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  • Do programmers possess the means of production? [closed]

    - by Peter Turner
    I was reading (err listening) to The Servile State by Hilare Belloc this morning and pondering whether or not I possessed the means of production, as did the peasant of the middle ages; as did not his descendants after the oligarchs of England forced him into servility. The means of production was the arable land that the serf was seated on, which even though not legally his, was illegal to evict him from. So, as programmers, with the hither-to-unknown supply of free tools and resources, have we reclaimed as a class of workers, unlike any others, the means of production. Given the chance, a midrange PC and a stable internet connection, could we not each of us be wholly self sufficient and not just wage earners?

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  • Do programmers possess the means of production?

    - by Peter Turner
    I was listening to The Servile State by Hilare Belloc this morning and pondering whether or not I possessed the means of production, as did the peasant of the middle ages; as did not his descendants after the oligarchs of England forced him into servility. The means of production was the arable land that the serf was seated on, which even though not legally his, was illegal to evict him from. So, as programmers, with the hither-to-unknown supply of free tools and resources, have we reclaimed as a class of workers, unlike any others, the means of production. Given the chance, a midrange PC and a stable internet connection, could we not each of us be wholly self sufficient and not just wage earners?

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  • Do most programmers cut & paste code?

    - by John MacIntyre
    I learned very early on that cutting & pasting somebody else's code takes longer in the long run that writing it yourself. In my opinion unless you really understand it, cut & paste code will probably have issues which will be a nightmare to resolve. Don't get me wrong, I mean finding other peoples code and learning from it is essential, but we don't just paste it into our app. We rewrite the concepts into our app. But I'm constantly hearing about people who cut & paste, and they talk about it like it's common practice. I also see comments by others which indicate it's common practice. So, do most programmers cut & paste code?

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  • Do higher resolution laptop displays matter for programmers?

    - by Jason Baker
    I'm buying a new laptop that I'll be using mainly for programming. A couple of options that really intrigue me are the Asus Zenbook UX31A and the new Retina Macbook Pro. It's obvious that the high-resolution displays on these laptops is useful for entertainment, photo-editing, and other things. My question is this: Do these displays provide any benefit for programmers? Do these displays make code any easier to read? Are they any easier on the eyes after a whole day of staring at the screen?

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  • Is the abundance of Frameworks dumbing down programmers?

    - by Gratzy
    With all of the frameworks available these days ORM's DI/IoC etc. I find that many programmers are losing or don't have the problem solving skills needed to solve difficult issues. I've seen many times unexpected behaviour creep into applications and the developers unable to really dig in and find the issues. It seems to me that deep understanding of whats going on under the hood is being lost. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting these frameworks aren't good and haven't moved the industry forward, only asking if as a unintended consequence developers aren't gaining the knowledge and skill needed for deep understanding of systems.

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  • Do most programmers copy and paste code?

    - by John MacIntyre
    I learned very early on that cutting & pasting somebody else's code takes longer in the long run that writing it yourself. In my opinion unless you really understand it, cut & paste code will probably have issues which will be a nightmare to resolve. Don't get me wrong, I mean finding other peoples code and learning from it is essential, but we don't just paste it into our app. We rewrite the concepts into our app. But I'm constantly hearing about people who cut & paste, and they talk about it like it's common practice. I also see comments by others which indicate it's common practice. So, do most programmers cut & paste code?

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  • Black Hat Hackers vs Programmers?

    - by Matt Ridge
    This came up with another question I had here, I have decided on a programming verification system that requires a hardware verification system, a software key, and a name/password system. Now people are saying that hackers will bypass any new security, which may be true, but I have a few questions. There has to be a balance between programmers programming and hackers stealing software, otherwise programs wouldn’t be made, and we wouldn’t be where we are today. What is that balance? 5%, 10%, 20%, 50%? What is too much security for the end user? What is too little security so the hacker can just push through without issue? If your software becomes popular, what should you expect or accept as acceptable loss? Why should we accept black hat hackers as a way of life?

