Questions tagged [communication]

Questions surrounding communications between programmers and the others involved in software development. This can include stakeholders, management, end users, designers, testers, and other developers.

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192
votes
25answers
23k views

How to convince my boss that quality is a good thing to have in code? [duplicate]

My boss came to me today to ask me if we could implement a certain feature in 1.5 days. I had a look at it and told him that 2 to 3 days would be more realistic. He then asked me: "And what if we do ...
157
votes
13answers
11k views

If my team has low skill, should I lower the skill of my code? [closed]

For example, there is a common snippet in JS to get a default value: function f(x) { x = x || 'default_value'; } This kind of snippet is not easily understood by all the members of my team, ...
152
votes
10answers
22k views

Would you put your Stack Overflow profile link on your CV / Resume? [closed]

If applying for a new job, would you put your Stack Overflow profile link on your resume? This would show the employer you're an active member of the development community and also provide an insight ...
140
votes
8answers
9k views

How do I get people to stop bikeshedding (focusing on trivialities)?

I have been tasked with teaching other teams a new codebase, but I keep running into an issue. Whenever I go to actually walk through the code with people, we don't get very far before the entire ...
123
votes
21answers
6k views

Is there a way to combat Sales perpetually overcommitting? [closed]

I seem to be repeatedly stuck in a situation where release dates are set not based on anything technical, but because someone in Sales has committed to a customer by then. Based on discussions with ...
95
votes
10answers
11k views

How to motivate co-workers to write unit-tests? [closed]

We're working on a large product which has been in production for about 5 years. The codebase is.. erm.. working. Not really well but it is working. New features are thrown into production and tested ...
93
votes
16answers
30k views

How to market yourself as a software developer? [closed]

I have noticed that this is a frequent issue among younglings from technical areas such as ours. In the beginning of our careers we simply don't know how to sell ourselves to our employers, and ...
92
votes
19answers
4k views

Dealing with management that does not see value in improvements that are not immediately visible to the user

I can understand schedule pressure. You want to please your users, as they are the lifeblood of the company. However, it is also true that certain changes will make everything easier down the road. ...
91
votes
10answers
11k views

Why do programmers still use mailing lists? [duplicate]

Why do many open source projects collaborate primarily through mailing lists rather than through, say, forums? I may be ignorant in my assessment, but I, along with my communication teacher, think ...
79
votes
14answers
8k views

How important is it for a programmer to have an online presence? [closed]

I've noticed more and more mentions (both in posts here and in actual job descriptions) of programmers' "portfolios" - typically their public profiles on sites such as this, GitHub, etc. How ...
74
votes
22answers
16k views

Job hopping, is it a problem? [closed]

How would you, as someone involved in the hiring process (manager,interviewer, etc) feel about a candidate that has changed jobs every 1-2 years? updateThanks for all the input everybody, some really ...
72
votes
7answers
8k views

How do I take responsibility for my code when colleague makes unnecessary improvements without notice?

One of my teammates is a jack of all trades in our IT shop and I respect his insight. However, sometimes he reviews my code (he's second in command to our team leader, so that's expected) without a ...
69
votes
5answers
7k views

Why do some big projects, like Git and Debian, only use a mailing list and not an issue tracker?

Bug tracker for any decent sized project seem like a bit of a no-brainer to me - it makes it really easy to organise hundreds or thousands issues, without issues colliding or getting mixed up. So ...
64
votes
18answers
10k views

How to tell your boss that his programming style is really bad? [duplicate]

I'm a student and in my spare time I'm working for a big enterprise as Java developer. The job is good, but the problem is, my boss writes very strange code. I don't want to complain, but some issues ...
60
votes
5answers
4k views

How to explain to a non-technical person why the task will take much longer than they think? [closed]

Almost every developer has to answer questions from business side like: Why is going to take 2 days to add this simple contact form? When a developer estimates this task, they may divide it into ...
52
votes
21answers
8k views

How do you explain refactoring to a non-technical person?

