1,853 reputation
bio website MarkDontBlog
location United Kingdom
age 44
visits member for 4 years, 5 months
seen Mar 30 at 11:16

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 :)

comment How much time can I spend learning at work?
What does your boss think?
comment Is there a way to prevent the editing of HTML and CSS contents in a page using Firebug-like tools?
+1 for a simple, clear, question that is relevant to many people. We were all noobs once.
comment How to incorporate existing open source software from a licensing perspective?
+1 You do not need to be a lawyer to answer this question. These are well-known licenses, popular because their terms are well understood & simple & tested in court, and therefore you do not need a lawyer to answer this question. That's precisely why the licenses are popular.
comment Is it OK to learn an algorithm from an open source project, and then implement it in a closed source project?
@Andres Algorithms are patentable, but not copyrightable! Like the answer says. Patent issue is irrelevant to the question, if we assume the open source project isn't violating any patents. If it is, then you can't use it as open source, nor can you re-implement it.
comment How does a non-technical manager add value to team of self-motivated software developers?
Joel quote probably adapted from here?
comment Why use an OO approach instead of a giant “switch” statement?
@alternative The full Knuth quote "There is no doubt that the grail of efficiency leads to abuse. Programmers waste enormous amounts of time thinking about, or worrying about, the speed of noncritical parts of their programs, and these attempts at efficiency actually have a strong negative impact when debugging and maintenance are considered. We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil." Describes the OP's coworker perfectly. IMHO back2dos summarised the quote well with "premature optimisation is the root of all evil"
comment How to suggest changes as a recently-hired employee?
-1. See the edit to the question with this from the OP "Just in case (if anyone cares): following your precious advices I was able to suggest changes and am now in charge of the team that must create and deploy Subversion :D Thanks to all of you !"
comment How to suggest changes as a recently-hired employee?
@John You should present it to the IT manager, explain the cost saving, let them have it for free... and a few months later ask for a big pay rise citing the cost savings as an example of your worth.
comment How do I review my own code?
There are IPR issues. Posting the code on StackExchange means releasing it under Creative Commons. The OP may not be allowed to do that, especially if its a closed-source project.
comment What should I do if I don't have any formal spec?
+1 But consider making prototypes as well as / instead of paper specs.
comment How to detect root cause of problem or bug
There's some good advice in Code Complete 2, in the chapter on debugging (chapter 23). And the rest of the book is well worth reading too :)
comment When creating an open source project, is coding in VB.net a bad idea?
Reference: Lisa Feigenbaum, a Microsoft PM in the .NET Managed Languages Group, said in 2009 that there were slightly more VB.NET developers than C#. If anyone has a more up-to-date reference please share it.
comment Is it legitimate to ask co-workers to use specific browser in an intranet website?
Next time, ask them first and then develop.
comment For what reasons should I choose C# over Java and C++?
"If you work in a Unix environment with e.g. web services" there are some other languages & frameworks that could be considered: ruby, Python, node.js etc
comment Writing unit test only for applications that requires them
+1. An example would be quick scripts written to support financial trading. You need an answer really quickly (within minutes at most), because you spot an opportunity. You are only going to run the script once. You need to be correct more often than not, but being fast is more important than being 100% accurate.
comment Tools that can catch “fake coverage”?
A dishonest good programmer will be able to circumvent the automatic check anyway. If you have dishonest bad programmers in your "small" team, you have a personnel problem not a technology problem.
comment Why is binary search,which needs sorted data, considered better than linear search?
If you search often and insert often, you might look at more complicated data structures (e.g. binary trees).
comment Is there any scholarly research on the detrimental effects of a noisy workplace on productivity?
@btilly +1. Whichever explanation is true, the organisation's management can still conclude that noise is bad. It's bad if productivity is lowered and it's very bad if productive people leave.
comment How to convince boss to buy Visual Studio 2012 Professional
Wait - you're a startup? Then Visual Studio and other good stuff should be free, or very cheap, through Microsoft BizSpark. If your company is less than 5 years old and making less than 1 million US $ a year, you qualify.
comment Author has inserted copyright into code with gnu public license notice - implications?
+1 Also in some jurisdictions code must be copyrighted by someone. They don't recognise the concept of "public domain". So the copyright must belong to someone, but that person grants permission to others through the license.