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  • Why do enterprise app programmers get higher salaries than web programmers

    - by jpartogi
    I am an enterprise app programmer, mainly using Java, but now I want to move into web programming and build websites that are visited by millions of users. But what is surprising to me is that the salary level is so much different. A Java programmer seems to get a higher salary than a web programmer. Why is this so? Is it perceived that Java/enterprise applications are more difficult, thus the programmers get a higher salary?

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  • How to introduce web development to non-programmers?

    - by Gulshan
    Once one of my non-programmer friends asked, "I have a cool website idea that I don't want to share. Rather I want to develop it on my own. So, I want to learn web development. Tell me what to do?" And sometimes many other people asked about how to start with web development as a profession. But they are non-programmers or not from Computer Science background. What should I suggest to them? Learning programming from the scratch? Or using CMS-like tools? Or anything else?

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  • Would Java programmers hire C# programmers?

    - by Linx
    I learned and used Java in college. After graduating, I got a job in C#. Two years after, there are a lot more positions in Java. Would I have a good chance to be hired as a Java programmer? What interview questions would I be asked? Update (07/10/2012): Thank you for all your answers and comments. I really appreciate it. I had a chance to work on a Java project for 9 months. It was with a mix of Perl because we were trying to migrate from Perl to Java. Eclipse has definitely improved a lot. I used Maven and Spring MVC. Pretty fun. So, after the project ended, I did Ruby on Rails. That was a year-long fun project also. Two years later, I am back to .NET. Overall, being a programmer has been very sweet. Wouldn't trade it for anything else!

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  • How do you share your craft with non programmers?

    - by EpsilonVector
    Sometimes I feel like a musician who can't play live shows. Programming is a pretty cool skill, and a very broad world, but a lot of it happens "off camera"- in your head, in your office, away from spectators. You can of course talk about programming with other programmers, and there is peer programming, and you do get to create something that you can show to people, but when it comes to explaining to non programmers what is it that you do, or how was your day at work, it's sort of tricky. How do you get the non programmers in your life to understand what is it that you do? NOTE: this is not a repeat of Getting non-programmers to understand the development process, because that question was about managing client expectations.

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  • How do you share your craft with non programmers?

    - by EpsilonVector
    Sometimes I feel like a musician who can't play live shows. Programming is a pretty cool skill, and a very broad world, but a lot of it happens "off camera"- in your head, in your office, away from spectators. You can of course talk about programming with other programmers, and there is peer programming, and you do get to create something that you can show to people, but when it comes to explaining to non programmers what is it that you do, or how was your day at work, it's sort of tricky. How do you get the non programmers in your life to understand what is it that you do? NOTE: this is not a repeat of Getting non-programmers to understand the development process, because that question was about managing client expectations.

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  • What is the actual difference between Computer Programmers and Software Engineers? Is this description accurate?

    - by Ari
    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the difference: Computer programmers write programs. After computer software engineers and systems analysts design software programs, the programmer converts that design into a logical series of instructions that the computer can follow They predict employment to increase for software engineers by 34% but to decline for programmers. Is there actually any such real distinction between the 2 jobs? How can one get a job designing programs (to be implemented by others)?

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  • Paying great programmers more than average programmers

