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119
votes
7answers
14k views

How to avoid being forked into oblivion by a more powerful contributor?

As recently reported here: Xamarin has forked Cocos2D-XNA, a 2D/3D game development framework, creating a cross-platform library that can be included in PCL projects. However the founder of ...
118
votes
14answers
34k views

Is there any technical reason why, in programming, the default date format is YYYYMMDD and not something else?

Is there any engineering reason why is it like that? I was wondering in the case of a RDBMS that it had something to do with performance, since a "YEAR" is more specific than a "MONTH", for instance: ...
118
votes
18answers
12k views

When should I make the first commit to source control?

I'm never sure when a project is far enough along to first commit to source control. I tend to put off committing until the project is 'framework-complete,' and I primarily commit features from then ...
118
votes
27answers
25k views

Is source code generation an anti-pattern?

If something can be generated, then that thing is data, not code. Given that, isn't this whole idea of source code generation a misunderstanding? That is, if there is a code generator for something, ...
118
votes
11answers
53k views

What backs up the claim that C++ can be faster than a JVM or CLR with JIT? [closed]

A reoccurring theme on SE I've noticed in many questions is the ongoing argument that C++ is faster and/or more efficient than higher level languages like Java. The counter-argument is that modern JVM ...
118
votes
16answers
9k views

Should I remove unreferenced code?

I'm working on a medium sized (100k lines) code base, it's all relatively recent code (less than a year old) and has good unit test coverage. I keep coming across methods which are either no longer ...
118
votes
8answers
28k views

Criticism and disadvantages of dependency injection

Dependency injection (DI) is a well known and fashionable pattern. Most of engineers know its advantages, like: Making isolation in unit testing possible/easy Explicitly defining dependencies of a ...
118
votes
14answers
17k views

Why do most programming languages only support returning a single value from a function? [closed]

Is there a reason why functions in most(?) programming languages are designed to support any number of input parameters but only one return value? In most languages, it is possible to "work around" ...
117
votes
5answers
16k views

What are the advantages of using branching as a solo developer?

First off, I am aware that many questions have been asked about VCS as a solo developer, but they are often too broad. This concerns only branching, and still it has been marked as a duplicate...the ...
117
votes
8answers
12k views

What is the most effective way to add functionality to unfamiliar, structurally unsound code? [duplicate]

This is probably something everyone has to face during the development sooner or later. You have an existing code written by someone else, and you have to extend it to work under new requirements. ...
117
votes
15answers
120k views

Is LISP still useful in today's world? Which version is most used?

I try to teach myself a new programming language in regular intervals of time. Recently, I've read how Lisp and its dialects are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from languages like C/C++, ...
117
votes
11answers
31k views

The modern way to perform error handling…

I've been pondering this problem for a while now and find myself continually finding caveats and contradictions, so I'm hoping someone can produce a conclusion to the following: Favour exceptions ...
117
votes
4answers
67k views

Difference between Dependency Injection (DI) and Inversion of Control (IOC)

I've been seeing a lot of references of Dependency Injection (DI) & Inversion Of Control (IOC), but I don't really know if there is a difference between them or not. I would like to start using ...
116
votes
8answers
99k views

Why is trailing whitespace a big deal? [closed]

Trailing whitespace is enough of a problem for programmers that editors like Emacs have special functions that highlight it or get rid of it automatically, and many coding standards require you to ...
115
votes
17answers
7k views

Should I tell someone that their commit caused a regression?

When you track down and fix a regression—i.e. a bug that caused previously working code to stop working—version control makes it entirely possible to look up who committed the change that broke it. ...
115
votes
8answers
13k views

What to do when code submitted for code review appears to be too complicated?

The code is difficult to follow but it appears to be (mostly) working well, at least with superficial testing. There might be small bugs here and there but it's very hard to tell by reading the code ...
115
votes
14answers
108k views

Why is 0 false?

This question may sound dumb, but why does 0 evaluates to false and any other [integer] value to true is most of programming languages? String comparison Since the question seems a little bit too ...
115
votes
20answers
8k views

Is the phrase “never reinvent the wheel” suitable for students?

I find myself constantly running into this expression "don't reinvent the wheel" or "never reinvent the wheel" when I ask some questions on SO. They tell you to use some frameworks or existing ...
115
votes
6answers
55k views

What really is the “business logic”?

I'm working with web development since 2009, when I started with PHP. When I moved to ASP.NET I've heard a lot about DDD and OOAD where a lot of focus is given to this "business logic" and "business ...
115
votes
5answers
60k views

How can Swift be so much faster than Objective-C in these comparisons?

Apple launched its new programming language Swift at WWDC14. In the presentation, they made some performance comparisons between Objective-C and Python. The following is a picture of one of their ...
114
votes
30answers
95k 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 ...
114
votes
18answers
30k views

Dealing with engineers that frequently leave their jobs [closed]

My friend is a project manager for a software company. The most frustrating thing for him is that his engineers frequently leave their jobs. The company works hard to recruit new engineers, transfer ...
114
votes
16answers
22k views

Should I add redundant code now just in case it may be needed in the future?

Rightly or wrongly, I'm currently of the belief that I should always try to make my code as robust as possible, even if this means adding in redundant code / checks that I know won't be of any use ...
114
votes
8answers
40k views

Why are many programmers moving their code to github?

For the past 6 months or more, I've been seeing many codes hosted at sourceforge.net as well as other hosting sites "Move to GitHub". A mere Google Search with the phrase "Moved to Github" returns ...
114
votes
11answers
96k views

Are there guidelines on how many parameters a function should accept?

