science Undergraduate, Java being my primary coding language. The basic problem in my University are the ...
44
votes
13answers
9k 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 ...
42
votes
12answers
7k views

To branch or not to branch?

Till recently my development workflow was the following: Get the feature from product owner Make a branch (if feature is more than 1 day) Implement it in a branch Merge changes from main branch to ...
37
votes
8answers
4k views

Should a developer also act as a tester?

We're a scrum team of 3 developers, 1 designer, the scrum master, and the product owner. However, we don't have official tester in our team. A problem that is always with us, is that, testing the ...
186
votes
13answers
40k views

How to respond when you are asked for an estimate?

We, as programmers, are constantly being asked 'How long will it take'? And you know, the situation is almost always like this: The requirements are unclear. Nobody has done an in depth analysis of ...
59
votes
8answers
6k views

Are design patterns really essential nowadays?

I was reading "Coders at Work" and have faced the fact that some of the professionals interviewed in the book are not so enthusiastic about design patterns. I think that there are 2 main reasons for ...
75
votes
16answers
24k views

When are Getters and Setters Justified

Getters and setters are often criticized as being not proper OO. On the other hand most OO code I've seen has extensive getters and setters. When are getters and setters justified? Do you try to ...
40
votes
13answers
17k views

What are the key differences between software engineers and programmers? [closed]

What are the key differences between software engineers and programmers?
41
votes
12answers
3k views

Develop fast and buggy, then correct errors or be slow, careful for each line of code? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Frankly, do you prefer Cowboy coding? Prototyping vs. Clean Code at the early stages Good design: How much hackyness is acceptable? Does craftsmanship pay off? ...
86
votes
29answers
11k views

How do you manage your knowledge base? [closed]

As programmers we have a lot of inputs: Ebooks Code snippets Interesting emails Documents Web articles Blog posts StackOverflow questions Podcasts ... Which tools do you use to store, ...
22
votes
12answers
6k views

Is it better to specialize in a single field I like, or expand into other fields to broaden my horizons? [closed]

This is a dilemma about which I have been thinking for quite a while. I'm a graduate student and my topics of interest are programming language design, code analysis, compilation, etc. So far, this ...
22
votes
12answers
3k views

Dealing with bad/incomplete/unclear specifications? [duplicate]

I'm working on a project where our dev team gets the specifications from the business part of the company. Both the business management and the IT management require estimates and deadline ...
48
votes
11answers
6k views

Metric by which to hold developers accountable [duplicate]

I asked a question on lines of code per hour and got torn a new one. So my matured follow-up question is this: If not lines of code, then what is a good metric by which to measure (by the ...
520
votes
21answers
46k views

Where did the notion of “one return only” come from?

I often talk to Java programmers who say "Don't put multiple return statements in the same method." When I ask them to tell me the reasons why, all I get is "The coding standard says so." or "It's ...
75
votes
14answers
19k views

Where does this concept of “favor composition over inheritance” come from?

In the last few months, the mantra "favor composition over inheritance" seems to have sprung up out of nowhere and become almost some sort of meme within the programming community. And every time I ...
99
votes
37answers
55k views

Should curly braces appear on their own line? [closed]

Should curly braces be on their own line or not? What do you think about it? if (you.hasAnswer()) { you.postAnswer(); } else { you.doSomething(); } or should it be if (you.hasAnswer()) { ...
31
votes
11answers
2k views

Techniques to re-factor garbage and maintain sanity? [duplicate]

So I'm sitting down to a nice bowl of c# spaghetti, and need to add something or remove something... but I have challenges everywhere from functions passing arguments that doesn't make sense, someone ...
5
votes
3answers
612 views

Style for control flow with validation checks

I find myself writing a lot of code like this: int myFunction(Person* person) { int personIsValid = !(person==NULL); if (personIsValid) { // do some stuff; might be lengthy int myresult ...
62
votes
14answers
13k views

What “version naming convention” do you use? [closed]

Are different version naming conventions suited to different projects? What do you use and why? Personally, I prefer a build number in hexadecimal (e.g 11BCF), this should be incremented very ...
71
votes
13answers
7k views

When is it appropriate to not unit test?

