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Mar
25
comment Turn away a bug if no reproducible test case exists?
+1 for getting a record of the bug even without a repro; there's also the possibility that your testers might see the record and have a clue what happened.
Mar
25
comment Where is the golden mean between language monoculture and polyculture?
+1 for mentioning being replaceable. There is definitely a higher bar to new hires / other team members when the number of technologies starts to get out of hand.
Mar
24
comment How do you know you're writing good code?
+1 for being able to jump straight in after the weekend off. I'd say that's the biggest change I've seen in my code since college.
Mar
24
comment Can “Junior” be used in a resume?
@HLGEM - that's why I like it. I want employers to eliminate me if the position doesn't match my objective. It cuts down on poor fit interviews.
Mar
24
comment Project In A Week / development bootcamp
I disagree with having testers off-site for this. I think having dev / test work closely in this environment could have some big wins, and would make testers feel more like an integral part of the team and not second-rate citizens. Of course, I speak as an SDET
Mar
24
comment Project In A Week / development bootcamp
Agree with incentives. Here are some things that would appeal to me as a breadwinner / mother of 3: Double-comp time for overtime (2 hours off later for each hour worked, taken at my discretion). Double pay. An extra week of vacation and a bonus so I can use it to take my family somewhere nice. The key thing is that, whatever it is, it has to compensate both my husband and I - because when I work longer hours, so does he, as the SAHD; and, it has to be partly certain - not just "only if the product does well" income.
Mar
21
comment stuck on a programming problem solution
In college, this was called the "Gilligan's Island" approach - if stuck, go watch an episode of Gilligan's Island and then come back to it. They didn't mention specifically right-brained activities like drawing, but that does sound like it's worth trying out.
Mar
18
comment How is performance testing integrated into your product lifecycle?
@Evan, we're not (yet) dealing with a situation where such high levels of consistency are necessary or even valuable, and probably will never get to that point. We're not dealing with a system that needs to be highly optimized, we just need a heads-up about (a) how much traffic we can handle, and (b) if a code change causes a serious impact to our performance that we can't explain (suggesting a bug). I know one of my old teams was always fighting weird inconsistencies in context switches, however . .. sounds like something they might have been interested in trying
Mar
18
comment How is performance testing integrated into your product lifecycle?
Can you tell us something about your application? Is it a web application, desktop app, is tight performance very important? Or are you just wanting alerts for major regressions?
Mar
18
comment Why do ads for s/w engineers always say they “offer a fast-paced environment”?
I really disagree with this point of view. Fast-paced means that the team is really efficient and releases frequently. Yes, some companies abuse the phrase, probably stealing phrases they see used by successful companies which they pretend their own company is like. If the job sounds good, go to the interview and make sure you tell them your expectations for work hours in no uncertain language. Good fast-paced companies don't want martyrs, but do want efficient, reliable people with time management skills.
Mar
17
comment Why do ads for s/w engineers always say they “offer a fast-paced environment”?
@Chuck . . . thought about this a bit more, and decided the point isn't really off-topic. Thanks for the feedback, I updated the post.
Mar
17
comment Why do ads for s/w engineers always say they “offer a fast-paced environment”?
@Chuck - I agree that it is relative to the project. I'm not trying to say all projects should be fast-paced. My specific point above is that fast-paced shouldn't mean, "Constant emergencies and shoddy work", but "able to deliver significant business value frequently". What you are mentioning - that not all projects should be fast-paced - is very true, but not really on-topic (since they wouldn't be advertising as a 'fast-paced' work environment). But, yes, there are some projects that need a slower, more in-depth approach, and they have advantages as well for devs, depending on goals.
Mar
17
comment Code Documentation First?
+1 for TDD. Absolutely a better option than documenting, then having to change significant amounts of documentation if the code changes.
Mar
17
comment Not getting paid for hours you've worked?
@Frustrated: Management couldn't do that for me. I have children and a husband. Management can't do anything about my husband's irritation when I don't have time to do any housework, nor can it do anything about my kids losing touch with me (well, not entirely true . . . they could pay for a housekeeper for our family and invite my family to the provided meals when I work late, so I still get to see them at dinner - but haven't heard of this ever happening). IMO, it's up to management to make sure that people don't need to put in extra hours.
Mar
17
comment Why do ads for s/w engineers always say they “offer a fast-paced environment”?
Boring code and products are good, agreed. I think we're disagreeing about what "fast-paced" means in a work-environment. I think fast-paced means delivering business value quickly and consistently. I think people get confused and think it means working hard and being stressed, always being in emergency mode, etc. These things slow down the pace of releasing business value, however, and therefore are truly symptoms of a slow-paced work environment. I fixed my answer up to better explain my point-of-view on this.
Mar
17
comment Why do ads for s/w engineers always say they “offer a fast-paced environment”?
Is it wrong? I generally don't pick up new skills and grow my abilities doing boring work, and top talent generally still wants to grow. If that top talent wants work-life balance, it's even more important to be able to grow on the job and not only in their free time. On the other hand, people can often mix up "non-stop emergencies" with "interesting work". IME, emergencies are very boring and just get in the way of the interesting work offered by a real fast-paced environment.
Mar
11
comment Most underestimated programming tool
I do this all the time with my husband. As a tech support guy with just a smattering of programming ability, he understands about 60% of what I say but forces me to explain the 40% that I don't understand as well. The number of occasions where it works is really quite impressive.
Mar
10
comment Not getting paid for hours you've worked?
@Mercfh - I actually still get paid pretty well. Skill is more important for getting a high paycheck than the willingness to work long hours, IME. Look at it this way: If a company isn't smart enough to avoid constantly overworking their devs, they probably aren't smart enough to pay well to get the top talent. And, the top talent wouldn't stay; the top talent already has all the money they need, and doesn't need to work with a bunch of exhausted, stressed-out coworkers.
Mar
7
comment How important is it to learn jQuery with ASP.NET
If you are having trouble with JQuery, getting a better understanding of client-side coding and how AJAX works (without forms) might help. I also found JQuery boring with ASP .NET, because the WinForms covers up a lot of what happens with AJAX and client-side stuff. When I transitioned to ASP .NET MVC, however, I found that all that client-side stuff wasn't covered up anymore, and JQuery became both more useful and more interesting.
Mar
7
comment How important is it to learn jQuery with ASP.NET
+1 - I just went through the learning curve of moving from ASP .NET to ASP .NET MVC 2. For server-side code, it's an easy transition. For client-side / AJAX stuff, it's a very difficult transition. A much better understanding of how AJAX works and what it is is needed. Learning a little JQuery was a very important part of that transition, for me.