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81

You are going to run into programmers like this your entire career. There is nothing wrong with experimentation and learning on your own. Sure books are great. Many times the examples work in a clean environment, but if you are developer for another company there is no such thing as a clean (without interference from others) environment. It's always nice ...


57

Did he really call you stupid, or did he just disparage the code? Calling anything stupid is tactless, but that doesn't invalidate the suggestion. I think Infestus has made a valuable suggestion, and in the future you should consider his suggestions seriously. He seems to do a lot of reading, and at least in this case his opinion is well-informed. ...


29

Managers (like me) are hesitant to specify explicit training budgets. According to Parkinson's Law, such a budget would be consumed or even exhausted regardless of the actual needs in knowledge development. If you just call your learning time project work and keep it in reasonable proportion to your overall work and your overall achievements, nobody will ...


21

Reading a book shouldn't be blind: the author should try to convince you of the merits of his/her approach as he presents it. It's reasonable for your senior to point you to a book explaining his preferred approach, rather than asking him to explain it himself: though he should be able to explain the benefits of his preferences without relying on the book, ...


17

Use exceptions for exceptional things, the things you can't reasonably expect to encounter too often, things which indicate that something goes wrong. For example, if the network is down, it is an exceptional thing for a web server. If the database is unavailable, it means that something is wrong. If the configuration file is missing, it probably means that ...


17

There are three key elements to any healthy relationship. Communication, honesty and trust. That counts for all relationships, even working relationships. You should be talking to your supervisor about these concerns. If you don't understand his reasons for advocating a certain design, then tell him that. Tell him that you haven't read the book, and that ...


15

The problem with doing stuff in your free time is that you need to actually have some free time. Try being a father with a young baby! Try working 14 hours a day and then find time. Taking time to learn new skills needs to balanced with time to relax and re-charge. Also I find that having time to relax helps me solve problems at work. I quite often find ...


14

I wouldn't necessarily dampen his current enthusiasm by telling him he's doing too much. On the other hand, people have lives outside of work, and it is unrealistic to expect this kind of sustained performance from everyone. I would keep an eye on him. If you see nascent signs of burnout, remind him that it's a marathon, not a sprint, and that other ...


12

When you were looking for your first job as a graduate, you were in a very lucky position. Your interviewers expectations of what you already knew were low. They probably expected that you had some experience with a programming language similar to one they used and that you showed promise as a programmer. Now, you are looking at applying for jobs that pay ...


12

When people manage data, there are three fundamentally different ways they can add value: Computing Storage and Retrieval Forwarding and Sharing. For computing at the level of simple arithmetic, you can't beat Excel. Even if you are an experienced programmer, you can build a spreadsheet in a fraction of the time you'll take to write and debug a ...


10

Certifications have minimal value even for entry level jobs. Their primary value is getting past human resources buzzword filters. While on a personal level, studying for a certification can be a useful way to discipline yourself when picking up a new technology, no one is going to be offered a senior development position on the basis of a certification. ...


9

I tend to just plan some extra time for my projects in order to get some learning done. I also see spending time on sites like Stackoverflow etc. as learning new stuff for a certain task. I couldn't put my finger on an hour a day or rules like that. Just some days are very productive and highly efficient and other days I just hit the books or read up on ...


7

I hesitate a bit to answer this, because it seems to veer toward being a request for career advice and I do think that my response is going to be a bit subjective, but here goes... The first thing, and a big thing, is about progress. Why don't you have a working product after being at this for 6 months? I am not suggesting that you should have a complete ...


6

WTF ? I thought I was the average programmer, writing and optimising computational electromagnetic inversion programs for geophysical applications. Well sure, not everyone works on computational EM codes, but everyone works on serious number-crunching for large parallel computers ? That's what computers are for. But seriously, I think it's more typical ...


6

In layman's words: Math is a very broad field having many subfields. You don't need to master all of math to be a programmer of most business related software. But you have to be good at an specific subfield of mathematics called mathematical logic (hereafter refered as "logic"). I myself am bad an maths in general but good at logic, and that has allowed ...


