723 reputation
38
bio website mctaylor.com
location Ontario, Canada
age 39
visits member for 3 years, 7 months
seen 1 hour ago

C and Perl programmer for a suite of Linux based applications and web services.

I prefer to try to help people find how to answer their own questions, than to answer their questions for them. I also try to encourage and hopefully provide constructive feedback on how to improve questions from new(er) programmers, with the goal of hopefully improving the quality of the help their receive.

I view StackOverflow as a tool, rather than a LazyWeb site. In the long term I believe this is necessary to preserve the quality of the site and its usefulness.


Nov
11
answered Using Vim when coding a large-scale application
Jul
20
answered Prerequisite math skill for Introduction to Algorithms (CLRS) book
Jul
19
comment How to transition from a web developer to an embedded developer?
I respectfully disagree with your first statement (from a web developer to a thick client developer), embedded programming requires understanding of the embedded system including particulars of the hardware, any OS or Real-Time OS, and often low-level protocol details (EIA-232, RS-422, ZigBee). Many experienced embedded developers also learn basic electronics, particularly digital electronics including basic logic (gates, MSI), programmable logic devices (CPLD, FPGA), special purpose ICs (ADC, DSP, codec, MUX/DEMUX), CPU, MCU, and memory (RAM, ROM, PROM, EPROM, flash, etc.).
Jul
18
revised Is it ok if I don't know C but I am good with C++?
typos, try to improve wording
Jun
23
awarded  Editor
Jan
17
comment How can I improve my problem-solving ability?
Two useful books mentioned in Code Complete are: Conceptual Blockbusting by James Adams, and Lateral Thinking by Edward De Bono.
Jan
17
comment How can I improve my problem-solving ability?
Ref: drawright.com/theory.htm (what R-mode and L-mode is)
Jan
17
comment Choosing between two programmers: experience vs. passion
Please elaborate. Passion is a loaded word in this usage. Also it is not clear whether passion for coding means strictly for the coding phase of development or shorthand for software development. What do you need? Is meeting short-term goals the most important thing?
Jan
17
answered What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
Jan
13
answered What legal considerations do I need to have when programming?
Jan
13
comment Ethics, Clients, and legal repercussions
I believe most every labour laws (codes) legally allow an employee to refuse duties that would mean the employee would have to commit a crime or participate in illegal / unlawful activities.
Jan
13
comment Ethics, Clients, and legal repercussions
Copyright in USA and Canada does include criminal violations. Section 42 of the Canadian Copyright Act. Check EFF.org for US law. I suspect EU is similar.
Jan
13
answered Hobbyist programmer releasing software with a donate button
Jan
6
comment Can One Get a Solid Programming Foundation Without Going To College/University?
This is mostly a problem where hiring is done through an Human Resources (HR) department. The best way to deal with it is to build a business social network of IT managers who know you or at least of you, and let try to side-step the HR "filter" process. In other words, people without degrees tend to have to be better at marketing their skills and services themselves, rather than applying for advertised positions. Most competent IT managers will hire based on a solid track record, and reputation (i.e. referral from someone they trust). Don't expect to get a government job. It's rare nowadays
Jan
6
comment What non-programming books should a programmer read to help develop programming/thinking skills?
@MAK, they are actually more about software management than about actual programming directly. They are classics that I strongly recommend to any if not every professional developer for becoming a more well rounded developer. I admit they are at the fuzzy border of whether they are programming or non-programming books about development/software management.
Dec
31
comment How to be an agile programmer?
To be agile I recommend routine exercise and practice. :) Wait, that actually is a decent answer...
Dec
31
answered Question about programming in linux
Dec
31
comment Question about programming in linux
The other largest Unix/Linux editor camp is Vi/Vim, of which I strongly recommend you learn the very basics of vi, but use vim if you prefer its modal command style. Emacs has a steep learning curve compared to other editors, but it is incredibly powerful.
Dec
31
answered Usage of Pirated software at a company
Dec
31
comment Usage of Pirated software at a company
@Walter, piracy or more formally intellectual property infringement is not the same as theft, in that it involves (typically) unauthorized (& unlicensed) duplication of a work (in copyright). The original copyright owner (holder) is not deprived of their copy (i.e. the item), but is deprived of the lost opportunity of income. I am not condoning or supporting piracy, but intellectual property (IP) is a complex environment, so please avoid emotionally loaded words or phrases.