All Questions

56
votes
11answers
37k views

Is the 80 character limit still relevant in times of widescreen monitors? [closed]

on a widescreen monitor one can easily see more than 80 characters at a time, without scrollbars. even linus torvalds sees the 80 character limit as outdated. so, is the 80 character limit still ...
14
votes
10answers
2k views

Will correctness proofs of code ever go mainstream? [closed]

All but the most trivial programs are filled with bugs and so anything that promises to remove them is extremely alluring. At the moment, correctness proofs are code are extremely esoteric, mainly ...
15
votes
8answers
1k views

Do you think managed OSes are a good idea? [closed]

Managed OSes like Microsoft Singularity and JNode are quite an interesting concept. Essentially, the OS is bootstrapped with code written in a low-level language (C/C++/Assembly), which essentially ...
27
votes
12answers
13k views

Is using goto ever worthwhile?

goto is almost universally discouraged. Is using this statement ever worthwhile?
32
votes
6answers
2k views

How can you learn to design nice looking websites? [closed]

I am a moderately capable web developer. I can put stuff where I want it to go and put some JQuery stuff in there if I need to. However, if I am making my own website (which I am starting to do) I ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Why '42' is the preferred number when indicating something random?

I have seen this on the SO on many times. Whenever a question is vague and the question is asking some magical answer somebody or the other leaves a comment saying answer is 42. Even a book I am ...
7
votes
9answers
966 views

What's the first thing you write when trying out a new language? [closed]

I think everyone has their own program or set of features beyond "Hello World!", that they use when trying out a new language. Mine is a guessing game: I'm thinking of a number 1-10, guess what it ...
27
votes
36answers
6k views

What syntax element do you hate most in a programming language you use frequently? [closed]

No matter how much you love a programming language, there are always a few details in it that aren’t quite as nice as they could be. In this question, I would like to specifically focus on syntax ...
49
votes
7answers
10k views

When does pair programming work? When to avoid it?

Rather than slavishly pair program all the time, we use pair programming selectively on our team. I think it works best in the following circumstances: Ramping up brand new team members on a project (...
38
votes
20answers
34k views

How important is the ability to touch-type? [closed]

Did you learn to touch-type when you were already working as a programmer? If so how did it affect your productivity? Or are you still unable to touch type and do you think it holds you back? ...
40
votes
15answers
3k views

How would you design a programming language? [closed]

If you were to design a programming language, how would you do it? What features would you put in? What would you leave out? Statically or dynamically typed? Strongly or weakly typed? Compiled or ...
4
votes
4answers
456 views

What techniques are used in solving code golf problems?

"Regular" golf vs. code golf: Both are competitions. Both have a well-defined set of rules, which I'll leave out for simplicity. Both have well-defined goals; in short, "use fewer hits/characters ...
18
votes
1answer
525 views

Is there any hard data to back up “Human task switches considered harmful”?

Joel Spolsky wrote a famous blog post "Human Task Switches considered harmful". While I agree with the premise and it seems like common sense, I'm wondering if there are any studies or white papers ...
114
votes
30answers
92k views

How old is “too old”? [closed]

I've been told that to be taken seriously as a job applicant, I should drop years of relevant experience off my résumé, remove the year I got my degree, or both. Or not even bother applying, because ...
61
votes
18answers
73k views

Why do people still say Java is slow? [closed]

For a long time in SO and in other places Java has the reputation of being slow. From jokes to many comments in questions and answers, people still believe Java is slow based solely on experience with ...
27
votes
6answers
1k views

Should companies consider remote employees or stick to local employees? [closed]

Elite developers can be 10x more productive than an average developer. Clearly it's easier to find an elite developer around the whole world than in a company's backyard. If a company is not ...
152
votes
11answers
96k views

How can I find a good open source project to join? [closed]

I just started working a year ago, and I want to join an open source project for the same reasons as anyone else: help create something useful and develop my skills further. My problem is, I don't ...
41
votes
25answers
99k views

Will Java still be relevant in 5 years? [closed]

Will Java have the same importance it had in the past, or it will be less relevant than nowadays?
23
votes
24answers
2k views

I program from home. What can I do to be more productive? [closed]

Programming from home has its advantages, but also its disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is the productivity is less constant. What would you suggest me to be more productive?
62
votes
5answers
10k views

When is Singleton appropriate? [closed]

Some hold that the Singleton Pattern is always an anti-pattern. What do you think?
23
votes
17answers
57k views

Is COBOL still worth learning? [closed]

Does learning COBOL still make sense?
22
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the origin of foo and bar? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Using “Foo” and “Bar” in examples I know AT&T labs used them in their Unix days, but do they have even deeper histories?
125
votes
6answers
15k views

Agile for the Solo Developer

How would someone implement Agile process concepts as a solo developer? Agile seems useful for getting applications developed at a faster pace, but it also seems very team oriented...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

What are some interesting but not too difficult projects for a beginner kernel hacker?

Having taken a course in Operating Systems I'm interested in expanding my knowledge of the Linux kernel and practice working with a big system. What are some interesting but not overly difficult ...
30
votes
4answers
2k views

Are there areas where TDD provides a high ROI and other areas where the ROI is so low that it is not worth following? [closed]

Test driven development. I get it, like it. But writing tests does require overhead. So should TDD be used universally throughout the code base, or are there areas where TDD provides a high ROI and ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

Is test coverage an adequate measure of code quality?

