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330
votes
63answers
44k 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 ...
42
votes
10answers
51k views

What's the difference between “use case”, “User Story” and “Usage Scenario”?

Is there an exact, but simple and understandable defintion of the distinction between "use case", "User Story" and "Usage Scenario"? there are quite a bunch of explanation, but right now, I see no ...
33
votes
14answers
2k views

Boss doesn't believe my time estimate… advice/backup? [duplicate]

I'm working at a startup software company -- 3 developers, less than 15 employees including the CEO. We deal exclusively with Windows Mobile, the .NET CF, and passing the information gathered from our ...
57
votes
42answers
4k views

Most regrettable design or programming decision you made? [closed]

I would like to hear what kind of design decisions you took and how did they backfire. Because of a bad design decision, I ended up having to support that bad decision forever (I also had a part in it)...
17
votes
4answers
690 views

When is the right time to join open source project for programmer? [closed]

Most of the newcomers in programming start with basic projects to start with programming. Most of the C++ progammers spend some time with puzzles and contests but this is not always helpful. Sometimes ...
19
votes
6answers
2k views

Has anyone used Sproutcore?

Has anyone used Sproutcore for a web application? If so, can you give me a description of your experience? I am currently considering it, but I have a few concerns. First, the documentation is bad/...
142
votes
87answers
18k views

How to become a “faster” programmer?

My last job evaluation included just one weak point: timeliness. I'm already aware of some things I can do to improve this but what I'm looking for are some more. Does anyone have tips or advice on ...
63
votes
9answers
32k views

Can Agile/Scrum be used by 1 or 2 developers?

Everything I've been reading and researching up to this point describes how Agile/Scrum works great with teams of about 4 to 6 members, maybe even more. In my current shop, we have about 8 developers ...
151
votes
34answers
11k views

How do you make people accept code review? [duplicate]

All programmers have their style of programming. But some of the styles are let’s say... let’s not say. So you have code review to try to impose certain rules for good design and good programming ...
39
votes
7answers
15k views

Are all languages basically the same?

Recently, i had to understand the design of a small program written in a language i had no idea about (ABAP, if you must know). I could figure it out without too much difficulty. I realize that ...
6
votes
6answers
371 views

Best Practices or Project Standards

As a software development contractor I've worked on many projects with differing standards and conventions. Quite often these conventions go against the software best practices we know and 'love'. ...
432
votes
20answers
112k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
6k views

What do you do when a client requires Rich Text Editing on their website?

As we all know by now, XSS attacks are dangerous and really easy to pull off. Various frameworks make it easy to encode HTML, like ASP.NET MVC does: <%= Html.Encode("string"); %> But what ...
28
votes
22answers
64k views

Why is VB so popular? [closed]

To me, Visual Basic seems clumsy, ugly, error-prone, and difficult to read. I'll let others explain why. While VB.net has clearly been a huge leap forward for the language in terms of features, I ...
9
votes
3answers
513 views

What are some good criteria for using Tracer Bullets?

I was recently reading The Pragmatic Programmer for the first time and I came across the concept of Tracer Bullets. I realized that I had coded according to this model in the past and just kind of ...
159
votes
17answers
72k views

Windows Azure vs Amazon EC2 vs Google App Engine

From a developer point of view which platform would you consider for a large social web application? If you could provide some details on what you consider to be the strengths of which alternative it ...
168
votes
3answers
35k views

Meaning of MIT license

Suppose I use this ActionScript API released under MIT license to build a software: http://www.cove.org/ape/docs/api/ Can I sell that software? Do I need to give the source code of my software away? ...
37
votes
9answers
3k views

Design for future changes or solve the problem at hand [closed]

While writing the code or during design do you try to generalize the problem at the first instance itself or try to solve that very specific problem. I am asking this because trying to generalize the ...
41
votes
12answers
11k views

How possible is it to estimate time for programming projects? [duplicate]

It seems like it is nearly impossible to get close because you could run into any number of issues and things not first anticipated. How close can we be expected to reasonably estimate? Our PM wants ...
21
votes
10answers
4k views

Best Practices and Etiquette for Setting up Email Notifications

If you were going to set up a Email Alerts for the customers of your website to subscribe to, what rules of etiquette ought to be followed? I can think of a few off the top of my head: Users can Opt-...
16
votes
8answers
2k views

What's it like to work in a large programming team?

I've always felt lucky to work in a small programming team. I think the most I've worked with is 11 programmers. What is it like working on a project with hundreds of developers? Thousands? What ...
61
votes
11answers
1k views

Have you dealt with space hardening?

I am very eager to study best practices when it comes to space hardening. For instance, I've read (though I can't find the article any longer) that some core parts of the Mars rovers did not use ...
72
votes
37answers
7k views

How to handle people who lie on their resume [closed]

I'm conducting technical interviews to fill a few .NET positions. Many of the people I interview really do know .NET pretty well, but I find at least 90% embellish their skillset anywhere between "a ...
63
votes
19answers
4k views

Dealing with awful estimates

A recent project I worked on was proven to be severely underestimated by the architect. The estimate was out by at least 500%. Unfortunately I was brought onto the project after the estimate had ...
21
votes
8answers
530 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 ...
166
votes
111answers
29k views

Are there any famous one-man-army programmers?