    - by Kelly French
    It's fairly well recognized that some programmers are up to 10 times more productive than others. Joel mentions this topic on his blog. There is a whole blog devoted to the idea of the "10x productive programmer". In years since the original study, the general finding that "There are order-of-magnitude differences among programmers" has been confirmed by many other studies of professional programmers (Curtis 1981, Mills 1983, DeMarco and Lister 1985, Curtis et al. 1986, Card 1987, Boehm and Papaccio 1988, Valett and McGarry 1989, Boehm et al 2000). Fred Brooks mentions the wide range in the quality of designers in his "No Silver Bullet" article, The differences are not minor--they are rather like the differences between Salieri and Mozart. Study after study shows that the very best designers produce structures that are faster, smaller, simpler, cleaner, and produced with less effort. The differences between the great and the average approach an order of magnitude. The study that Brooks cites is: H. Sackman, W.J. Erikson, and E.E. Grant, "Exploratory Experimental Studies Comparing Online and Offline Programming Performance," Communications of the ACM, Vol. 11, No. 1 (January 1968), pp. 3-11. The way programmers are paid by employers these days makes it almost impossible to pay the great programmers a large multiple of what the entry-level salary is. When the starting salary for a just-graduated entry-level programmer, we'll call him Asok (From Dilbert), is $40K, even if the top programmer, we'll call him Linus, makes $120K that is only a multiple of 3. I'd be willing to be that Linus does much more than 3 times what Asok does, so why wouldn't we expect him to get paid more as well? Here is a quote from Stroustrup: "The companies are complaining because they are hurting. They can't produce quality products as cheaply, as reliably, and as quickly as they would like. They correctly see a shortage of good developers as a part of the problem. What they generally don't see is that inserting a good developer into a culture designed to constrain semi-skilled programmers from doing harm is pointless because the rules/culture will constrain the new developer from doing anything significantly new and better." This leads to two questions. I'm excluding self-employed programmers and contractors. If you disagree that's fine but please include your rationale. It might be that the self-employed or contract programmers are where you find the top-10 earners, but please provide a explanation/story/rationale along with any anecdotes. [EDIT] I thought up some other areas in which talent/ability affects pay. Financial traders (commodities, stock, derivatives, etc.) designers (fashion, interior decorators, architects, etc.) professionals (doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc.) sales Questions: Why aren't the top 1% of programmers paid like A-list movie stars? What would the industry be like if we did pay the "Smart and gets things done" programmers 6, 8, or 10 times what an intern makes? [Footnote: I posted this question after submitting it to the Stackoverflow podcast. It was included in episode 77 and I've written more about it as a Codewright's Tale post 'Of Rockstars and Bricklayers'] Epilogue: It's probably unfair to exclude contractors and the self-employed. One aspect of the highest earners in other fields is that they are free-agents. The competition for their skills is what drives up their earning power. This means they can not be interchangeable or otherwise treated as a plug-and-play resource. I liked the example in one answer of a major league baseball team trying to field two first-basemen. Also, something that Joel mentioned in the Stackoverflow podcast (#77). There are natural dynamics to shrink any extreme performance/pay ranges between the highs and lows. One is the peer pressure of organizations to pay within a given range, another is the likelyhood that the high performer will realize their undercompensation and seek greener pastures.

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  • Recommended books on math for programmers

    - by Anto
    Some programmers do, besides programming, like math (others don't). What books on math do you recommend programmers who like math to read? There are books which present concepts which are applicable in programming and/or computer science, other books about things which will fascinate programmers etc. Books on applying math to programming are okey, but they should be mainly about math (and not programming). Motivate your answers, with focus on why programmers should read the book(s).

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  • Why aren't young programmers interested in mainframes?

    - by temptar
    A key issue with mainframes is that the cohort of supporting programmers is dwindling. While normally this wouldn't be a problem in that a falling supply of programmers would be offset by an increasing amount of salary those causing a rising supply of programmers via the law of supply and demand, I'm not sure this is really happening for mainframes. While they still form critical infrastructure for many businesses, the simple fact is there isn't an adequate number of young programmers coming up along to keep the support population populated. Why is this? What makes mainframes unattractive to young programmers?

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  • How do Programmers in the east see programmers in the west?

    - by Jon Hopkins
    The other half of this question: How do programmers in the west see the programmers in the east? I think it's just as interesting and important to see how programmers in the east view programmers in the west. The eastern part of the world (India/China/Philippines ) is often seen as mainly providing outsourcing services to the western world (USA and Europe). Do you have the experience of working as part of an offshore team? If yes, how was it? Do you hold any generalized ideas or opinions about the programmers from the West (e.g. Are they cooperative, do they deliver on time or do they do quality work?)

