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  • What policies are standard for programmers?

    - by Shehket's Apprentice
    My office is about has proposed implementing some extremely strict (I would consider them draconian) policies regarding programmers, and our access due to security concerns (note, we have never had a security breach). While I can theoretically get used to them, I'd like to ask about what is considered good security policy for programmers, specifically in the area of access policies, and what is too much? Any answers to this question are greatly appreciated as they directly relate to my ability to write code, and I can't find anything so far on Google. Edit: Most of the security policies that concern me are about access to my machine and to the code. According to these proposed policies, I'd need management approval to access either, which means that I'd be forced to get management to unlock my computer anytime I leave my desk as my computer is always locked when I'm not at my desk.

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  • Who would be the most efficacious Patron Saint of Programmers? [closed]

    - by Peter Turner
    The purpose of this question is to find someone out there to intercede for us and help our coding (not to magically align the bytes), to inspire our daily grind of software development by their lives of heroic virtue, to unite us under a common patron and to keep us on the straight and narrow path (i.e. don't be evil). In days of yore, the professional guilds had a patron saint. Regardless of whether we have a higher tendency to be atheists or not, who would you choose as the patron saint of programmers and what would be your criteria? Some people have chosen St. Isidore of Seville, but he's more like the patron saint of Wikipedia. If you're not Catholic please don't hesitate to nominate someone, just say what your criteria is. At the very least they should be dead and have lived a life of heroic virtue - or have died trying. It's a very pragmatic and noble custom which I heartily encourage. But if you find the practice off-putting, please don't be offended. I only mean to ask this question to other like minded programmers, which I have reason to believe exist. If you add a picture and a maybe make up a prayer that'd be excellent. It doesn't have to be gilded, illuminated and rhyme, although that would be sweet.

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  • Why do programmers seem to be such bad spellers?

    - by Joel Etherton
    Programming languages are very precise tools based on explicit grammars. They're very picky, and when being used they require an exacting amount of detail. C#, for instance, is case sensitive so even getting the case of an argument wrong will cause an error. Questions asked all over the StackExchange are replete with misspellings, grammatical errors, and other problems that seem to indicate a lack of attention to detail when it comes to the language itself. Now, I understand there are a lot of programmers out there whose native language is not English, and I am not directing this question (rant one might say) at them. I'm referring to the individuals who are clearly from an English speaking background who refuse to pay attention to these simple details. I am not perfect by any means, but I try to use the language correctly so that my meaning will be understood correctly. I find programmers misspelling variable names, classes, and all manner of words in any kind of technical documentation they might write. I have had to withstand code where I am repeatedly referring to the subit[sic] button or HttpWebResponse reponse. The general complaint about bad spelling is one thing, and it will always be there. I accept that. But my question/comment is about the proclivity of bad spelling within the programming community. I would think that people who deal with such exacting tools to be more naturally predisposed towards proper spelling. Yet this doesn't seem to be the case.

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  • Is Linq having a mind-numbing effect on .NET programmers?

    - by Aaronaught
    A lot of us started seeing this phenomenon with jQuery about a year ago when people started asking how to do absolutely insane things like retrieve the query string with jQuery. The difference between the library (jQuery) and the language (JavaScript) is apparently lost on many programmers, and results in a lot of inappropriate, convoluted code being written where it is not necessary. Maybe it's just my imagination, but I swear I'm starting to see an uptick in the number of questions where people are asking to do similarly insane things with Linq, like find ranges in a sorted array. I can't get over how thoroughly inappropriate the Linq extensions are for solving that problem, but more importantly the fact that the author just assumed that the ideal solution would involve Linq without actually thinking about it (as far as I can tell). It seems that we are repeating history, breeding a new generation of .NET programmers who can't tell the difference between the language (C#/VB.NET) and the library (Linq). What is responsible for this phenomenon? Is it just hype? Magpie tendencies? Has Linq picked up a reputation as a form of magic, where instead of actually writing code you just have to utter the right incantation? I'm hardly satisfied with those explanations but I can't really think of anything else. More importantly, is it really a problem, and if so, what's the best way to help enlighten these people?

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  • Why do some programmers think there is a contrast between theory and practice?

