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

    - by Jeff
    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 shops to a small startup. I've been mainly doing "business apps" that involves using high-level programming languages (garbage collected) and my overall experience was that all of the works I’ve done could have been more professional. A lot of the things were done incorrectly (in a rush) mainly due to cost factor that people always wanted something “now” and with the smallest amount of spendable money. I kept on thinking maybe if I could work for a bigger companies or a company that’s better suited for programmers, or somewhere that's got the money and time to really build something longer term and more maintainable I may have enjoyed more in my career. I’ve never had a “mentor” that guided me through my 4 years career. I am pretty much blog / google / self taught programmer other than my bachelor IT degree. I’ve also observed another issue that most so called “senior” programmer in “my working environment” are really not that senior skill wise. They are “senior” only because they’ve been a long time programmer, but the code they write or the decisions they make are absolutely rubbish! They don't want to learn, they don't want to be better they just want to get paid and do what they've told to do which make sense and most of us are like that. Maybe that’s why they are where they are now. But I don’t want to become like them I want to be better. I’ve run into a mental state that I no longer intend to be a programmer for my future career. I started to think maybe there are better things out there to work on. The more blogs I read, the more “best practices” I’ve tried the more I feel I am drifting away from “my reality”. But I am not a great programmer otherwise I don't think I am where I am now. I think 4-5 years is a stage that can be a step forward career wise or a step out of where you are. I just wanted to hear what other have to say about what I’ve mentioned above and whether you’ve experienced similar situation in your past programming career and how you dealt with it. Thanks.

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  • How to solve conflicts with another programmer..

    - by Tio
    Hi all.. I've read this question, but I think it doesn't really applies in my case.. I started to work at new company about 2 months ago with the position of senior web developer, there was already one programmer there, my position is above his, but I'm not his boss.. I don't tell him what to do.. Since the day I started to work at the company, I managed to implement a kind of a test server which he refuses to use, implemented a project management tool which he refuses to use also, and I'm in the process of implementing version control using mercurial ( damn Mercurial that's giving me so much headaches ), which he is going to use.. He is a nice guy, but just the other day we had a big discussion about "best practices", and "coding standards".. for me it's absolutely necessary to have this two things, at the place I'm currently working... otherwise it's not going to work.. This discussion, basically revolved about using short tags and the echo shortcut, and how we shouldn't use it anymore ( because I sometimes use short tags ).. this went for about 15 minutes, until I finally dropped the subject because I had work to do.. and of course he didn't budge even a millimeter, he's continuing to use short tags, and the echo shortcut and he not even cares about what I think.. When I mentioned that we are a team, he told me: "We are not a team, you work on your projects and I work on mine".. Let's just say, that the switch in my brain flipped, I raised my voice, and I told him that he was going nuts.. this was the most improper way to deal it with, I know, but there are certain things that can't be said to me.. The question here, is how do I deal with this? I want, to implement more changes on our work workflow, and I know that it's going to be a pain, with him always complaining and saying things like this.. Our boss is going to intervene in a few days, I talked to him today, the other programmer send him an email the day we had the discussion complaining.. Just to clarify, when I talk about implementing changes, I just don't appear at work, the next day with a sheet of paper, and say: "This is our we are doing things from now on! And there is no discussion.." For example, when I was trying to implement the project management tool, I took the time to talk to everybody that was going to be involved in it, to see what they think about it.. everyone was positive except him, he responded that it was just a mean to control us even more.. Does anyone has any idea on how to deal with this? PS: Truth to be told, I didn't start the best way with him, in the 4º day of work at the company, I found a really bad piece of code on our custom CMS, one of those things that I only expect to find in code produced by a programmer that has only 1 month of training in programming, and I talked to my boss about it... he showed up at the time I saw that piece of code, he saw my face and asked about it, so I told him.. I know the worst thing that can be said to a programmer is saying that their code is awful, but I've already learned that my code isn't the best of the world, so I take criticism in a completely different way now.. maybe he doesn't..

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  • Is my first employer expecting too much?