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  • Possible problems in a team of programmers [on hold]

    - by John
    I am a "one man team" ASP.NET C#, SQL, HTML, JQuery programmer that wants to split workload with two other guys. Since I never actually thought of possible issue in a team of programmer, there are actually quite a few that came to my mind. delegating tasks (who works on what which is also very much related to security). I found Team Foundation Service could be helpful with this problem and started reading about it. Are there any alternatives? security (do now want for original code to be reused outside the project) How to prevent programmers from having access to all parts of code, and how to prevent them from using that code outside of project? Is trust or contract the only way?

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  • Are keyboard layouts inherently flawed for programmers?

    - by Craige
    Lately I've been noticing my keyboard usage more and more and how it affects my productivity. It brought to mind a question/problem that I believe has not been truly solved in the programming community (partially based on individual preferences). Are all/most keyboard layouts inherently flawed for programmers? What changes to your keyboard layout do you feel would increase your productivity most? Edit Remember when answering that there are a number of different factors that could make a keyboard layout flawed. For instance, if you type as fast as you believe you need to, but hitting common keys is uncomfortable, said keyboard layout could be considered flawed.

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  • Why do programmers write n=O(n^2)?

    - by Jaakko Seppälä
    I studied algorithms in a book Cormen & al. "Introduction to algorithms". In the fourth printing, on the page 43 defines O(g(n))={f(n):there exists positive constants c and n_0 s.t. 0<=f(n)<=cg(n) for all n=n_0} I reported this as a bug in the book www-site because this leads to notation like n=O(n^2) and suggested alternative given in http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=296&t=31517&start=20 . It looks like my bug report has not been accepted. Why the programmers won't renew the notation?

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  • What math should all game programmers know?

    - by Tetrad
    Simple enough question: What math should all game programmers have a firm grasp of in order to be successful? I'm not specifically talking about rendering math or anything in the niche areas of game programming, more specifically just things that even game programmers should know about, and if they don't they'll probably find it useful. Note: as there is no one correct answer, this question (and its answers) is a community wiki. Also, if you would like fancy latex math equations, feel free to use http://mathurl.com/.

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  • Software management for 2 programmers

    - by kajo
    Hi all, me and my very good friend do a small bussiness. We have company and we develop web apps using Scala. We have started 3 months ago and we have a lot of work now. We cannot afford to employ another programmer because we can't pay him now. Until now we try to manage entire developing process very simply. We use excel sheets for simple bug tracking and we work on client requests on the fly. We have no plan for next week or something similar. But now I find it very inefficient and useless. I am trying to find some rules or some methodology for small team or for only two guys. For example Scrum is, imo, unadapted for us. There are a lot of roles (ScrumMaster, Product Owner, Team...) and it seems overkill. Can you something advise me? Have you any experiences with software management in small teams? Is any methodology of current agile development fitten for pair of programmers? Is there any software management for simple bug tracking, maybe wiki or time management for two coders? thanks a lot for sharing.

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  • How will technological singularity affect programmers?

    - by Amir Rezaei
    I'm one of the believers that think that we will hit the technological singularity sooner or later. Then the question is if any profession will be unaffected by changes that will come. In the end it will be we programmers that will implement the first self-aware AI. How will technological singularity affect us programmer? What is your professional opinion regarding technological singularity? EDIT: By self-aware I refer to an entity that questions and seek answers, able to analyze and solve problem. Artificial neural network is branch in mathematics/statistics with many widely used algorithms. The algorithms are applied where recognition of data is needed. For example hidden Markov model is used for voice recognition. Another well-known area is business intelligence and data mining. Today algorithms are self-learning. That is a bit of AI what many never think of. Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make. Link to Ref.

