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2185 votes
1 answer
475k views

What technical details should a programmer of a web application consider before making the site public?

What things should a programmer implementing the technical details of a web application consider before making the site public? If Jeff Atwood can forget about HttpOnly cookies, sitemaps, and cross-...
1600 votes
11 answers
780k views

Which hashing algorithm is best for uniqueness and speed?

Which hashing algorithm is best for uniqueness and speed? Example (good) uses include hash dictionaries. I know there are things like SHA-256 and such, but these algorithms are designed to be secure,...
user avatar
  • 22.3k
1296 votes
13 answers
251k views

Where did the notion of "one return only" come from?

I often talk to programmers who say "Don't put multiple return statements in the same method." When I ask them to tell me the reasons why, all I get is "The coding standard says so." or "It's ...
1050 votes
130 answers
408k views

I'm graduating with a Computer Science degree but I don't feel like I know how to program

I'm graduating with a Computer Science degree but I see websites like Stack Overflow and search engines like Google and don't know where I'd even begin to write something like that. During one summer ...
876 votes
360 answers
241k views

What is the single most effective thing you did to improve your programming skills?

Looking back at my career and life as a programmer, there were plenty of different ways I improved my programming skills - reading code, writing code, reading books, listening to podcasts, watching ...
716 votes
29 answers
134k views

My boss decided to add a "person to blame" field to every bug report. How can I convince him that it's a bad idea?

In one of the latest "WTF" moves, my boss decided that adding a "Person To Blame" field to our bug tracking template will increase accountability (although we already have a way of tying bugs to ...
user avatar
  • 4,871
699 votes
17 answers
242k views

How to respond when you are asked for an estimate?

We, as programmers, are constantly being asked 'How long will it take'? And you know, the situation is almost always like this: The requirements are unclear. Nobody has done an in depth analysis of ...
user avatar
651 votes
9 answers
260k views

Why is 80 characters the 'standard' limit for code width?

Why is 80 characters the "standard" limit for code width? Why 80 and not 79, 81 or 100? What is the origin of this particular value?
user avatar
  • 6,261
603 votes
13 answers
259k views

So Singletons are bad, then what?

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the problems with using (and overusing) Singletons. I've been one of those people earlier in my career too. I can see what the problem is now, and yet, ...
user avatar
  • 20.4k
579 votes
1 answer
74k views

Is the use of "utf8=✓" preferable to "utf8=true"?

I have recently seen a few URIs containing the query parameter "utf8=✓". My first impression (after thinking "mmm, looks cool") was that this could be used to detect a broken character encoding. So, ...
user avatar
  • 24.3k
576 votes
2 answers
220k views

What is the Mars Curiosity Rover's software built in?

The Mars Curiosity rover has landed successfully, and one of the promo videos "7 minutes of terror" brags about there being 500,000 lines of code. It's a complicated problem, no doubt. But that is a ...
user avatar
545 votes
6 answers
202k views

Pros and Cons of Facebook's React vs. Web Components (Polymer)

What are the main benefits of Facebook's React over the upcoming Web Components spec and vice versa (or perhaps a more apples-to-apples comparison would be to Google's Polymer library)? According to ...
user avatar
  • 5,443
534 votes
31 answers
120k views

Why can't the IT industry deliver large, faultless projects quickly as in other industries?

After watching National Geographic's MegaStructures series, I was surprised how fast large projects are completed. Once the preliminary work (design, specifications, etc.) is done on paper, the ...
508 votes
17 answers
410k views

Is it OK to have multiple asserts in a single unit test?

In the comment to this great post, Roy Osherove mentioned the OAPT project that is designed to run each assert in a single test. The following is written on the project's home page: Proper unit ...
467 votes
19 answers
191k views

I've inherited 200K lines of spaghetti code -- what now?

I hope this isn't too general of a question; I could really use some seasoned advice. I am newly employed as the sole "SW Engineer" in a fairly small shop of scientists who have spent the last 10-20 ...
466 votes
21 answers
26k views

Overcoming slow problem solving due to increased knowledge of what might go wrong [closed]

This has been troubling me for some time, and I'd really appreciate the input of other professionals. Short background: I started programming when my parents bought me my first computer in 1988 (at ...
457 votes
21 answers
101k views

My customer wants me to record a video of how I develop his software product

Working as a freelancer, I often see strange requests from my customers, some of which can negatively affect my daily work¹, and others trying to set some sort of control. I usually encounter those ...
442 votes
12 answers
171k views

How accurate is "Business logic should be in a service, not in a model"?