    - by priyank patel
    This is my first job as a programmer. I am working using the followig technologies: ASP.NET C# HTML CSS Javascript JQuery I work for a firm which develops software for small banking firms. Currently they have their software running in 100 firms. Their software is developed in Visual Fox Pro. I was hired to develop an online version of this software. I am the only developer. My boss is another developer, the only other developer in the firm. Therefore, my employer has a total of two developers. My boss does not have any experience with .NET development. I have been working on this project for 8 months. The progress is there, but has been very slow. I try my best to do what my boss asks. But the project just seems too ambitious for me. The company has not done have any planning for the project. They just ask me to develop what their older software provides. So I have to deal with front end, back end, review code, design architecture, and more. I have decided to give my best. I try a lot. But the project sometimes just seems to be overwhelming. Question: Is it normal for a beginner programmer to be in this place? Are my employers just expecting too much of a new programmer? As a programmer, am I lacking skills one needs to deal with this? I always feel the need to work in at least a small team, if not big one. I am just not able judge my condition. Also I am paid very low salary. I do work on Saturday as well. Please, help to clarify my judgment. Any suggestions are welcome.

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  • Scrum for a single programmer?

    - by Rob Perkins
    I'm billed as the "Windows Expert" in my very small company, which consists of myself, a mechanical engineer working in a sales and training role, and the company's president, working in a design, development, and support role. My role is equally as general, but primarily I design and implement whatever programming on our product needs to get done in order for our stuff to run on whichever versions of Windows are current. I just finished watching a high-level overview of the Scrum paradigm, given in a webcast. My question is: Is it worth my time to learn more about this approach to product development, given that my development work items are usually given at a very high level, such as "internationalize and localize the product". If it is, how would you suggest adapting Scrum for the use of just one programmer? What tools, cloud-based or otherwise, would be useful to that end? If it is not, what approach would you suggest for a single programmer to organize his efforts from day to day? (Perhaps the question reduces to that simple question.)

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  • What Contents in a Young Programmer's Personal Website

    - by DotNetStudent
    I recently stumbled upon this question in which the contents a professional programmer's website should have were discussed and I agree with most of the answers there. However, I am by no means a professional programmer (just came out from university) and so I am a bit lost in what concerns the contents I should provide in the personal website I am designing for myself now. I do have a pretty nice job at a fast-growing software company but I would really like to present myself to the outside world in a nice but humble manner since my curriculum is by no means a long one. Any ideas?

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  • Understanding The Very Nature Of Linux - Becoming Core Programmer

    - by MrWho
    Well, I want to know how I should exactly start and get into the right path to become a core programmer and also get decent understanding of Linux infrastructure and fundamentals. I know my question may seem general or something but that's not because of my inability to ask a question.I'm just confused, I've programmed in a few languages and have got my hand dirty to code so I'm aware of the big picture of what the programmers actually do.Now, I want to get deeper and start my studies in a different level than I used to learn before, I want to become advanced core programmer and learn where it really start from.I'd like to know the bit by bit of what the today's operating systems like linux have been built on. I DO really need good references, books would be preferred for learning the fundamentals.If someone tell me the general path of what I'm supposed to do, it would be really appreciated.

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  • Am I copy/paste programmer ?

    - by Searock
    When ever I am stuck with a particular problem, I search for a solution in Google. And then I try to understand the code and tweak it according to my requirement. For example recently I had asked a question Reading xml document in firefox in stack overflow. Soufiane Hassou gave me a link to w3schools, where I found a example on parsing xml document, I understood how the example works, but I copied the code and tweaked it according to my requirement, since I don't like typing much. So does this make me a copy/paste programmer? How do you say if a person is a copy/paste programmer ? Thanks.

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  • What are the most common schools of knowledge prevalent in 'great' programmers?