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  • How to improve relationships between consultants and staff programmers

    - by Catchops
    I have been a consultant for a small software consulting firm for quite some time now. Our normal business model is not staff augmentation, but such that we find clients who need assistance in building a solution of some kind and then send in a team who can build that solution, work with the existing IT staff, train all involved on supportting that solution, then move on to the next job. We, of course, are still around for any needed ongoing support. We have a great reputation in our area and have been very successful in implementing the solutions that we provide. However, I have noticed a common theme for most of our projects. When we get on-site, there is generally a "stressed" relationship between our team and many of the IT staff currently at the client. I understand completely that there may be some anxiety about our arrival and that defenses can come up when we are around. Many of the folks are understanding and easy to work with, but there are usually some who will not work well with us at all, and who can quickly become a project risk in many ways. We try to go in with open minds and good attitudes, and try NOT to be arrogent or condecending. We generally get deployed when there is a mess to clean up - but we understand that there were reasons decisions were made that got them in the bind they are...so we just try to determine the next step forward and move on. My question is this - I'd like to hear from the IT staff and programmers out there who have had consultants in - what are the things that consultants do that fire up negative feelings and attitudes? What can we do better to make the relationship better, not only in the beginning, but as the project moves forward?

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  • How to teach Exception Handling for New Programmers?

    - by Kanini
    How do you go about teaching Exception Handling to Programmers. All other things are taught easily - Data Structures, ASP.NET, WinForms, WPF, WCF - you name it, everything can be taught easily. With Exception Handling, teaching them try-catch-finally is just the syntactic nature of Exception Handling. What should be taught however is - What part of your code do you put in the try block? What do you do in the catch block? Let me illustrate it with an example. You are working on a Windows Forms Project (a small utility) and you have designed it as below with 3 different projects. UILayer BusinessLayer DataLayer If an Exception (let us say of loading an XDocument throws an exception) is raised at DataLayer (the UILayer calls BusinessLayer which in turns calls the DataLayer), do you just do the following //In DataLayer try { XDocument xd_XmlDocument = XDocument.Load("systems.xml"); } catch(Exception ex) { throw ex; } which gets thrown again in the BusinessLayer and which is caught in UILayer where I write it to the log file? Is this how you go about Exception Handling?

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  • Do programmers need a union? [closed]

    - by James A. Rosen
    In light of the acrid responses to the intellectual property clause discussed in my previous question, I have to ask: why don't we have a programmers' union? There are many issues we face as employees, and we have very little ability to organize and negotiate. Could we band together with the writers', directors', or musicians' guilds, or are our needs unique? Has anyone ever tried to start one? If so, why did it fail? (Or, alternatively, why have I never heard of it, despite its success?) later: Keith has my idea basically right. I would also imagine the union being involved in many other topics, including: legal liability for others' use/misuse of our work, especially unintended uses evaluating the quality of computer science and software engineering higher education programs -- unlike many other engineering disciplines, we are not required to be certified on receiving our Bachelor's degrees evangelism and outreach -- especially to elementary school students certification -- not doing it, but working with the companies like ISC(2) and others to make certifications meaningful and useful continuing education -- similar to previous conferences -- maintain a go-to list of organizers and other resources our members can use I would see it less so as a traditional trade union, with little emphasis on: pay -- we tend to command fairly good salaries outsourcing and free trade -- most of use tend to be pretty free-market oriented working conditions -- we're the only industry with Aeron chairs being considered anything like "standard"

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  • Dealing with institutionalized programmers.

    - by Singleton
    Some times programmers who work in a project for long time tend to get institutionalized. It is difficult to convince them with reasoning. Even if we manage to convince them they will be adamant to take suggestion on board. How do we handle the situation without developing friction in team? Institutionalized in terms of practices. I recently joined in a project where build &release process was made so complicated with unnecessary roadblocks. My suggestion was we can get rid of some of the development overheads(like filling few spreadsheets) just by integrating defect management and version controlling tools (both are IBM-Rational tools integration can be very easy and one-off effort). Also by using tools like Maven & Ant (project involves java and some COTS products) build & release can be simplified and reduce manual errors& intervention. I managed to convince and ready to put efforts for developing proof of concept. But the ‘Senior’ developer is not willing to take it on board. One reason could be the current process makes him valuable in team.