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  • What do we call to "non-programmers" ? ( Like "muggle" in HP ) [closed]

    - by OscarRyz
    Sometimes I want to refer to people without coding powers as Muggles. But it doesn't quite feel right. Gamers have n00b ( but still a n00b has some notion of gaming ) I mean, for all those who Windows in the only OS in the world ( what's an OS ? would they ask ) For project manager who can't distinguish between excel and a database. For those who exclaim "Wooow! when you show them the ctrl-right click to see the webpage source code. What would be a good word to describe to these "persons without lack of coding ability?" Background I didn't mean to be disrespectful with ordinary people. It's just, sometimes it drives me nuts seeing coworkers struggling trying to explain to these "people" some concept. For instance, recently we were asked, what a "ear" was (in Java). My coworker was struggling on how to explain what is was, and how it differ from .war, .jar, etc. and talking about EJB's application server, deployment etc, and our "people"1 was like o_O. I realize a better way to explain was "Think about it as an installer for the application, similar to install.exe" and he understood immediately. This is none's fault, it is sometimes our "poeple" come from different background, that's it. Is our responsibility to talk at a level they can understand, some coworkers, don't get it and try very hard to explain programming concepts ( like the source code in the browser ). But I get the point, we I don't need to be disrespectful. ... But, I'm considering call them pebkac's 1As suggested

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  • How do you successfully hire out a few programmers to make it cost effective?

    - by Chris
    Many of us know this situation well: we're a one-man (woman) development team, we need some extra help to keep up with all the tasks, the budget is small and we decide to get some help. But hiring someone is difficult. Either the person is inexperienced and I end up becoming their full-time teacher in the hopes they will produce work they way I want, or the person is skilled but for whatever reason doesn't hand over code within budget that I can just plug in and use without reworking it myself. Any thoughts/ideas?

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  • How do Programmers in the East see programmers in the West?

    - by Jon Hopkins
    The other half of this question: How do programmers in the west see the programmers in the east? I think it's just as interesting and important to see how programmers in the east view programmers in the west. The eastern part of the world (India/China/Philippines ) is often seen as mainly providing outsourcing services to the western world (USA and Europe). Do you have the experience of working as part of an offshore team? If yes, how was it? Do you hold any generalized ideas or opinions about the programmers from the West (e.g. Are they cooperative, do they deliver on time or do they do quality work?)

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  • What books should I read to be be able to communicate with programmers? [migrated]

    - by Zak833
    My experience is in online marketing, UI/UX and web design, but I know virtually no programming. I have recently been hired to build a new, fairly complex site from scratch, for which I will be working with an experienced programmer with whom I have worked extensively in the past. Although I have a decent understanding of certain technical concepts relating to web development, I would like to build a better appreciation of the programmer's craft, in order to improve communication with my programmer, as well as the client. I have heard Code Complete is quite a good book for this. Other than reading this and learning some basic programming, are there any other books or resources that could be recommended to the non-programmer who does not wish to become a programmer, yet wishes to understand the most common concepts involved in building software, web-based or otherwise?

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  • How do you portray to non programmers what programming involves?

    - by JD Isaacks
    I get casually asked a lot to take a couple days to teach someone how to program. Most people really think they can learn what I know in a few days. When I tell them I have been doing this for many years and I can't teach them to be a programmer in a few days, they look at me like I am being a jerk and just don't want to help them. I think this is because when I say I am a programmer, or I programmed this. I truly think most people do not realize that I mean I wrote the code that makes it up. I think that they think I mean I configured it, like when you say, "I programmed my VCR." Does anyone else think this? Whats your experience?

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  • Is there a website like this?

    - by Slawek
    Hi guys, because so much questions are closed here i was wondering if there is some website that's really about programmers< you know real programmers, that have a life not codemonkeys. For example i'd like to see what programmers around the world wear, maybe pictures. It's of course related to programming but i think community here is to strict to allow anything that has no "PHP" or "Java" in title. You know, some place where you can ask questions not only related to lines of code but to ... programmers :) For now this subsite feels more than .coding, not .programmers to be honest :) BTW: I saw there's life-style tag... maybe not all hope is lost...

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  • Are SMART goals useful for programmers?

    - by Craig Schwarze
    Several organisations I know use SMART goals for their programmers. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. They are fairly common in large corporations. My own prior experience with SMART goals has not been all that positive. Have other programmers found them an effective way to measure performance? What are some examples of good SMART goals for programmers (if they exist).