I work in a small company as a solo developer. I'm the only developer at the company in fact. I have several (relatively) large projects I've written and maintain regularly, and none of them have ...
78
votes
6answers
5k views

Agile for the Solo Developer

How would someone implement Agile process concepts as a solo developer? Agile seems useful for getting applications developed at a faster pace, but it also seems very team oriented...
50
votes
28answers
13k 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 ...
38
votes
7answers
27k views

When to use abstract classes instead of interfaces with extension methods in C#?

"Abstract class" and "interface" are similar concepts, with interface being the more abstract of the two. One differentiating factor is that abstract classes provide method implementations for derived ...
42
votes
8answers
5k views

Version control for independent developers?

Do you think it's worth it to use version control if you are an independent developer, and if so, why? Do you keep the repository on your own computer, or elsewhere, where it can serve as a backup?
22
votes
6answers
3k views

How do you encode Algebraic Data Types in a C#- or Java-like language?

There are some problems which are easily solved by Algebraic Data Types, for example a List type can be very succinctly expressed as: data ConsList a = Empty | ConsCell a (ConsList a) consmap f ...
2
votes
1answer
619 views

Good resources for learning Rails? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a canonical book on Ruby on Rails? I just finished working through Peter Cooper's "Beginning Ruby". So now I've got a reasonable grounding in the Ruby language ...
95
votes
11answers
57k 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 ...
51
votes
2answers
4k views

Are there any OO-principles that are practically applicable for Javascript?

Javascript is a prototype-based object oriented language but can become class-based in a variety of ways, either by: Writing the functions to be used as classes by yourself Use a nifty class system ...
65
votes
14answers
4k views

How can I tactfully suggest improvements to others' badly designed code during review?

I'm a great believer in clean code and code craftsmanship, though I'm currently at a job where this isn't regarded as a top priority. I sometimes find myself in a situation where a peer's code is ...
26
votes
14answers
4k views

Why develop free, open source programs? [closed]

Why would someone use his own time to develop an open-source project for free and without compensation?
21
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
38
votes
5answers
2k views

When is Singleton appropriate?

Some hold that the Singleton Pattern is always an anti-pattern. What do you think?
570
votes
9answers
174k views

Which hashing algorithm is best for uniqueness and speed?

Which hashing algorithm is best for uniqueness and speed? Example (good) uses include hash dictionaries. I know there are things like SHA-256 and such, but these algorithms are designed to be ...
538
votes
32answers
106k views

My boss decided to add a “person to blame” field to every bug report. How can I convince him that it's a bad idea?

In one of the latest "WTF" moves, my boss decided that adding a "Person To Blame" field to our bug tracking template will increase accountability (although we already have a way of tying bugs to ...
48
votes
9answers
4k views

When do you know it's time to move on from your current job? [closed]

Have you ever reached a point at your job when you just know it's time to move on? When do you move to the point that you're willing to let go of the demons you know for the ones you don't know? ...
18
votes
7answers
6k views

Best approach to learning web programming [closed]

I come from a scientific and embedded programming background, and I have had minimal experience with web programming. What would be the best approach to take to get up to speed with web programming? ...
68
votes
22answers
18k views

Where do you declare variables? The top of a method or when you need them? [closed]

I am in sort of a dilemma (in a geekish way of course). I love to declare variables at the beginning of my methods, and usually order them in some logical way. The problem is, when the list gets ...
51
votes
36answers
3k views

What can I do to get better at estimating how long projects are going to take? [duplicate]

I don't want to make life hard for management. I really don't. They're nice enough guys, but every time I am assigned a new project or task and get asked "how long do you think it will take to do ...
23
votes
17answers
5k views

Does Silverlight have a future? [closed]

Recently I have read some articles/blogs/comments about the development and history of WPF and Silverlight. In some forums many developers and users criticize the performance of WPF applications (for ...
13
votes
3answers
791 views

Approaches to checking multiple conditions? [duplicate]

What is the best practice for checking multiple conditions, in no particular order? The example in question needs to check four distinct conditions, in any order, and fail showing the correct error ...
347
votes
33answers
131k views

How do I create my own programming language and a compiler for it [closed]

I am thorough with programming and have come across languages including BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, LISP, LOGO, Java, C++, C, MATLAB, Mathematica, Python, Ruby, Perl, JavaScript, Assembly and so on. I ...

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