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  • Software management for 2 programmers

    - by kajo
    me and my very good friend do a small bussiness. We have company and we develop web apps using Scala. We have started 3 months ago and we have a lot of work now. We cannot afford to employ another programmer because we can't pay him now. Until now we try to manage entire developing process very simply. We use excel sheets for simple bug tracking and we work on client requests on the fly. We have no plan for next week or something similar. But now I find it very inefficient and useless. I am trying to find some rules or some methodology for small team or for only two guys. For example Scrum is, imo, unadapted for us. There are a lot of roles (ScrumMaster, Product Owner, Team...) and it seems overkill. Can you something advise me? Have you any experiences with software management in small teams? Is any methodology of current agile development fitten for pair of programmers? Is there any software management for simple bug tracking, maybe wiki or time management for two coders? thanks a lot for sharing.

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  • Dealing with inflexible programmers.

    - by Singleton
    Sometimes programmers who work on a project for long time get inflexible, and it becomes difficult to reason with them. Even if we do manage to convince them, they can be unlikely to implement our suggestions. For instance, I recently joined a project where the build & release process is too complicated and has unnecessary roadblocks. I suggested that we get rid of some of the development overhead (like filling a few spreadsheets) just by integrating defect management and version control tools (both are IBM-Rational tools so integration can be a very easy one-off effort). Also, if we use tools like Maven & Ant (the project involves Java and some COTS products) build & release can be simplified which should reduce manual errors & intervention. I managed to convince others and I'm ready to put in the effort to develop a proof of concept. But the ‘Senior’ developer is not willing, possibly because the current process makes him more valuable. How do we handle this situation without developing friction in the team?

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  • Best development architecture for a small team of programmers

    - by Tio
    Hi all.. I'm in the first month of work in a new company.. and after I met the two programmer's and asked how things are organized in terms of projects inside the company, they simply shrug their shoulders, and said that nothing is organized.. I think my jaw hit the ground that same time.. ( I know some, of you think I should quit, but I'm on a privileged position, I'm the most experienced there, so there's room for me to grow inside the company, and I'm taking the high road ).. So I talked to the IT guy, and one of the programmers, and maybe this week I'm going to get a server all to myself to start organizing things. I've used various architectures in my previous work experiences, on one I was developing in a server on the network ( no source control of course ).. another experience I had was developing in my local computer, with no server on the network, just source control. And at home, I have a mix of the two, everything I code is on a server on the network, and I have those folders under source control, and I also have a no-ip account configured on that server so I can access it everywhere and I can show the clients anything. For me I think this last solution ( the one I have at home ) is the best: Network server with LAMP stack. The server as a public IP so we can access it by domain name. And use subdomains for each project. Everybody works directly on the network server. I think the problem arises, when two or more people want to work on the same project, in this case the only way to do this is by using source control and local repositories, this is great, but I think this turns development a lot more complicated. In the example I gave, to make a change to the code, I would simply need to open the file in my favorite editor, make the change, alter the database, check in the changes into source control and presto all done. Using local repositories, I would have to get the latest version, run the scripts on the local database to update it, alter the file, alter the database, check in the changes to the network server, update the database on the network server, see if everything is running well on the network server, and presto all done, to me this seems overcomplicated for a change on a simple php page. I could share the database for the local development and for the network server, that sure would help. Maybe the best way to do this is just simply: Network server with LAMP stack ( test server so to speak ), public server accessible trough the web. LAMP stack on every developer computer ( minus the database ) We develop locally, test, then check in the changes into the server test and presto. What do you think? Maybe I should start doing this at home.. Thanks and best regards...