    - by Giorgio
    Comparing software engineering with civil engineering, I was surprised to observe a different way of thinking: any civil engineer knows that if you want to build a small hut in the garden you can just get the materials and go build it whereas if you want to build a 10-storey house you need to do quite some maths to be sure that it won't fall apart. In contrast, speaking with some programmers or reading blogs or forums I often find a wide-spread opinion that can be formulated more or less as follows: theory and formal methods are for mathematicians / scientists while programming is more about getting things done. What is normally implied here is that programming is something very practical and that even though formal methods, mathematics, algorithm theory, clean / coherent programming languages, etc, may be interesting topics, they are often not needed if all one wants is to get things done. According to my experience, I would say that while you do not need much theory to put together a 100-line script (the hut), in order to develop a complex application (the 10-storey building) you need a structured design, well-defined methods, a good programming language, good text books where you can look up algorithms, etc. So IMO (the right amount of) theory is one of the tools for getting things done. So my question is why do some programmers think that there is a contrast between theory (formal methods) and practice (getting things done)? Is software engineering (building software) perceived by many as easy compared to, say, civil engineering (building houses)? Or are these two disciplines really different (apart from mission-critical software, software failure is much more acceptable than building failure)?

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  • Advice for Future Programmers?

    - by Nate Zaugg
    I have a buddy that is going to be giving some presentations to high-schoolers. Specifically he asked: What would you be looking for if they approached you about work? Perhaps you are in that age group right now. What do you want to know? Perhaps you are just a few years into the workforce. What do you wish someone had told you but never did? Perhaps you have children, relatives or friends in or soon to be in that age group. What are you worried they don't know about? I'm sure there are other perspectives and questions I'm not even thinking about. I'd like to hear what you have to say about it. Here was my list: Don't be afraid to try! Don't let the perception that something is too difficult stop you from experimenting. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but an un-inquisitive person is mostly useless. Stolen from Einstein: You don't really understand something until you can explain it to your grandmother. It's never enough to be smart, you also have to work well with others. Before you can be really smart, you must learn how to learn. There will always be someone smarter than you are -- Become their buddy! Get to know great minds and learn all you can. Some knowledge can only be expressed this way. Communication, Communication, Communication! Projects rarely fail because of technical reasons and the difference between good programmers and outstanding programmers is how well they communicate. A good work ethic never goes unnoticed. Know when to ask for help and when to figure something out for yourself.

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  • Do ruby on rails programmers refactor?

    - by JoaoHornburg
    I'm a Java programmer who started programming Ruby on Rails one year ago. I like the language, rails itself and the principles behind them. But something that bothers me is that Ruby programmers don't seem to refactor. I noticed that there is a big lack of tools for refactoring in Ruby / Rails. Some IDE's, like Aptana and RubyMine seem to offer some very basic refactoring, but nothing really big compared to Eclipse's Java refactorings. Then there is another fact: most railers (even the pros) prefer some lightweight editors, like VIM or TextMate, instead of IDEs. Well, with these tools you just get zero refactoring (only regex with find/replace). This leaves me this impression that rails programmers don't refactor. It might be just a false impression, of course, but I would like to hear the opinion of people who work professionally with ruby on rails. Do you refactor? If you do, how do you do it,with which tools? If not, why not?

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  • WordPerfect programmers refusing to use anything but assembler

    - by Totophil
    There is a version (popularised by Joel Spolsky) attributing the demise of WordPerfect to a refusal of its programmers to use anything but assembler that led to delay of the first WPwin release and as result eventually to losing the all important battle with Microsoft. There are a few references to programming work being done using assembler in the autobiographical book "Almost Perfect" by W. E. Pete Peterson who used to have a major influence at running the corporation. But these references go back to early 80's when WordPerfect was trying to gain a significant market share by defeating WordStar and not early nineties when the battle with MS took place. I am looking for a second independent source to confirm the assumption. Maybe someone who worked for WordPerfect Corporation at a time, who was close to the company, or had a chance to see the source could clarify the issue. Your help is much appreciated, thanks! Please note that this question is not about any other theories or reasons behind WordPerfect demise. I really just need to clarify whether they used assembler as a primary language for WPwin and (as a bonus really) whether there were discussions held within the corporation about assembler being the right choice. Concisely: Did WPCorp use assembler as a primary language for WPwin? Were discussions held at a time amongst WP Corp staff about assembler being the right choice (was it management or programmers decision)?