How do you go about explaining refactoring (and technical debt) to a non-technical person (typically a PHB or customer)? ("What, it's going to cost me a month of your work with no visible difference?!"...
52
votes
18answers
17k views

How to manage a developer who has poor communication skills

I manage a small team of developers on an application which is in the mid-point of its lifecycle, within a big firm. This unfortunately means there is commonly a 30/70 split of Programming tasks to "...
49
votes
15answers
8k views

Company outsourced testing; how can we encourage programmers to stop overly relying on testers?

A friend of mine is working in a 200-employee company. The company's business has nothing to do with IT, but they do have an IT department to work, among others, on their website, used by the ...
47
votes
11answers
7k views

How do I approach a coworker about his or her code quality? [duplicate]

I work on a new venture at a large enterprise software company (3000+ programmers). In my group, we have a bunch of projects and people usually work on several projects over the course of a year. I ...
45
votes
8answers
2k views

How to advocate Stack Overflow at work [closed]

I am thinking of doing a short presentation at work about using Stack Overflow as a resource for your day job. What is your experience doing this? Would you deem it a valid resource to tell ...
43
votes
18answers
6k views

How do you share your craft with non programmers?

Sometimes I feel like a musician who can't play live shows. Programming is a pretty cool skill, and a very broad world, but a lot of it happens "off camera"- in your head, in your office, away from ...
40
votes
17answers
7k views

Will my communication skills be wasted in a software engineering career? [closed]

I've been in the financial engineering arena (after BA Math and BA Computer Science) for about 5 years (20% analysis/programming, 80% communicating) and take pride in my ability to communicate with ...
39
votes
11answers
3k views

How do I prove to management that our programmers could work more productively? [duplicate]

Backstory I graduated less than a year ago with a degree in Computer Science (with extra courses in software engineering), and another degree in Software Engineering. I'd like to think that I'm ...
39
votes
5answers
4k views

How do you disarm a cowboy coder? [closed]

I found a question (code cowboy on the team), but it was more related to "Ninja Coder" then the problem that I have. I have a team member who is a pure living example of "Cowboy Coder". I do ...
38
votes
19answers
4k views

What do you say in a code review when the other person built an over complicated solution? [closed]

The other day I reviewed code someone on my team wrote. The solution wasn't fully functional and the design was way over complicated-- meaning stored unnecessary information, built unnecessary ...
37
votes
7answers
16k views

How do I convince my boss to use REST over SOAP? [duplicate]

We need to create an API to our system. How do I convince my boss that REST is a better option than SOAP (or XML-RPC)? I say REST is... easier to implement and maintain not much new to learn -- ...
36
votes
12answers
3k views

How to explain my 5 burnt-out years off to a new employer? [closed]

Five years ago, I lost my ability to concentrate long-term, and therefore ability to code with professional efficiency. I know why it happened, I understood how it happened, and on top of being able ...
36
votes
4answers
7k views

Etiquette when asking questions in an IRC channel [closed]

Many larger OSS projects maintain IRC channels to discuss their usage or development. When I get stuck on using a project, having tried and failed to find information on the web, one of the ways I try ...
34
votes
11answers
2k views

Is mentioning my blog on my resume helpful or hurtful to a job search? [closed]

I have a blog that I use mostly to record solutions to problems I have had, that I had some trouble finding an answer to. Mostly problems where the online doc I googled provided too much info, and I ...
30
votes
12answers
5k views

How To Deal With Terrible Design Decisions [duplicate]

I'm a consultant at one company. There is another consultant who is a year older than me and has been here 3 months longer than I have, and a full time developer. The full-time developer is great. ...
30
votes
5answers
2k views

What is an effective way to record rationales behind product design decisions?

At our company, we do not use any product design documents. We have three employees total so all product design discussion happens in person, or on Slack. (We are also on the basic Slack package that ...
28
votes
7answers
1k views

How can I change sloppy company culture? [closed]

Sometimes when I have a problem that needs to be solved, I find that the easiest way to solve it is by writing a small program as a personal tool. I don't make it super usable or super robust, as I am ...
27
votes
26answers
3k views

Should managers prohibit programmers from using IM in office? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Would you allow your programmers to use Messenger and social networks like Facebook? A manager may believe that using IM clients in the office is not acceptable, but many ...
27
votes
9answers
3k views

How to deal with misconceptions about “premature optimization is the root of all evil”?