If I have some code that has 80% test coverage (all tests pass), is it fair to say that it's of higher quality than code with no test coverage? Or is it fair to say it's more maintainable?
15
votes
8answers
929 views

When should I care about performance?

For the longest time in places like Java's IRC channel, SO, and other places I've been told something along the lines of "Worry about how the code looks and its readability/understandability now, and ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What are your thoughts about the Actor Model? [closed]

The Actor Model which is used by Erlang seems to be a very different way to do concurrent programming. What are your thoughts about the Actor Model? Will it be a popular solution for concurrency?
20
votes
10answers
2k views

Language agnostic programming books [closed]

Are there any great programming or software development books that are language agnostic? Why should I read it?
58
votes
17answers
19k views

As a software engineer, who should I be following on Twitter? [closed]

Who in the software engineering and software development fields uses Twitter to tweet about relevant happenings in the field?
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Hourly or per project billing? [closed]

How do you bill your programming projects? Do you do it per hour? Per job? Please include what kind of project you are doing in the answer. (Mobile, Web, Desktop, etc... You can be more specific if ...
13
votes
2answers
812 views

Business trying to make technical decisions

We've often run across scenarios where the business will promise a client a new feature. The business will promise that the feature be implemented in a specific way. These technical details promised ...
27
votes
7answers
2k views

What techniques do you use when interviewing developers? [closed]

I realize there have been lots of discussions about this type of thing and they often devolve into dogma around whether you ask the "100 logical pirates" type of questions or whether you get them to ...
16
votes
4answers
536 views

How to manage scope creep?

We often receive last minute requests from the business asking for an extra feature to be implemented. The project manager is usually responsible for filtering out these requests as "must haves" or "...
84
votes
22answers
513k views

Tabs versus spaces—what is the proper indentation character for everything, in every situation, ever? [closed]

The coding standards for the code hosted in drupal.org suggest to use two spaces to indent the code; other sites suggest to use tabs to indent the code. What is the proper indentation character for ...
59
votes
12answers
12k views

Why isn't functional programming more popular in the industry? Does it catch on now? [closed]

During my four years at university we have been using much functional programming in several functional programming languages. But I have also used much object oriented programming to, and in fact I ...
72
votes
29answers
127k views

Are certifications worth it?

I am finishing my college degree in programming soon and I'm exploring the next steps to take to further my career. One option I've been considering is getting a certification or a series of ...
22
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 ...
110
votes
166answers
57k views

What's your favourite quote about programming? [closed]

What's your favourite quote about programming? One quote per answer, and please check for duplicates before posting!
8
votes
2answers
540 views

How much effort should be put in each part of a waterfall project?

Where waterfall commonly includes: Requirements Functional design Technical design Build Test Review (Deploy) And iterations across this list. If I forgot a step, let me know.
6
votes
4answers
629 views

Which (programming) specialities are needed in a good web development team? [closed]

At first glance, I'd say a good programming team needs to understand the following matters: The details of the core language / framework HTML, (asynchronous) javascript SQL / data model Usability / ...
34
votes
9answers
6k views

Do dynamic typed languages deserve all the criticism? [closed]

I have read a few articles on Internet about programming language choice in the enterprise. Recently many dynamic typed languages have been popular, i.e. Ruby, Python, PHP and Erlang. But many ...
39
votes
24answers
11k views

How do you stay focused at work? [closed]

Sometimes, the things I have to do for my job are interesting and engaging. Sometimes, they aren't. Occasionally, they really aren't. Do you have any particular strategies or tricks for dealing ...
66
votes
12answers
8k views

Getting non-programmers to understand the development process

When starting a project for a company that's not primarily a programming company, one of the expectations is that there's a finished product at the end free of all bugs and does everything needed ...
100
votes
34answers
40k views

“Comments are a code smell” [closed]

A coworker of mine believes that any use of in-code comments (ie, not javadoc style method or class comments) is a code smell. What do you think?
2
votes
4answers
125 views

How to restrict viral file sharing

So I have a website I would like to make that would essentially be selling files. For the sake of discussion let's say that these files are like the raw text of a book. If somebody buys a file from my ...
22
votes
16answers
6k views

Is it ok if I don't know C but I am good with C++? [closed]

I have a question which I think can be best answered here. I am pretty good with C++, good as in I am comfortable with the language, I have read Accelerated C++ and done almost all the exercises. ...
16
votes
7answers
522 views

What optimizations are premature? [duplicate]

I've been here for nearly a month and it seems that people have a tendency to be eager to use the "Premature Optimization is the root of all evil" argument as soon as someone mentions efficiency. ...
9
votes
5answers
7k views

How to specify WIP limits in Kanban?

Consider a typical Kanban board: Input, Analysis, Dev Ready, Development, Build Ready, Test, Release Ready How to specify WIP limits for each column? any formula?
9
votes
10answers
13k views

Switch from C# to Java, which “gotchas” I should care?

I may have to switch to Java for new project. I have very little knowledge about Java, because I've mainly studied and used C#, and I'm afraid of the differences between these two language/platform ...

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