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  • Best development architecture for a small team of programmers ( WAMP Stack )

    - by Tio
    Hi all.. I'm in the first month of work in a new company.. and after I met the two programmer's and asked how things are organized in terms of projects inside the company, they simply shrug their shoulders, and said that nothing is organized.. I think my jaw hit the ground that same time.. ( I know some, of you think I should quit, but I'm on a privileged position, I'm the most experienced there, so there's room for me to grow inside the company, and I'm taking the high road ).. So I talked to the IT guy, and one of the programmers, and maybe this week I'm going to get a server all to myself to start organizing things. I've used various architectures in my previous work experiences, on one I was developing in a server on the network ( no source control of course ).. another experience I had was developing in my local computer, with no server on the network, just source control. And at home, I have a mix of the two, everything I code is on a server on the network, and I have those folders under source control, and I also have a no-ip account configured on that server so I can access it everywhere and I can show the clients anything. For me I think this last solution ( the one I have at home ) is the best: Network server with WAMP stack. The server as a public IP so we can access it by domain name. And use subdomains for each project. Everybody works directly on the network server. I think the problem arises, when two or more people want to work on the same project, in this case the only way to do this is by using source control and local repositories, this is great, but I think this turns development a lot more complicated. In the example I gave, to make a change to the code, I would simply need to open the file in my favorite editor, make the change, alter the database, check in the changes into source control and presto all done. Using local repositories, I would have to get the latest version, run the scripts on the local database to update it, alter the file, alter the database, check in the changes to the network server, update the database on the network server, see if everything is running well on the network server, and presto all done, to me this seems overcomplicated for a change on a simple php page. I could share the database for the local development and for the network server, that sure would help. Maybe the best way to do this is just simply: Network server with WAMP stack ( test server so to speak ), public server accessible trough the web. LAMP stack on every developer computer ( minus the database ) We develop locally, test, then check in the changes into the server test and presto. What do you think? Maybe I should start doing this at home.. Thanks and best regards... Edit: I'm sorry I made a mistake and switched WAMP with LAMP, sorry about that..

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  • Any PICK programmers on stack?

    - by Coov
    I work in a shop that is divided into two types of programmers. Programmers that code in .net & sql and programmers that code in pick. Actually, a few of the programmers are writing code in both pick and .net. I was curious if there are any pick programmers out there using StackOverflow? I'd like to get the pick programmers involved in the stack community.

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  • Learning computer architecture as a programmer

    - by Samaursa
    I typically run across gurus at SO and other places (instructors, book authors etc.) that would say something along the lines "This will cause alignment issues" or other low level tidbits. I want to learn about all these tidbits that are relevant to programming. Now usually when I see low level books (computer architecture books for example) they are too low level and geared towards people whose primary area of interest is computer architecture and not software design. Do you have recommendations for books that go through low-level stuff that is relevant to programmers?

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  • Can non-IT people learn and take advantage of regular expressions? [closed]

    - by user1598390
    Often times, not-IT people has to deal with massive text data, clean it, filter it, modify it. Often times normal office tools like Excel lack the tools to make complex search and replace operations on text. Could this people benefit from regexps ? Can regexp be taught to them ? Are regular expressions the exclusive domain of programmers and unix/linux technicians ? Can they be learned by non-IT people, given regexps are not a programming language? Is this a valid or achievable goal to make some users regexp-literate through appopriate training ? Have you have any experiences on this issue? and if so, have it been successful ?

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  • How do you explain commented-out code to a non-programmer? [closed]

    - by whirlwin
    What is the quickest and most comprehensible way to explain to a non-programmer what commented-out code is? When I mentioned it in a conversation to non-programmers, they seemed lost. Such people could for instance be graphical designers, when working on the same team to make an application. Typically I would need to mention what I will be/currently am working with during an update meeting. At first I thought about substituting commented-out with unused code. While it is true to some degree, it is also very ambiguous. If you are wondering, I am working with legacy code with commented-out code. This leads to my question: "how do you explain commented-out code to a non-programmer?"

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