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  • Excel for programmers

    - by Rohit
    Recently as part of my job I have had to edit and create a lot of excel spreadsheets. I am familiar with some Excel formulas but while editing the spreadsheets I don't feel that I'm using the full potential of excel. Are there any books/online resources which guide someone with a programming background in Excel?

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  • Best console based text editor not only for programmers [closed]

    - by robo
    I need console based text editor for writing both source codes and human readable texts such as emails. I need it to be user friendly. It mean for me: You can use it the same way as the notepad or gedit. You can use mouse there. If you need your mother of girlfriend or somebody to edit your text they will know what to do, they will not realize it is a console and will have only a feeling it is something like a notepad. copy, paste, undo works as usual with usual key combinations (Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-Z). shift and arrows works as usual. They select the text. And when I return to the computer I want to use the text editor for programming. I expect: Syntax highliting auto indenting replacing spaces with tabs keyboard shortcuts for compiling possibility to configure it to use a debugger autocompletions for c#, java, c++ and other languages other things I expect from IDE's. I was working and configuring vim for a few years. But It never fulfilled all of my expectations (but it almost did). I thing I could get vim configured perfectly if I had few more weeks time for configurating it. Unfortunately I cannot afford to be configuring vim forever. Is there other alternative? Hopefully some editor I once set up and it will works forever? What do you use? I often hear people are using emacs. Is it worth learning?

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  • Scala for Junior Programmers?

    - by Traldin
    Hi, we are considering Scala for a new Project within our company. We have some Junior Programmers with only PHP knowledge, and we are in doubt that they can handle Scala. What are your opinions? Some say: "Scala is a complicated beast!", some say: "It's easy once you got it." Maybe someone has real-world experience?

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  • Entrepreneur Needs Programmers, Architects, or Engineers?

    - by brand-newbie
    Hi guys (Ladies included). I posted on a related site, but THIS is the place to be. I want to build a specialized website. I am an entrepreneur and refining valuations now for venture capitalsists: i.e., determining how much cash I will need. I need help in understanding what human resources I need (i.e., Software Programmers, Architects, Engineers, etc.)??? Trust me, I have read most--if not all--of the threads here on the subject, and I can tell you I am no closer to the answer than ever. Here's my technology problem: The website will include (2) main components: a search engine (web crawler)...and a very large database. The search engine will not be a competitor to google, obviously; however, it "will" require bots to scour the web. The website will be, basically, a statistical database....where users should be able to pull up any statistic from "numerous" fields. Like any entrepreneur with a web-based vision, I'm "hoping" to get 100+ million registered users eventually. However, practically, we will start as small as feasible. As regards the technology (database architecture, servers, etc.), I do want quality, quality, quality. My priorities are speed, and the capaility to be scalable...so that if I "did" get globally large, we could do it without having to re-engineer anything. In other words, I want the back-end and the "infrastructure" to be scalable and professional....with emphasis on quality. I am not an IT professional. Although I've built several Joomla-based websites, I'm just a rookie who's only used minor javascript coding to modify a few plug-ins and components. The business I'm trying to create requires specialization and experts. I want to define the problem and let a capable team create the final product, and I will stay totally hands off. So who do you guys suggest I hire to run this thing? A software engineer? I was thinking I would need a "database engineer," a "systems security engineer", and maybe 2 or 3 "programmers" for the search engine. Also a web designer...and maybe a part-time graphic designer...everyone working under a single software engineer. What do you guys think? Who should I hire?...I REALLY need help from some people in the industry (YOU guys) on this. Is this project do-able in 6 months? If so, how many people will I need? Who exactly needs to head up this thing?...Senior software engineer, an embedded engineer, a CC++ engineer, a java engineer, a database engineer? And do I build this thing is Ruby or Java?

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  • What should programmers practice every day?

    - by Jacinda S
    Musicians practice scales, arpeggios, etc. every day before they begin playing "real" music. The top sports players spend time every day practicing fundamentals like dribbling before playing the "real" game. Are there fundamentals that programmers should practice every day before writing "real" code?