I've noticed a few functions I work with have 6 or more parameters, whereas in most libraries I use it is rare to find a function that takes more than 3. Often a lot of these extra parameters are ...
113
votes
20answers
6k views

Project Manager that wants to lock in time estimate with a signed contract

At a previous employment, a project manager (PM) wasn't satisfied with the delivery time of the code on a project I was on. I was told by my project lead that that the PM was considering having me ...
113
votes
16answers
10k views

How to avoid “DO YOU HAZ TEH CODEZ” situations?

I have a strange situation at work, where a colleague of mine often asks me and other co-workers for working code. I would like to help him, but this constant request of trivial snippets interrupts ...
113
votes
15answers
106k views

Why big companies use Perforce? [closed]

I heard about some big companies e.g. Google, Facebook use Perforce Are there any reason why SVN/Git cannot replace Perforce?
113
votes
16answers
55k views

Should one check for null if he does not expect null?

Last week, we had a heated argument about handling nulls in our application's service layer. The question is in the .NET context, but it will be the same in Java and many other technologies. The ...
113
votes
10answers
17k views

My coworker commits and pushes without testing

When my coworker thinks that there is no need for a test on his PC, he makes changes, commits and then pushes. Then he tests on the production server and realizes that he made a mistake. It happens ...
112
votes
90answers
23k views

Stuff every programmer needs while working

I've been tasked with creating a fun and relaxing environment, one thing I know that I want is ergonomic mice and keyboards, others have suggested exercise balls and bands. What is it that every ...
112
votes
39answers
84k views

Why are zero-based arrays the norm?

A question asked here reminded me of a discussion I had with a fellow programmer. He argued that zero-based arrays should be replaced with one-based arrays since arrays being zero-based is an ...
112
votes
12answers
30k views

Why are multiple programming languages used in the development of one product or piece of software?

I am a recent grad student aiming to start my Master's in Computer Science. I have come across multiple open source projects that really intrigue me and encourage me to contribute to them (CloudStack, ...
112
votes
14answers
23k views

What triggered the popularity of lambda functions in modern mainstream programming languages?

In the last few years anonymous functions (AKA lambda functions) have become a very popular language construct and almost every major / mainstream programming language has introduced them or is ...
112
votes
4answers
59k views

What operating systems are used in airplanes, and what programming languages are they developed in? [closed]

I was wondering if anyone knows what is the operating system used in commercial airplanes (say Boeing or Airbus). Also, what is the (preferred) real-time programing language? I heard that Ada is used ...
112
votes
4answers
14k views

What's the phone number equivalent of example.org?

RFC 2606 standard reserves the domain names example.org, example.net and example.com for the purpose of being used as examples in documentation. What is an equivalent for a phone number (including ...
112
votes
3answers
51k views

Why Was Python Written with the GIL?

The global interpreter lock (GIL) seems to be often cited as a major reason why threading and the like is a touch tricky in Python - which raises the question "Why was that done in the first place?" ...
112
votes
2answers
491k views

How to detect the encoding of a file?

On my filesystem (Windows 7) I have some text files (These are SQL script files, if that matters). When opened with Notepad++, in the "Encoding" menu some of them are reported to have an encoding of "...
111
votes
17answers
8k views

Being stupid to get better productivity?

I've spent a lot of time reading different books about "good design", "design patterns", etc. I'm a big fan of the SOLID approach and every time I need to write a simple piece of code, I think about ...
111
votes
13answers
14k views

Why don't we store the syntax tree instead of the source code?

We have a lot of programming languages. Every language is parsed and syntax checked before being translated into code so an abstract syntax tree (AST) is built. We have this abstract syntax tree, why ...
111
votes
7answers
40k views

Do you have to include a license notice with every source file?

I've been looking for various licenses that I can use for an open-source project of mine, but all of the projects that I've seen, with all kinds of licenses, appear to have a giant, obnoxious (in my ...
110
votes
166answers
59k 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!
110
votes
13answers
19k views

Should we avoid language features that C++ has but Java doesn't?

Suppose I am limited to use C++ by the environment in the project. Is it good to prevent the use of some language features that C++ has but Java doesn't have (e.g.: multiple inheritance, operator ...
110
votes
14answers
18k views

How can I maintain code quality without SCM?

I am working in a governmental institution. The technology being used here and the methods for developing software are quite old fashioned. They have tons of storage space but no appropriate space ...
110
votes
5answers
41k views

Why do people fork repositories on GitHub? [closed]

I noticed that a lot of GitHub accounts only have repositories which are forked from other accounts. In addition the people who do this usually don't make any contributions to the forked repositories. ...
110
votes
10answers
263k views

Relationship between user story, feature, and epic?

As someone who's still new to agile, I'm not sure I completely understand the relationship or difference between user story, feature, and epic. According to this question, a feature is a collection ...
110
votes
15answers
116k views

What's the career path for a developer who doesn't like management?

If you're developer (Senior or Lead Developer) and you'd rather stay with code/design than pursue a management career, what are the available career paths at your company, or any you've heard of? How ...
110
votes
7answers
90k views

What is an integration test exactly?

My friends and I have been struggling to classify exactly what is an integration test. Now, on my way home, I just realised, that every time I try to give a real world example of an integration test,...
109
votes
12answers
15k views

Rationale to prefer local variables over instance variables?

The codebase I'm working on frequently uses instance variables to share data between various trivial methods. The original developer is adamant that this adheres to the best practices stated in the ...
109
votes
12answers
22k views

Should a (junior) developer try to push for better processes and practices in their development/IT team?

I'm a junior developer that is given the ability to help shape my team's processes if I can justify the change, and if it helps the team get work done. This is new for me as my past companies more or ...

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