I've encountered many people who are dogmatically against anything which can be considered "optimization" in the general English-language sense of the word, and they very often quote verbatim the (...
26
votes
5answers
3k views

How to explain why design choices are good? [closed]

As I've become a better developer, I find that much of my design skill comes more from intuition than mechanical analysis. This is great. It lets me read code and get a feel for it quicker. It lets me ...
24
votes
10answers
3k views

How can I give a good presentation to important, non-technical stakeholders?

At the end of the month, I have to give a presentation on a software project that I've been working on by myself that will basically decide whether or not I will get a full-time job at the company I'm ...
24
votes
4answers
1k views

How to dissuade a customer who just learned a technology and wants to use it everywhere? [closed]

My customer recently discovered what is URL Rewriting, without completely understanding what it is, how it works and the pros and cons of it. Now, he asks for lots of strange changes in actual ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

Is this simple XOR encrypted communication absolutely secure?

Say Alice and Peter each have a 4GB USB flash memory stick. They meet and save on both sticks two files named alice_to_peter.key (2GB) and peter_to_alice.key (2GB) which contain randomly generated ...
23
votes
8answers
2k views

How do I cope with a manager who’s always interfering in what I do, but doesn’t really understand it?

We've all had them, managers who have either come from sales or last looked at code 10 or more years ago but think they know how to write code. What can I do to give the impression that I'm grateful ...
22
votes
8answers
5k views

How do you make slides for programming talks? [closed]

I've given a few talks recently and I have not found a good way to make slides. Here are a few desirable characteristics for programming slides: They're slides. A standard emacs buffer won't do it. ...
21
votes
10answers
3k views

Manager keeps changing requirement specification after every demo [closed]

Background of my working environment My manager has no background or understanding of computers or software whatsoever. It is highly likely he hasn't seen code in any form (not even from a physical ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

“Too object-oriented”

I come from a strong OO background, and I have recently started working in an organization which, although the code is written in Java, has a lot less emphasis on good OO design than what I am used to....
21
votes
8answers
575 views

What do I do when my team leader is breaking my database schema with a release coming up?

My team leader has this terrible habit of mucking with the database schema, and making changes that would cause severe breakage on the code base (without really consulting me on how the changes would ...
20
votes
10answers
3k views

How can my team avoid frequent errors after refactoring?

To give you a little background: I work for a company with roughly twelve Ruby on Rails developers (+/- interns). Remote work is common. Our product is made out of two parts: a rather fat core, and ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

How to tackle a boss/manager who likes to race the coders [closed]

After a recent restructuring happened in our corporation - I have got a new line manager. He is generally ok and not as sneaky as the previous one. By "sneaky" I don't mean he was an evil manager - I ...
20
votes
7answers
19k views

How to run developer team meetings?

Our team of 10 developers meet weekly. The meetings are rather boring and not particularly useful. What format/agenda do you utilize to have good meetings? We meet weekly in the conference room with ...
19
votes
11answers
4k views

What responses disqualify a candidate from hiring during the interview? [closed]

You are in the process of looking for candidates for a software development position, all the resumes are reviewed, and you made a couple of interview invites. Now, the folks show up in the conference ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

How to convince/prove my manager that a rewriting is needed rather than a refactoring [duplicate]

My manager wants me to refactor a gigantic amount of terribly-coupled, macroed, full of private namespace methods, hierarchy-perverted (even 10+ levels of inheritance) code which hasn't been (indeed) ...
19
votes
13answers
2k views

What to do if a co-worker is editing your code just to change the appearance?

What should you do, if a co-worker is editing your code? Without the purpose of adding functionality or fixing bugs, just to change how it looks...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Public Speaking in software development [closed]

Greetings my fellow cubicle dwellers. I've found my role gradually change from "feature-maintainer" to "feature-developer". While much of the former would consist of fixing and/or updating an ...

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