    - by DaveDev
    I asked this question on StackOverflow but it got shot down fairly quickly. It was suggested that I ask it here, so I've copied it from there. Hope that's ok: The question: I think that the 'great' programmers become so mostly from being exposed to and interested in programming from early ages, as well as huge amounts of dedication. Unfortunately I only discovered programming at a later age, and I sometimes feel frustrated with the difficulties I experience in trying to grok some of the more fundamental concepts the 'greats' seem to take for granted.. So my question is in relationt to that, if a 'great' programmer (i.e. top 10%) had to distill his or her knowledge into a few recommendations / books / concepts / suggestions / lessons, what would they be? What does a programmer who's willing to learn need to do to get on the right track towards becoming great? And to be more specific, I don't mean 'what does that person need to do', because the answer is almost invariably, 'practice!'. What I mean is, what does the programmer need to know?

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  • I want to be a programmer! [closed]

    - by Mohamed Abd El Maged
    I am a doctor. I have a bachelor of medicine and general surgery. I want to change my career and work as a programmer in big companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, ... this is my dream ! I haven't got any degree in IT or Computer science. The question here is: Is it possible to achieve my dream and work as professional programmer in the future? Another question: if applicable, which certifications should I strive to get?

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  • What php programmer should know?

    - by emchinee
    I've dig the database here and didn't found any answer for my question. What is a standard for a php programmer to know? I mean, literally, what group of language functions, mechanisms, variables should person know to consider oneself a (good) php programmer? (I know 'being good' is beyond language syntax, still I'm considering syntax of plain php only) To give an example what I mean: functions to control http sessions, cookies functions to control connection with databases functions to control file handling functions to control xml etc.. I omit phrases like 'security' or 'patterns' or 'framework' intentionally as it applies to every programming language. Hope I made myself clear, any input appreciated :) Note: Michael J.V. is right claiming that databases are independent from language, so to put my question more precisely and emphasise differences: Practises or security, are some ideas to implement (there is no 'Pattern' object with 'Decorator()' method, is there?) while using databases means knowing a mysqli and a set of its methods.

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  • Earning extra cash as a programmer

    - by Anon
    I work as fulltime programmer and have a pretty well paid job for the country where I live, but I could do with a bit of extra cash at the moment (wife nagging about new kitchen etc.). I'd be interested in taking on small projects in my spare time. I'm not interested in writing malware or get rich quick schemes. I've checked out a few sites programmer freelance sites, but the projects all see to be very poorly paid or people that want malware creating (or both). Are there any good freelancing sites that I may have missed? Are there any other ways to find small freelance projects?

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  • What is the worst programmer habit?

    - by 0x4a6f4672
    Many people get into programming because programming is fun. At least in the beginning. After some time doing it professionally, programming is no longer fun, often just hard work. Sometimes we develop bad habits along the way to make it fun again. Some bad habits of programmers are well known, for example the "I fix that in a second" habit, the "reinvent the wheel" practice or the "all code except mine is crap" attitude (which often leads to "I will re-write the entire program from scratch" syndrome). There are things which a programmer should never do. What is the worst programmer habit?

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  • How to avoid being an API programmer only?

    - by anything
    I have almost six years of experience in java. I have developed many projects which used frameworks like Struts, Spring, Hibernate, JQuery , DWR, Ajax etc. I have used these technologies in almost all the projects I have worked on. Projects were very simple mostly with crud based apps. My everyday tasks involves creating few screens, writing queries, testing etc. After all these years I feel like I have turned into an API programmer who just uses these above mentioned frameworks which is not giving me any satisfaction of being a programmer. Is this normal or is it just me who is feeling like this?

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  • Favorite Programmer Quotes…

    - by SGWellens
      "A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing." — Emo Philips   "There are only 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who don't. " – Unknown.   "Premature optimization is the root of all evil." — Donald Knuth   "I should have become a doctor; then I could bury my mistakes." — Unknown   "Code softly and carry a large backup thumb drive." — Me   "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live." — Martin Golding   "DDE…the protocol from hell"— Charles Petzold   "Just because a thing is new don't mean that it's better" — Will Rogers   "The mark of a mature programmer is willingness to throw out code you spent time on when you realize it's pointless." — Bram Cohen   "A good programmer is someone who looks both ways before crossing a one-way street." — Doug Linder   "The early bird may get the worm but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese." — Unknown   I hope someone finds this amusing. Steve Wellens CodeProject

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  • Math questions at a programmer interview?