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  • Ruby tutorial for experienced programmers

    - by Skillwired
    I'm looking for a Ruby tutorial which would be usable for Java programmers with 8+ years of experience. I don't need another tutorial which explains basic programing/OOP/OOD concepts (inheritance, polymorphism, encapsulation, classes, constructors, hashes, etc.), just a fast-track tutorial (or even a reference?) which could tell us how to do specific things in Ruby.

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  • Perks for new programmers

    - by Autobyte
    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 good ideas

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  • Sports for Programmers [closed]

    - by Fedor
    What sports activities do you prefer? Which do really help you to stay in good shape? As programmers are sitting most of their work time I think some activities are really required for as. It would be great to know which are most useful.

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  • What are some handy tools in Windows that makes programmers life easy ? [closed]

    - by Omeid Herat
    I think there are some tools that almost every programmers needs so I though it might be useful if we can share it, please Name it and give an small description of the tools and link if possible. So here is the first one: WinMerge : WinMerge is an Open Source differencing and merging tool for Windows. WinMerge can compare both folders and files, presenting differences in a visual text format that is easy to understand and handle.

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  • What are programmers made to do in spare time in jobs?

    - by Shashank Jain
    Well, with no prior job experience I am completely ignorant of how things happen at software companies. I want to know what programmers are made to do when there is nothing to do? Lets consider Facebook or twitter. Now it is quite improbable that Facebook people have something or other feature in mind to be implemented. So software developers are quite expected to have some time when there is nothing to do. Are they free to do anything in this?

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  • What stressors do programmers encounter on the job, and how do you deal with them? [closed]

    - by Matthew Rodatus
    Learning to manage stress is vital to staying healthy while working at any job. A necessary subtask is learning to recognize and limit the sources of stress. But, in the midst of the daily grind, it can be difficult to recognize sources of stress (especially for an intense, focused persona such as a programmer). What types of stressors should programmers look out for, and how can they be managed?

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  • Where can I hire local programmers with very specific skillsets?

    - by Lostsoul
    I have been browsing the site and haven't found a exact fit to this question so I'll post it but if its already answered(since I'm sure its a common problem, then let me know). I have a business and want to create a totally different product in a different industry than I'm currently in, so I learned how to program and created a working prototype. I have a bit of savings and am getting some cash flow from my current business so I can go out and hire a developer(in the future hopefully it can be permenant but right now I just need a person willing to work on contract and code on weekends or their spare time and I just want to pay in cash instead of equity or future promises). At first I wasn't sure what kind of developer to hire but this question helped me understand I should target specific skills I need as opposed to general programmers. This poses a problem for me since general programmers are everywhere but if I want specific skills I'm unsure how to get them. I thought about a list of approaches but it doesn't feel complete or effective since it seems to be assuming good developers are actively looking. If it helps I want someone local(since this is my first developer hire) and looking for skills like cuda, hadoop, hbase, java and c. Any suggestions? As a FYI, I have been thinking of approaching it as: Go to meet ups for one or more skills I need. Use LinkedIn to find people with the skills I need Search for job postings that contain skills I need and then use linkedIn to reach out to that firms employees since many profiles on linkedin are not very updated or detailed but job postings generally are. Send postings to universities and maybe find a student who loves technology so much they learned these tools on their own. Post on job board. Not sure how successful it will be to post to monster. Use Craigslist, not sure if a highly skilled developer would go here for work. What am I missing? I could be wrong but it seems like good/smart/able developers aren't hunting for work non-stop(especially in this tech job market). Plus most successful people I know have work/life balance so I'm not sure if the best ones really care about code after work. Lastly, most of the skills I need aren't used in big corporations so not sure how aggressively smart developers at small shops look for work. I don’t really know any developers personally, so but should I be using the above plan or if they live balanced lives should I be looking outside of the regular resources(and instead focus on asking around my gym or my accountant or something)? Sorry, I'm making huge assumptions here, I guess because developers are a total mystery to me. I kind of wish Jane Goodall wrote a book on understanding developers social behaviour better :-p

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  • Is the book "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" a good read for java programmers?

    - by anything
    This may be subjective and likely to be closed but I still wanted to know if its really helpfull to read Structure and Interpretation of Computer programs. Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs The book does not use java. Not that I wanted to learn java. I am just curious as to know if it be will useful read to be a better programmer and what are the things that I can gain from the book or are their any other alternatives to this book more suited to java programmers?

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