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66 votes
19 answers

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

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

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

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
49 votes
28 answers

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

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

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

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. ...
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27 votes
3 answers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 ...
43 votes
6 answers

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

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

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
274 votes
17 answers

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
16 answers

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
20 answers

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
14 answers

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
93 answers

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 ...
34 votes
7 answers

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 ...
user avatar
119 votes
4 answers

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 ...
user avatar
123 votes
36 answers

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
174 answers

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 ...
257 votes
137 answers

Perks for new programmers

I intend on hiring 2-3 junior programmers right out of college. Aside from cash, what is the most important perk for a young programmer? Is it games at work? I want to be creative... I want some ...
876 votes
360 answers

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 ...
2185 votes
1 answer

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-...
65 votes
36 answers

What can I do to get better at estimating how long projects are going to take? [duplicate]

I don't want to make life hard for management. I really don't. They're nice enough guys, but every time I am assigned a new project or task and get asked "how long do you think it will take to do ...
55 votes
14 answers

Effective Ways to Introduce Agile into the Workplace?

In your experience (anecdotal or otherwise), what are some effective ways to introduce Agile into a non-Agile organization or company? UPDATED: Can anyone speak to cases where you tried to introduce ...
301 votes
38 answers

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 ...
68 votes
5 answers

What is inversion of control, and when should I use it?

I am designing a new system and I want to know what inversion of control (IOC) is, and more importantly, when to use it. Does it have to be implemented with interfaces or can be done with classes?
user avatar
78 votes
67 answers

Do you have to be good at math to be a good programmer? [closed]

It seems that conventional wisdom suggests that good programmers are also good at math. Or that the two are somehow intrinsically linked. Many programming books I have read provide many examples that ...
12 votes
6 answers

How do you create a software process for a project?

As I've written about in other questions here, the project that I'm working on now has no software process. That means no documentation (including hard copy requirements or specification), no source ...
user avatar
  • 76.3k
108 votes
25 answers

How far should one take e-mail address validation?

I'm wondering how far people should take the validation of e-mail address. My field is primarily web-development, but this applies anywhere. I've seen a few approaches: simply checking if there is ...
user avatar
  • 1,249
14 votes
12 answers

Are type and scope prefixes worthwhile naming conventions?

Recently starting my first job as a software developer, I was a little thrown to be told that I did not have to follow any naming conventions in my code. Code written by groups working on other, ...
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