    - by anon
    So I went to an interview at Samsung here in Dallas, Texas. The way the recruiter described the job, he didn't make it sound like it was too math-oriented. The job basically involved graphics programming and C++. Yes, math is implied in graphics programming, especially shaders, but I still wasn't expecting this... The whole interview lasted about an hour and a half and they asked me nothing but math-related questions. They didn't ask me a single programming question, which I found odd. About all they did was ask me how to write certain math routines as a C++ function, but that's about it. What about programming philosophy questions? Design patterns? Code-correctness? Constness? Exception safety? Thread safety? There are a zillion topics that they could have covered. But they didn't. The main concern I have is that they didn't ask any programming questions. This basically implies to me that any programmer who is good at math can get a job here, but they might put out terrible code. Of course, I think I bombed the interview because I haven't used any sort of linear algebra in about a year and I forget math easily if I haven't used it in practice for a while. Are any of my other fellow programmers out there this way? I'm a game programmer too, so this seems especially odd. The more I learn, the more old knowledge that gets "popped" out of my "stack" (memory). My question is: Does this interview seem suspicious? Is this a typical interview that large corporations have? During the interview they told me that Google's interview process is similar. They have multiple, consecutive interviews where the math problems get more advanced.

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  • Woman Is the World's First Computer Programmer? [closed]

    - by Sveta Bondarenko
    This week, on 10th December, we celebrate the 197th birth anniversary of Ada Lovelace, often considered as the world's first computer programmer. Ada became famous not only as a daughter of romantic poet Lord Byron but also as an outstanding 19th century mathematician. Her works on analytical engine are recognized as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. Women always played a crucial role in the computer science evolution, but unfortunately, they are considered to be not so good at programming and engineering as men. Even though the fair sex makes up a growing portion of computer and Internet users, there is still a large gender gap in the field of Computer Science. But all is not lost! According to the study women's enrollment in the computer science raised from 7 percent in 1995 to 42 percent in 2000. And it is still increasing. Soon women will take a well-deserved position among the world's top computer programmers. After all, a number of notable female computer pioneers such as Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and Anita Borg have proven that women make great computer scientists. But will women make great contributions to the modern technologies industry? Or successful and famous female computer programmer is just a pipe dream?

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  • What should every programmer know about web development?

    - by Joel Coehoorn
    What things should a programmer implementing the technical details of a web application before making the site public? If Jeff Atwood can forget about HttpOnly cookies, sitemaps, and cross-site request forgeries all in the same site, what important thing could I be forgetting as well? I'm thinking about this from a web developer's perspective, such that someone else is creating the actual design and content for the site. So while usability and content may be more important than the platform, you the programmer have little say in that. What you do need to worry about is that your implementation of the platform is stable, performs well, is secure, and meets any other business goals (like not cost too much, take too long to build, and rank as well with Google as the content supports). Think of this from the perspective of a developer who's done some work for intranet-type applications in a fairly trusted environment, and is about to have his first shot and putting out a potentially popular site for the entire big bad world wide web. Also, I'm looking for something more specific than just a vague "web standards" response. I mean, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS over HTTP are pretty much a given, especially when I've already specified that you're a professional web developer. So going beyond that, Which standards? In what circumstances, and why? Provide a link to the standard's specification.

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  • Attributes of an Ethical Programmer?

    - by ahmed
    Software that we write has ramifications in the real world. If not, it wouldn't be very useful. Thus, it has the potential to sweep across the world faster than a deadly manmade virus or to affect society every bit as much as genetic manipulation. Maybe we can't see how right now, but in the future our code will have ever-greater potential for harm or good. Of course, there's the issue of hacking. That's clearly a crime. Or is it that clear? Isn't hacking acceptable for our government in the event of national security? What about for other governments? Cases of life-and-death emergency? Tracking down deadbeat parents? Screening the genetic profile of job candidates? Where is the line drawn? Who decides? Do programmers have responsibility for how their code is used? What if a programmer writes code to pry into confidential information or copy-protected material? Does he bear responsibility along with the person who used the program? What about a programmer who knowingly or unknowingly writes code to "fix the books?" Should he be liable?

