Hot answers tagged

763

I interview a lot of people. Some freeze up. Some don't. Here's what I'm looking for. What can I do to be less nervous during my interview? What are you afraid of? Really. This is a hard self-examination question, but you need to know -- specifically -- what terrifies you. 80% of the time it's the "what if I make a mistake?" question. Which is -...


148

Stop doing the 80 hour weeks. This is positive reinforcement. Because they are getting the product on time with expected costs, they are going to continue doing it, regardless of what it does to you. If they cannot budget time properly, then that's management's fault. Not yours. Let them miss a few deadlines.


142

I had my second interview with a company here in Omaha last night, and it was easily the longest interview of my life (lasting from 3:00 - 5:30, speaking with 5 people one after another after another). I got some good news this morning: I have a job! Pay = $27/hr, more than twice what I made at my previous employment. Start Date = December 15. Here are ...


141

Sorry to say this but, You aren't going to want to hear this, but he is not completely wrong. If you are doing work for hire for external companies as a consultant, and they are willing to accept the most slapped together thing you can do and don't complain, and are willing to come back over and over again for you to do more work, your boss is ...


140

You are really talking about technical debt. Maybe a metaphor would help your managers. I often compare the effect of technical debt in software to cooking in a dirty kitchen. If the sink and counters and stove are piled with dirty dishes and there is trash on the floor, it takes longer to make a meal. However, the fastest way to prepare the very next ...


131

Ok, here goes my take on this big and complicated topic. Pros for keeping your coding style: Things like x = x || 10 are idiomatic in JavaScript development and offer a form of consistency between your code and the code of external resources you use. Higher level of code is often more expressive, you know what you get and it's easier to read across ...


112

You don't hunt down a former collegue to tell him he made a mistake. You may tell your friend that he made a mistake. Whether he is a friend or a former collegue is up to you.


109

Get things done. The people that have the power to promote you will only be impressed when they see results. Simply learning many libraries won't be enough to gain you any sort of promotion. It probably will, however, gain you respect from those immediately working with you. Also, don't think of it as 'selling' yourself. It's a case of showing that you're ...


103

The trouble with those policies, (IM are only an example ; you could also quote firewall blocking some websites), is simple : they believe they can force people to work by cutting their distractions. Fact is, when one doesn't want to work, one will always find a way not to. At the end of the day, what matters is if the job's been done.


99

In general, is there a way to push back on this? If not for this release, what about in future? Of course, there is: Let them fail badly with this approach. Nothing teaches as well as failing. Make an estimation yourself before you start and show it to them. Then do your best, write good code, stop compensating for their stupidity with your free time, ...


91

It Depends When I was looking for a job a month ago, I didn't put a link to SO on my resume, but I did mention that I participate on SO and added a link to my blog that contains the SO "flair" on the About page. At that point I had about 3000 rep. I wouldn't try to leverage rep, but I would leverage intelligent participation. If you act like a moron on SO ...


90

What can I do to be less nervous during my interview? When you walk in, say "Look, I'm a very good programmer, and my work and experience shows this. But I'm a HORRIBLE interviewee. I'm going to freeze up and squeak like a mouse in a food compactor. Please understand I'm not that way normally and look past this nervousness. Now excuse me while I sweat."...


84

Sounds Like My Old Job (1 Sales Person, 1 Graphics Person, 2 Programmers) This used to happen all the time at my old job. I agree that sales drives everything. The shop manager (Skill Set: 80% Sales 20% Graphics) was constantly underselling features customers wanted. A 20 hour job would be sold at a 10 hour price because the customer wasn't willing to pay ...


82

Having been "the boss" and, as it turned out, actually better than my staff in all cases bar one - yes, he will be mad - or annoyed or frustrated and in any case, quite possibly, right in the first place. If you're genuinely better than him then you should be able to understand his proposed solution and to see why yours is better and then to explain why. ...


82

You and most of the answerers approach this as a communication issue between two colleagues, but I don't really think it is. What you describe sounds more like a horribly broken code review process than anything else. First, you mention that your colleague is second in command and it's expected that he'll review your code. That's just wrong. By definition, ...


80

I think most developers find themselves in this position at some point, and I hope that every developer who's felt victimized realizes how frustrating it will be when he or she becomes the senior and feels compelled to clean up code written by juniors. For me, avoiding conflict in this situation comes down to two things: Courtesy. Talking to someone about ...


75

Ask him to explain his code to you Tell him you've never seen X programmed that way before, and ask him why he codes it that way. Show him the way you code it, and tell why you do it that way (best practices, better performance, less chance of errors, easier for other programmers to read/maintain, etc). Be sure to prepare all your arguments in advance, ...


69

Have you spoken to your development colleagues about this? How do you know they lack education? That's quite a sweeping statement and you'll probably find you're wrong. I don't think it'd go down too well if a new grad started meddling with processes without understanding why they're like that in the first place. Managers love processes and love tracking ...


69

He's probably right. If the codebase is so monstrous, so gigantically complicated, so difficult to understand... what makes you think you can write something that does the same thing correctly? Generally a big refactoring is the best place to start - start ripping bits out and combining them into reusable chunks; tidy up the code so its easier to view; ...


62

Tell yourself "I don't need this job", and believe it. It's much easier to relax when you are not hanging all of your hopes on your interview performance. I always approach interviews focusing more on how the company can convince me to work for them, rather than the other way around (just be careful not to come across as arrogant and disinterested). If ...


61

From a guy who's used both SOAP and REST extensively... BOSS says SOAP is... richer and more expressive Anytime someone says a product is "rich" I want to become violently ill. I can't think of a more cliche comment to make about a technology or platform. Basically you're saying "I think this product is great, but I don't have any actual facts to ...


61

It entirely depends on where you want to work. There is no universal answer to this. Many (all?) employers will google your name and look you up. You really should do that as well to see what comes back. The best way to control what they see is to have your own presence - something that will push any results that you don't want them to see way down the ...


59

Our build/install is just too complicated. It can't be automated. I have walked onto way too many projects where the build, development setup, and/or the product installation "process" was a ton of manual operations. The result was either a poorly documented process with one guy who knew all of the steps that had to be done (and would mess up at ...


57

Code talks. Do you have a portfolio of projects that you've worked on in your spare time? You say that you have been a hobbyist for ten years. You must have something to show for that, no? (p.s. modesty helps too.)


54

These four things were said to me by the same programmer: "I don't believe in encapsulation. There's really no point. All it does is add boilerplate and slows you down." "I don't do unit tests. That just slows me down." "Java is too slow. I need a fast language like C++." "I should really comment my code but it takes so long. It would just slow me ...


53

Besides actually being good at what you do, you'll need to do two other things: Prove that you actually have teh skillz Your manager won't recognize this directly. Earn the respect of your co-workers by showing them that you know what you're doing. In an interview, provide skill references. Tutor/teach/instruct those around you/beginners on the team. ...


53

Here's the secret about programming: it is almost 100% communication. A significant part of that is communicating with a human; the rest is communicating what you've just learned to a computer. The latter part is the easier of the two. Computers do exactly what they're told and you are always in a position to test that what you told it is correct. The ...


52

This generally occurs because of a perverse incentive - the salespeople are being paid on commission, while the production staff is paid on salary. The salespeople have several levers to work with: features, cost, and delivery date. They have a strong disincentive to lower the cost, because this generally lowers their commission, so they tend to ratchet UP ...



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