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seen Oct 16 at 15:35

Nov
16
answered Suggestions for getting an open source electron beam tracking code going
Nov
16
comment Is the use of explicit ' == true' comparison always bad?
It is hardly worth thinking about. There are SO MANY MUCH WORSE things than "x == True" as far as readability is concerned. If thats the worst thing you find on any given day consider yourself lucky.
Nov
15
comment How do you manage feature requests and software changes?
I use Nancy Reagan's slogan: "Just say NO!" Seriously. Never commit to anything on the spot. That's one of the ways software engineers get into big trouble. It is very important to resist making casual commitments or even estimations of whether something is "hard" or "easy". Always defer the decision and then take some of excellent advice that will appear in the answers. Your reputation depends on being able to deliver your commitments-- and it will be degraded profoundly as soon as you make too many commitments.
Nov
14
comment What modern alternatives to Numerical Recipes exist?
The algorithms themselves are very good for general purpose problem-solving. It is their implementations that might leave something to be desired. But that is OK because the code in the book is simple enough to modify to whatever your tastes are. The implementations in the chapters are fairly "self-contained" and free of cruft. Numerical recipes is still a good reference for times when you need to implement some basic numerical stuff but don't want/need a huge complex or expensive library or framework.
Nov
12
answered How do I do TDD on embedded devices?
Nov
10
comment Is it normal to think about a design problem for days with no code written?
This is a manifestation of the "WISCY" (why isn't someone coding yet?) anti-pattern. You just need to convince yourself that you're doing something valuable by NOT hitting the IDE right-away.
Nov
10
comment Is it normal to think about a design problem for days with no code written?
@Morons, I think it is important to clarify that the intent of "tracer bullets" is not to write code that will actually end up in the final product. "Tracer bullets" allow you to explore how to deal with potential implementation snags. This is an extremely valuable practice, but some folks really have a problem with "throwing away" code and this is why it often gets "re-used" against the will of its original developers.
Nov
7
comment Should I accept to write unsecure code if my employer requests me to do so?
Has anyone ever really consulted a lawyer about something like this? Seems like a big waste of money to me. Looks like this is a problem of effectively communicating the potential risks to the manager who wants to store stuff in clear text. Perhaps the manager (correctly or incorrectly) doesn't see much of a liability with the "worst case scenario" of the passwords getting into the hands of hacker.
Nov
2
comment How to handle management pushing legacy systems?
@James, the format of the document, in your context, is totally irrelevant. What matters is that you 1) identify the changes you need to make, 2) describe a concrete plan for implementing them, and 3) persuade those involved to agree to the plan. In an environment where things are "ad-hoc" formal document structure means nothing.
Nov
2
comment How much effort should you put into a junior developer?
Have you had a discussion with the intern about this? Tell them your point of view and listen to what they have to say. Maybe they're overwhelmed and "disconnecting" is their way of dealing with it. Interns are "trying out" professions. It isn't always a good fit and that's OK. If it isn't working out, try getting them placed somewhere else in the company.
Nov
2
comment How to handle management pushing legacy systems?
I sympathize with your problem. Sadly, there is no easy way around this and I am sure your question has been asked before in many different ways. One thing I would recommend is to avoid writing a report with "open-ended" concerns. Managers (especially non-technical ones) HATE that whether they say it outright or not. If you complain about something, you have to make concrete and practical recommendations for making it better.
Oct
31
comment Fastest C++ XML parsing library
How "fast" do you need it? What have you tried that is too slow?
Oct
28
comment How good does a well-rounded programmer need to be with bit-wise operations?
@tcrosely, yes, you're absolutely correct. Perhaps a better example than "http" would have been something like "ORM" or "JEE". The main point is one generally can't have mastery over some subject matter unless they practice it regularly.
Oct
28
answered How good does a well-rounded programmer need to be with bit-wise operations?
Oct
28
revised How should I go about fixing code from a less-experienced programmer?
edited body
Oct
22
comment How can I convince management to deal with technical debt?
I mostly agree except that it is well-known that even crappy software has a tendency to survive far longer than its creators expect. But you're right, it is better to not complain. Instead, if you see some limited-scale re-factoring that will help the comprehensibility of the code it might be worth it to go ahead and make the changes WITHOUT PERMISSION during your maintenance/bug-fixes (and incur a risk doing so).
Oct
21
answered How can we plan projects realistically while accounting for support issues?
Oct
19
comment Are there any jobs in the programming field that don't require you to sit at a desk all day?
Yes, industrial automation (not always PLC, by the way) jobs always need programmers. BUT BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR! I once spent a week debugging a customer application in a machine tool facility while standing behind a vibratory hopper (a large metal vat filled with bolts that was being constantly shaken).
Oct
18
comment Is there any circumstance in which a strict waterfall project can succeed when requirements are not clearly defined?
Yes, you need to define what you mean by "strict" waterfall, "succeed" and "progress". Faulty requirements capture will, of course, cause dates to slip regardless of methodology. Whether or not that causes the project to be terminated without reaching completion depends on the what the stakeholders have to say about it.
Oct
13
comment Should interviews for programming positions be CS knowledge focused or behavioral focused?
@Loki Astari, Thinking back on all the major screw-ups/messes I've seen or been involved with the root cause was never because of a "lack of specific skills" in any one team member. The messes were often caused by something related to how people work with others and make decisions. In other words, something behavioral. On the other hand, projects with the very best outcomes frequently overcome skill-set limitations in one/all team-members. Software engineering still has a long way to go before it becomes as mature a discipline as other more traditional engineering fields.