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  • Thinking skills to be a good programmer

    - by Paul
    I have been programming for last 15 years with non-CS degree. Main reason I got into programming was that I liked to learn new things and apply them to my work. And I was able to find and fix programming errors and their causes faster than others. But I never find myself a a guru or an expert, maybe due to my non-CS major. And when I saw great programmers, I observed they are very good, much better than me of course, at solving problems. One skill I found good in my mid-career is thinking of requirements and tasks in a reverse order and in abstract. In that way, I can see what is really required for me to do without detail and can quickly find parts of solution that already exist. So I wonder if there are other thinking skills to be a good programmer. I've followed Q&As below and actually read some of books recommended there. But I couldn't really pickup good methods directly applicable for my programming work. What non-programming books should a programmer read to help develop programming/thinking skills? Skills and habits to develop to be good at programming (I'm a newbie)

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  • Math questions at a programmer interview?

    - by anon
    So I went to an interview at Samsung here in Dallas, Texas. The way the recruiter described the job, he didn't make it sound like it was too math-oriented. The job basically involved graphics programming and C++. Yes, math is implied in graphics programming, especially shaders, but I still wasn't expecting this... The whole interview lasted about an hour and a half and they asked me nothing but math-related questions. They didn't ask me a single programming question, which I found odd. About all they did was ask me how to write certain math routines as a C++ function, but that's about it. What about programming philosophy questions? Design patterns? Code-correctness? Constness? Exception safety? Thread safety? There are a zillion topics that they could have covered. But they didn't. The main concern I have is that they didn't ask any programming questions. This basically implies to me that any programmer who is good at math can get a job here, but they might put out terrible code. Of course, I think I bombed the interview because I haven't used any sort of linear algebra in about a year and I forget math easily if I haven't used it in practice for a while. Are any of my other fellow programmers out there this way? I'm a game programmer too, so this seems especially odd. The more I learn, the more old knowledge that gets "popped" out of my "stack" (memory). My question is: Does this interview seem suspicious? Is this a typical interview that large corporations have? During the interview they told me that Google's interview process is similar. They have multiple, consecutive interviews where the math problems get more advanced.

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  • Ways to break the "Syndrome of the perfect programmer"

    - by Rushino
    I am probably not the only one that feel that way. But I have what I tend to call "The syndrome of the perfect programmer" which many might say is the same as being perfectionist but in this case it's in the domain of programming. However, the domain of programming is a bit problematic for such a syndrome. Have you ever felt that when you are programming you're not confident or never confident enought that your code is clean and good code that follows most of the best practices ? There so many rules to follow that I feel like being overwhelmed somehow. Not that I don't like to follow the rules of course I am a programmer and I love programming, I see this as an art and I must follow the rules. But I love it too, I mean I want and I love to follow the rules in order to have a good feeling of what im doing is going the right way.. but I only wish I could have everything a bit more in "control" regarding best practices and good code. Maybe it's a lack of organization? Maybe it's a lack of experience? Maybe a lack of practice? Maybe it's a lack of something else someone could point out? Is there any way to get rid of that syndrome somehow ?

