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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 ...
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

I want to explain why the specification must not be changed during development period

I want to explain why the specification must not be changed during development period to the new planning department employee.
user avatar
75 votes
16 answers
6k views

How to suggest changes as a recently-hired employee? [closed]

I was recently hired in a big company (thousands of people, to give an idea of the size). They said they hired me because of my rigor and because I was, despite my youngness (i'm 25), experienced as a ...
80 votes
20 answers
31k views

How do you handle your Project Manager

I currently work for a company that has recently downsized. I do all in-house work, client installs, builds, QA, and, well, basically all the in-house work. My direct boss is VERY nontechnical and ...
3 votes
6 answers
4k views

Should Development / Testing / QA / Staging environments be similar?

After much time and effort, we're finally using maven to manage our application lifecycle for development. We still unfortunately use ANT to build an EAR before deploying to Test / QA / Staging. ...
user avatar
55 votes
17 answers
5k views

Is a code review subjective or objective (quantifiable)?

I am putting together some guidelines for code reviews. We do not have one formal process yet and are trying to formalize it. And our team is geographically distributed. We are using TFS for source ...
11 votes
5 answers
18k views

Allow Administrator users to login as other users

Do you think it's a good practice to implement a possibilty to allow an administrator user to login in as another user, by-passing password? This could by implemented by a master password or a ...
user avatar
151 votes
6 answers
41k views

Why hasn't a faster, "better" language than C come out? [closed]

With all the new "modern" languages out today, how is it that C is still heralded as the fastest and "closest to the machine"? I don't really believe in there ever being only one correct way to do ...
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 ...
45 votes
10 answers
60k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 551
33 votes
14 answers
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 ...
user avatar
  • 811
57 votes
42 answers
5k 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
4 answers
725 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 ...
user avatar
  • 287
19 votes
6 answers
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/...
user avatar
142 votes
87 answers
22k 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 ...
68 votes
9 answers
40k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,085
155 votes
34 answers
14k 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 ...
41 votes
7 answers
18k 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
6 answers
404 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'. ...
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 ...
20 votes
5 answers
7k 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"); %> ...
user avatar
28 votes
22 answers
65k 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
3 answers
701 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 ...
user avatar
159 votes
17 answers
73k 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 ...
user avatar
188 votes
3 answers
61k 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? ...
user avatar
  • 2,011
37 votes
9 answers
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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,937
42 votes
12 answers
13k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 2,643
21 votes
10 answers
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-...
user avatar
17 votes
8 answers
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 ...
user avatar
63 votes
11 answers
2k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 18.6k
72 votes
37 answers
8k 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 ...
66 votes
19 answers
5k 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 ...
22 votes
8 answers
597 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 ...
user avatar
  • 716
166 votes
111 answers
34k 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
6 answers
800 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 ...
user avatar
  • 1,422
50 votes
28 answers
14k 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
24 answers
20k 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
14 answers
2k 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?
user avatar
  • 211
23 votes
14 answers
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. ...
user avatar
27 votes
3 answers
1k 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....
user avatar
  • 3,856
15 votes
16 answers
2k 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, ...
user avatar
  • 503
86 votes
19 answers
66k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 2,797
18 votes
11 answers
14k 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
39 answers
100k 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 ...
33 votes
10 answers
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-...
user avatar
135 votes
12 answers
154k 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 ...
42 votes
6 answers
9k 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 ...
user avatar
82 votes
18 answers
10k 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 / ...
user avatar
  • 779
82 votes
16 answers
41k 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 ...
user avatar
271 votes
17 answers
88k 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 ...

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