Situation Earlier this evening I gave an answer to a question on StackOverflow. The question: Editing of an existing object should be done in repository layer or in service? For example if ...
user avatar
432 votes
20 answers
125k views

Should UTF-16 be considered harmful?

I'm going to ask what is probably quite a controversial question: "Should one of the most popular encodings, UTF-16, be considered harmful?" Why do I ask this question? How many programmers are ...
431 votes
34 answers
20k views

I'm a manager. How can I improve work relationships and communication with programmers? [closed]

A little background first. I'm a project manager at medium-sized company. I started as a CS major and had a little exposure to programming, but after a few months I knew it's not my path, so I ...
425 votes
33 answers
311k views

How do I create my own programming language and a compiler for it [closed]

I am thorough with programming and have come across languages including BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, LISP, LOGO, Java, C++, C, MATLAB, Mathematica, Python, Ruby, Perl, JavaScript, Assembly and so on. I can'...
418 votes
12 answers
18k views

Should I intentionally break the build when a bug is found in production?

It seems reasonable to me that if a serious bug is found in production by end-users, a failing unit test should be added to cover that bug, thus intentionally breaking the build until the bug is fixed....
user avatar
  • 7,036
410 votes
17 answers
150k views

Why is Global State so Evil?

Before we start this, let me say I'm well aware of the concepts of Abstraction and Dependency Injection. I don't need my eyes opened here. Well, most of us say, (too) many times without really ...
user avatar
403 votes
8 answers
450k views

What does 'stage' mean in git?

I find git hard to understand as I could not find the meaning of the words used for the actions. I have checked the dictionary for the meaning of 'stage' and none of the meanings were related to ...
user avatar
  • 4,385
396 votes
14 answers
482k views

Why do game developers prefer Windows?

Is it that DirectX is easier or better than OpenGL, even if OpenGL is cross-platform? Why do we not see real powerful games for Linux like there are for Windows?
390 votes
35 answers
636k views

Why isn't Java used for modern web application development? [closed]

As a professional Java programmer, I've been trying to understand - why the hate toward Java for modern web applications? I've noticed a trend that out of modern day web startups, a relatively small ...
387 votes
29 answers
146k views

I don't program in my spare time. Does that make me a bad developer?

A lot of blogs and advice on the web seem to suggest that in order to become a great developer, doing just your day job is not enough. For example, you should contribute to open source projects in ...
382 votes
5 answers
44k views

Should I keep my GitHub forked repositories around forever?

So I've forked someone else's repository, made a few changes, submitted a pull request, and my changes made it into the product. Great! But...what should I do with my forked repository? Is there a ...
user avatar
  • 4,368
368 votes
28 answers
149k views

I'm doing 90% maintenance and 10% development, is this normal? [closed]

I have just recently started my career as a web developer for a medium sized company. As soon as I started I got the task of expanding an existing application (badly coded, developed by multiple ...
355 votes
19 answers
59k views

How would you know if you've written readable and easily maintainable code? [closed]

How would one know if the code one has created is easily readable, understandable, and maintainable? Of course from the author's point of view, the code is readable and maintainable, because the ...
352 votes
20 answers
78k views

How should I behave as a developer in a project that's headed for failure?

I am a developer in a 5-member team and I believe our project is headed for disaster. I'll describe why in a moment, but my question is: how should I behave? The deadline is in 1.5 months, and I ...
349 votes
6 answers
28k views

What is negative code?

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Douglas McIlroy and found a quote that mentions "The real hero of programming is the one who writes negative code." What does that mean?
user avatar
339 votes
14 answers
91k views

Should you write your back-end as an API?

I had a heated discussion today about our MVC application. We have a website written in MVC (ASP.NET), and it usually follows the pattern of do something in the view -> hit the controller -> ...
user avatar
  • 2,977
332 votes
7 answers
152k views

Why are there no PUT and DELETE methods on HTML forms?

