1,718 reputation
716
bio website MarkDontBlog
location United Kingdom
age 43
visits member for 3 years, 9 months
seen Jul 26 at 22:13

Developer in scientific fields.

  • My world is vertical market shrinkwrap. Do you know your world?
  • VB6, VB.NET, C, Fortran, Perl, PHP...
  • User interfaces, graphics, data manipulation, numerical models.
  • Database stuff with Access/MySQL/SQL Server.
  • Physics degree, little formal training in development

In my young days I used to write things like compilers and chess programs for fun - but that was last millenium :)


Feb
16
comment What is the most effective way to add functionality to unfamiliar, structurally unsound code?
+1 I would add, do try to get the code under test before you change it.
Feb
15
comment Why use try … finally without a catch clause?
And in Java it's ARM blocks
Feb
14
comment How can I explain the difference between NULL and zero?
+1. This is the answer: explain why the value is null. If you can't explain it, then you have a bug.
Feb
11
comment Simple issue tracker for 1-2 developers
+1. Spend 10 more dollars on GreenHopper to add a Trello-like UI: drag-and-drop prioritisation etc
Feb
7
comment Have you ever been involved in a BIG Rewrite?
How big were they? How many lines of code in original system, how many person-months did the rewrite take?
Feb
7
comment Problems (such as maintenance) in development with unpopular language
It's your boss's job to worry about continuation. But it is your job to make sure the boss is aware of the issues they should worry about. You should talk it over with the boss.
Jan
29
comment Why are developer commit statistics harmful?
I don't think gathering the statistic is harmful in itself but using it to evaluate programmers would be. Our VCS gathers that info, along with a myriad if other stats, and its available to the whole team but we hardly ever look at it. So no, gathering the statistic isn't harmful.
Jan
28
comment How do you respond to “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” question in interviews?
It could be a bad sign if the main interviewer really hasn't read your resume. Maybe you don't want the job. Could be they will always be rushed and won't read your requirements docs, emails...
Jan
26
comment Will giving new recruits a separate subproject from experienced developers help the newbies ramp up more quickly?
And who's going to interview these new hires, update the written requirements and design docs, fill in the bug database, spend time on the training sessions...?? Is it the current developers? Because that means they won't be developing full-time. So development speed goes down. Oops.
Jan
25
awarded  Mortarboard
Jan
25
awarded  Nice Answer
Jan
24
comment In pseudo code what does := mean?
@back2dos etc Even today using = for assignment is confusing. I can still remember, long ago when I first learnt to program, how confusing it was to see x = x + 1. Once you've studied basic high-school maths, x = x + 1 just looks like impossible contradictory gibberish. Next I read an excellent book on computer science for the general reader (I think it was this) which used <- for assignment. x <- x + 1 is much easier to understand.
Jan
21
comment Frankly, do you prefer Cowboy coding?
+1. Maybe you can't choose your skill level but you can choose to improve, like an illiterate person can go to night school. Read, find good developers and learn from them, reflect on what works and what doesn't.
Jan
11
comment How can I answer interview questions about developing in a team when I've always been a lone developer?
+1. In fact it sounds like the OP actually answered the question perfectly well!
Dec
30
awarded  Nice Answer
Dec
29
comment How does unit testing work?
+1 for running the existing code and recording the results. In this situation, that's probably the pragmatic approach.
Dec
29
answered Why do programming language (open) standards cost money?
Dec
14
comment How do quick & dirty programmers know they got it right?
@Steve Yes it is, that is why I quoted it. It does say "beware of bugs"
Dec
13
comment How do quick & dirty programmers know they got it right?
Donald Knuth: "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it." haacked.com/archive/2007/11/29/…
Dec
13
comment How assertive should I be in handling exceptions in objects?
@one.beat You can easily tell which objects need manual disposing. They implement IDisposable. That means the API designer is telling you to dispose the object. Follow the instructions.