Lately I have been learning of more and more programmers who think that if they were working alone, they would be faster and would deliver more quality. Usually that feeling is attached to a feeling ...
12
votes
6answers
708 views

Best permissive license for a utility library?

I have a small utility library of useful stuff written in Java that I plan on releasing open source. I've been wavering on what license to use. I quite like the BSD license, which is short and easy ...
48
votes
28answers
12k views

When is it reasonable to create my own programming language?

Are there types of killer applications, classes of algorithmic problems, etc., where it is better, in the long run, to create my own language? PS: Just to be sure, I mean a new programming language ...
31
votes
24answers
17k views

What to bring to a programming interview? [closed]

I have just completed my Master's degree in Computer Science and have gotten my first job interview as a developer. I do not have much experience in large scale development projects, but I am hoping ...
11
votes
14answers
1k views

Should I worry about 'Javascript piracy'?

If I write a client-side Javascript app (with a little bit of server interaction), how can I prevent people from copying the Javascript files to their own site? Should I, at all?
23
votes
14answers
3k views

How managers choose programming languages

It's not a secret to anyone that managers can and often will impose the programming language that will be used for a project. Being a programmer myself, I have never been able to understand this. ...
27
votes
3answers
930 views

Forking an open source project nicely

It's time. You've worked long and hard to add your vision to the open source project you love, on which you've worked, debated, and to which you've contributed inestimable amounts of code and insight....
15
votes
16answers
1k views

What Things are Most Conducive to a Productive Programming Environment? [closed]

Many of us have worked in multiple environments over the years, and have found that some are more productive than others. In many cases, it's not directly related to the abilities of the developers, ...
86
votes
19answers
54k views

Why isn't OCaml more popular?

I've always heard that C is the language of choice to use for embedded systems, or anything that needs to run at maximum speed. I never developed a fondness for C, mostly because I don't like pointer ...
18
votes
11answers
11k views

Reasons to Use a VM For Development [duplicate]

Background: I work at a start-up company, where one team uses Virtual Machines to connect to a remote server to do their development, and another team (the team I'm on) uses local IIS/SQL Server 2005/...
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 ...
32
votes
10answers
4k views

Reaching Intermediate Programming Status [closed]

I am a software engineer that's had positions programming in VBA (though I dare not consider that 'real' experience, as it was trial and error!), Perl w/ CGI, C#, and ASP.NET. The latter two are post-...
131
votes
12answers
151k views

How to recognize a good programmer? [closed]

Our company is looking for new programmers. And here comes the problem - there are many developers who look really great at the interview, seem to know the technology you need and have a good job ...
34
votes
6answers
5k views

Methodology for documenting existing code base

I work as part of a team on an existing application that has no inline documentation, nor does it have technical documentation. As I've been working on various bug reports on the application, I've ...
82
votes
18answers
9k views

What is the best way to discern an excellent programmer in a job interview?

In the setting of an interview: What is the best way to reliably identify when somebody is an excellent programmer. By this I mean he is one of those that is 10-15 times more efficient / rapid / ...
76
votes
16answers
30k views

Best Development Methodology for One Person?

I spend a lot of time working on projects in which I am the sole developer, project manager, designer, QT person (Yes, I know... Bad!), and sometimes I'm even the client. I've tried just about ...
214
votes
17answers
60k views

Is premature optimization really the root of all evil?

A colleague of mine today committed a class called ThreadLocalFormat, which basically moved instances of Java Format classes into a thread local, since they are not thread safe and "relatively ...
16
votes
16answers
14k views

Is software development an engineering discipline?

Can software development be considered engineering? If no, what are the things that it lacks in order to be qualified as an engineering discipline? Related to this is this question on Stack Overflow ...
109
votes
20answers
57k views

Making money with Open Source as a developer?

I'm currently a student (Applied Information Technology) and we do most of our programming in C# and Java. I was wondering how can I as a developer, make money with open source. I know there is the ...
60
votes
14answers
203k views

What is the history of the use of “foo” and “bar” in source code examples?

Why do many code examples, especially tutorials, use the names "Foo" and "Bar" so often? It is almost a standard. For example: void foo(char* bar) { printf("%s", bar); }
59
votes
93answers
11k views

What do you consider the 1st principle(s) of programming?

I always liked to ask myself "what's the first principle(s) of this?" after I learned the basic stuff of something (e.g. programming). It's an inspiring question, IMO, that can force you to think ...
25
votes
7answers
19k views

Define “production-ready”

I have been curious about this for a while. What exactly is meant by "production-ready" or its variants? Most recently I was looking for information about sqlite and found this thread, where many ...
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 ...
123
votes
36answers
41k views

Programming with ADD/ADHD [closed]

I have diagnosed ADD. Mild but enough to affect my work: Easily distracted Can't concentrate on one project at a time Addicted to the web Procrastination etc. What strategies do you use to ...
245
votes
174answers
21k views

What should every programmer know?

Regardless of programming language(s) or operating system(s) used or the environment they develop for, what should every programmer know? Some background: I'm interested in becoming the best ...

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