HTML4 / XHTML1 allows only GET and POST in forms, now it seems like HTML5 will do the same. There is a proposal to add these two but it doesn't seem to be gaining traction. What were the technical or ...
user avatar
  • 3,423
330 votes
19 answers
440k views

When should you call yourself a senior developer? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Whats the difference between Entry Level/Jr/Sr developers? I'm curious what senior developer means because apparently the definition doesn't mean what I thought it would. I ...
330 votes
63 answers
52k views

Is 4-5 years the “Midlife Crisis” for a programming career?

I’ve been programming C# professionally for a bit over 4 years now. For the past 4 years I’ve worked for a few small/medium companies ranging from “web/ads agencies”, small industry specific software ...
324 votes
52 answers
251k views

Why do business analysts and project managers get higher salaries than programmers? [closed]

We have to admit that programming is much more difficult than creating documentation or even creating Gantt chart and asking progress to programmers. So for us that are naives, knowing that ...
319 votes
25 answers
73k views

When is a BIG Rewrite the answer?

Just read the question about the Big Rewrites and I remembered a question that I've been wanting answered myself. I have a horrible project passed down to me, written in old Java, using Struts 1.0, ...
313 votes
36 answers
337k views

Should curly braces appear on their own line? [closed]

Should curly braces be on their own line or not? What do you think about it? if (you.hasAnswer()) { you.postAnswer(); } else { you.doSomething(); } or should it be if (you.hasAnswer()) { ...
312 votes
4 answers
111k views

What software programming languages were used by the Soviet Union's space program?

I got interested in the Soviet space program and was interested to discover that the software on the Buran spacecraft circa 1988 was written in Prolog. Does anyone know what languages might have ...
user avatar
  • 2,769
311 votes
16 answers
129k views

Why are shortcuts like x += y considered good practice?

I have no idea what these are actually called, but I see them all the time. The Python implementation is something like: x += 5 as a shorthand notation for x = x + 5. But why is this considered good ...
307 votes
15 answers
150k views

Do I need to use an interface when only one class will ever implement it?

Isn't the whole point of an interface that multiple classes adhere to a set of rules and implementations?
user avatar
  • 3,785
305 votes
10 answers
41k views

I'm a Subversion geek, why should I consider or not consider Mercurial or Git or any other DVCS?

I try to understand the benefits of distributed version control system (DVCS). I found Subversion Re-education and this article by Martin Fowler very useful. Mercurial and others DVCS promote a ...
user avatar
303 votes
14 answers
43k views

Why does everyone use Git in a centralized manner?

I have used Git at my past two companies for version control. It seems from what I've heard that about 90% of companies use Git over other version control systems. One of the biggest selling points ...
user avatar
  • 4,619
302 votes
19 answers
204k views

Should I return from a function early or use an if statement? [closed]

I've often written this sort of function in both formats, and I was wondering if one format is preferred over another, and why. public void SomeFunction(bool someCondition) { if (someCondition) ...
302 votes
2 answers
102k views

Should package names be singular or plural?

Often, in libraries especially, packages contains classes that are organized around a single concept. Examples: xml, sql, user, config, db. I think we all feel pretty naturally that these packages ...
user avatar
  • 27.8k
301 votes
38 answers
97k views

How Can I Know Whether I Am a Good Programmer?

Like most people, I think of myself as being a bit above average in my field. I get paid well, I've gotten promotions, and I've never had a real problem getting good references or getting a job. But ...
300 votes
20 answers
112k views

What does SVN do better than Git? [closed]

No question that the majority of debates over programmer tools distill to either personal choice (by the user) or design emphasis, that is, optimizing design according to particular uses cases (by the ...
298 votes
19 answers
142k views

Are #regions an antipattern or code smell?

C# allows the use of #region/#endregion keywords to make areas of code collapsible in the editor. Whenever I do this though I do it to hide large chunks of code that could probably be refactored into ...
298 votes
5 answers
105k views

Is there any reason to use the "var" keyword in ES6?

Babel's guide to ES6 says: let is the new var. Apparently the only difference is that var gets scoped to the current function, while let gets scoped to the current block. There are some good ...
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  • 10.2k

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