6

First things first, I have not completed a degree; I have worked as a professional software engineer for about 8 years now (at time of writing). And they basically laughed their asses off at "free education" and told me I was living in a "fantasy". Sure. I don't have a lot of experience with these online education resources, but the old adage "you get ...


6

In the company where you work, it probably is. This is what they require you to do. This engineer Infestus does a very poor job educating junior developers by telling them "this is written in the book, and that's why". He's not a preacher, he's an engineer, and he should be able to break it down and present the concepts so that juniors would be able to ...


6

Maybe. It all depends on "the one". My view on software engineering is similar to that of any other skilled craft and I'm a huge proponent of Software Craftsmanship movement. Just like with any other skill, if you want to get good at making software(or houses, sculptures, swords... etc), you need to practice. That's why some people will tell you, you just ...


6

Both systems sound so very very flawed. the newer stuff should be known to the top of the 'tree' before the trainee gets to it. In my experience.. this is way off. Juniors are the ones who research this stuff. Almost all Senior developers I have met are very relaxed in their roles and seem to be just waiting out retirement. "Oh I don't have time to ...


5

I would suggest donating them to a school or another country where resources like these are like gold. Even if they are outdated they still have good information in them that is applicable in todays world.


5

Note: this answer applies only if this is the only interview you get. Some companies have two interviews: the preliminary one followed by the technical one; the answer doesn't cover those situations. If during the interview, nobody asked you to write code and there were no technical questions, this is a good sign that this is a bad place to work at. Ask ...


5

Programmers must do more than just write code; they must also have good communication skills. A "typical" job description, from Monster.com: Programmer Job Duties: Confirms project requirements by reviewing program objective, input data, and output requirements with analyst, supervisor, and client. Arranges project requirements in programming ...


5

I fixed it by realizing that I provided more value to the company writing new code and fixing genuine problems than I did constantly fixing style problems in other people's code. If the company you work for has coding style guidelines, and you are in there anyway doing some refactoring, take a few moments (if you can) to fix the style problems, but only in ...


5

Yes, absolutely. You will find quite fast that you indeed learn a lot from looking beyond your current field and try other things. Learning and practicing techniques and patterns used in other languages and frameworks will broaden your view and increase your ability to find solutions where other see hurdles. Note that it's not always necessary to master ...


4

Until you get a specific desired skillset so that such companies have to come hunt for you, there will be a horde of people applying for that position. It's HR's job to remove people from that list. As such there are going to be multiple gates that disqualify you. So they most certainly are involved in the hiring decision, when the decision is "no". And ...


4

You have to gauge whether he is putting in the extra effort because he feels he has to, or because he just likes doing it. This is the essential point - when I was young and full of energy, and hadn't had the enthusiasm kicked out of me by PHBs and incompetent managers, I liked doing extra just because it was there to be done! If you get it wrong, and start ...


4

IMHO, there are 2 aspects here, which you should deal with separately: The fact that the guy is being a jerk, calling you names and such simply because he can (he's senior, you're not, if either of you complains about the other one, he'll get the benefit of the doubt) is simply bully-like behavior, and just bad. Try not to stoop to his level with this. ...


4

Having a mentor is great, especially when you are first starting out, but even better is to be a member of a large dev team that uses source control and enforces code reviews. In my career, I've spent a lot of time being the resident expert in my niche. Nothing helped me to grow as a developer more than the time I spent on a large dev team (more than a ...


4

Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien The perfect is the enemy of the good. I will drop that Voltaire quote at every opportunity because I've seen the persuit of perfection cause many promising projects to stall and fail. What you've presented above described almost every job I've been at. And my own businesses, for that matter. The truth is that ...


4

I have been developing for .NET for almost 10 years. I still ask questions every single day. I still read every single day. I still question my assumptions and seek out better solutions every single day. Searching out proven solutions is better than working things through and reinventing the wheel. There is already too much of that going on in software ...



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