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  • Lead Programmer definition clarification

    - by Junaid
    I am working on PHP and MySQL based web application for more than 5 years now. I started my career from Intern - Jr Developer - Software Developer - Sr. Software Engineer [Team Lead] that's what I am nowadays. I was looking at the link at Wikipedia regarding who is a lead programmer. The link states the following: A lead programmer is a software engineer in charge of one or more software projects. Alternative titles include Development Lead, Technical Lead, Senior Software Engineer, Software Design Engineer Lead (SDE Lead), Software Manager, or Senior Applications Developer. When primarily contributing in a high-level enterprise software design role, the title Software Architect (or similar) is often used. All of these titles can have different meanings depending on the context. My current job responsibilities are more or less like a Development Lead and to some extent near Software Architect because I usually design the core structure of new products and managing 2-3 project simultaneously and in the meantime involved in assisting other teams regarding the structural design of their projects, I am usually on call with clients along with project managers, I code most of the time when my team stuck somewhere / workload / integrating some third party API and etc. Primary reason of this writing is to know if I qualify for a Development Lead Title? in accordance with my above mentioned job descriptions?

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  • Need Help Hiring a Perfectionist Programmer [closed]

    - by Bryan Hadaway
    I understand my question may be in the gray area, but I'm not able to use the Meta to ask if this question is appropriate or not so I'll simply have to risk it. My project is complete in the sense that it's a fully functional, ready to go 1.0 version. However, that's not good enough for my standards. My expertise is in HTML/CSS, not jQuery and PHP. I'm looking for someone to refine every character of my code for quality, speed, security and compatibility. I want everything to be as bug free as possible for launch. So I need an expert programmer who's a perfectionist in their coding who cares about the quality of their work (not just making it work) to review and refine my code. I'm sure I can't outright post the project's details and hope for interested parties to contact me as that wouldn't be beneficial to the community so instead I'm looking for advice from programmers about where some of best places to hire quality programmers are and the best strategies to hire the right programmer. In other words, screening applicants off of craigslist isn't going to cut it for this project. Thanks

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  • An entry-level programmer's best option [on hold]

    - by user134409
    I am facing a puzzle and I am not sure the best way to make a decision. In my spare time besides playing video games I got around to develop some games, nothing fancy, just small projects to get a better grasp at programming. After I finished college and got my BA in Computer Science, I got a job as web developer at a small firm. The next few months were very stressful as I had no previous experience and tried my best to make up for it. But after 6 months my boss told me I was inefficient and not very independent and let me go. To my credit, the help from the senior was very limited, I did learn a lot but I have learned by myself. For example they told me to do a UI in BackboneJS and I took me a while but I got it working (even if it was poorly designed). But I managed to do it all by myself because my senior was very busy and he did not have time even for my questions. Now I have found a new job again in web development but I am very afraid of what is going to happen next. I am afraid because I don't want to take the job and then be fired again after a couple of months, I get the feeling that this will be very bad on my CV, job hopping is like a red flag. They want to hire me but I am aware that they are working with new technologies and maybe I will end up not coping with it. So the question is: Should a entry-level programmer be better off with a starting job in QA, testing and work his way from there? I did learn allot from my first job but it was a moral blow when they decided to fire me. I do have a low self-esteem and I know my skills as a programmer are not that great. But I like programming and want to get better and I want to have a long career in it so that basically my pickle. Thank you in advance for the answers.

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  • Old programmer disappeared. About to hire another programmer. How do I approach this?

    - by pocto
    After spending over one year working on a social network project for me using WordPress and BuddyPress, my programmer has disappeared, even though he got paid every single week, for the whole period. Yes, he's not dead as I used an email tracker to confirm and see he opens my emails, but he doesn't respond. It seems he got another job. I wonder why he just couldn't say so. And I even paid him an advance salary for work he hasn't done. The problem is that I never asked for full documentation for most of the functions he coded in. And there were MANY functions for this 1+ year period, and some of them have bugs that he still didn't fix. Now it seems all confusing. What's the first thing I should do now? How do I proceed? I guess the first thing to do will be to get another programmer, but I want to start on the right foot by having all the current code documented so that any programmer can work on all the functions without issues. Is that the first thing I should do? If yes, how do I go about it? What's the standard type of documentation required for something like this? Can I get a programmer that will just do the documentation for all the codes and fix the bugs or is documentation not really important? Also, do you think getting another "individual" programmer is better or get a company that has programmers working for them, so that if the programmer assigned to my project disappears, another can replace him, without my involvement? I feel this is the approach I should have taken in the beginning.

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