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Sep
24
awarded  Autobiographer
Jan
10
comment Is it possible for a good programmer to have never used version control?
(To illustrate the point, it's not unheard of for hobby programmers who work alone on solo projects without team experience to be relatively better at code writing and architecture than at reading other people's code - they're doing the former a lot more than the latter. Conversely, a developer who maintains large codebases for a living but never designs a full system may sometimes be a lot better at reading foreign code than at architecture - same principle. Both can be considered "good programmers", they just focus on different skills.)
Jan
10
comment Is it possible for a good programmer to have never used version control?
Software development involves a number of different skills - e.g. code writing, code reading, architecture, VCS usage, etc. It's desirable to be good at as many of these skills as possible, and VCS usage is clearly an important one to be good at. Nevertheless, it is theoretically possible to be good at code writing, code reading and architecture without using version control. Not having ever used version control does suggest a degree of eremitism, and likely a lack of experience, but it doesn't tell you that someone can't write good code. The two skills are distinct.
Jul
24
comment Are unit tests really that useful?
@Mason: I entirely agree that trying to cover everything is crazy - I've tried it in the past and it simply doesn't work well. That doesn't mean that you can't cover the important things that you're worried might not work. When you focus on the boundary inputs to your functions, you're homing in on the things you think are risky. You can apply the same principle to your codebase as a whole and test the modules that you think are risky too. I've also tried this, and it's worked a lot better. I don't think it proves my code correct, but it lets me try my code out in isolation.
Jul
24
comment Are unit tests really that useful?
There's a world of difference between claiming that unit tests somehow "prove" that your program is correct (which is clearly nonsense) and claiming that they are still useful (which to my mind is very much not nonsense). If you habitually write non-working code, then the fact that you also write (quite possibly equally non-working) unit tests will not save you. That doesn't mean that tests are not a useful addition to code that is already good. You don't use unit tests to try and prove correctness - you use them as a useful sanity check, focusing on the boundary cases.
Dec
11
awarded  Teacher
Dec
11
comment How can a new programmer impress the software engineer (boss)?
And before Software Monkey directs the same point at me as at Steven...I have upvoted Mason's answer :) Just wanted to put a slightly different slant on things.
Dec
11
awarded  Supporter
Dec
11
answered How can a new programmer impress the software engineer (boss)?