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  • How do you find local fellow programmers?

    - by Pepijn
    I'm a self-tought programmer living in a small town. Except for the occasional meetups at the other end of the country, I rarely talk face-to-face with other programmers. I'm well aware of the merits of pair programming, feedback, discussion with other programmers and all... What do you do to get in contact with other local programmers? p.s. If you live near Loenen (gld), Netherlands, I'd like to have contact ;)

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  • Explaining interfaces to beginning programmers?

    - by cbmeeks
    I've had discussions with other programmers on interfaces (C#). I tried to use the analogy of interfaces being like a contract between programmers. Meaning that when you design to an interface, you are designing to a "thought out plan". This didn't fly. The other programmers (limited experience) couldn't get the concept. Or worse, refused to participate. How do you explain to people like that there are reasons to use interfaces? Thanks

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  • Are programmers bad testers?

    - by jhsowter
    I know this sounds a lot like other questions which have already being asked, but it is actually slightly different. It seems to be generally considered that programmers are not good at performing the role of testing an application. For example: Joel on Software - Top Five (Wrong) Reasons You Don't Have Testers (emphasis mine) Don't even think of trying to tell college CS graduates that they can come work for you, but "everyone has to do a stint in QA for a while before moving on to code". I've seen a lot of this. Programmers do not make good testers, and you'll lose a good programmer, who is a lot harder to replace. And in this question, one of the most popular answers says (again, my emphasis): Developers can be testers, but they shouldn't be testers. Developers tend to unintentionally/unconciously avoid to use the application in a way that might break it. That's because they wrote it and mostly test it in the way it should be used. So the question is are programmers bad at testing? What evidence or arguments are there to support this conclusion? Are programmers only bad at testing their own code? Is there any evidence to suggest that programmers are actually good at testing? What do I mean by "testing?" I do not mean unit testing or anything that is considered part of the methodology used by the software team to write software. I mean some kind of quality assurance method that is used after the code has been built and deployed to whatever that software team would call the "test environment."

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  • Where do all the old programmers go?

    - by Tony Lambert
    I know some people move over to management and some die... but where do the rest go and why? One reason people change to management is that in some companies the "Programmer" career path is very short - you can get to be a senior programmer within a few years. Leaving no way to get more money but to become a manager. In other companies project managers and programmers are parallel career paths so your project manager can be your junior. Tony

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  • How to Make Sure your Company Don't Go Underwater if Your Programmers are Hit by Bus

    - by Graviton
    I have a few programmers under me, they are all doing very great and very smart obviously. Thank you very much. But the problem is that each and every one of them is responsible for one core area, which no one else on the team have foggiest idea on what it is. This means that if anyone of them is taken out, my company as a business is dead because they aren't replaceable. I'm thinking about bringing in new programmers to cover them, just in case they are hit by a bus, or resign or whatever. But I afraid that The old programmers might actively resist the idea of knowledge transfer, fearing that a backup might reduce their value. I don't have a system to facilitate technology transfer between different developers, so even if I ask them to do it, I've no assurance that they will do it properly. My question is, How to put it to the old programmers in such they would agree What are systems that you use, in order to facilitate this kind of "backup"? I can understand that you can do code review, but is there a simple way to conduct this? I think we are not ready for a full blown, check-in by check-in code review.

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  • What's your experience with female programmers?

    - by Rachel
    Let me start by saying I'm female, but every single other female programmer I've known has been pretty terrible. The extent of their knowledge seems to be copy/paste and modify some values. Quite often they don't even try to learn new concepts, or understand what they're doing. I'm not saying good female programmers aren't out there, just that the ratio of good/bad programmers seems much worse then males. Perhaps its because everyone feels they have to give female programmers a chance to prove they are not biased? Or is this just me?? What has your experiences been with them? UPDATE: Just want to say thanks for all the responses. I've learned some interesting things and am happy to know that female programmers have such support :) My experience has been very limited with them but all bad, and I agree that it is probably due to my small sample size (around 5). I wasn't trying to be sexist with such a question, I just wanted to find out if it was really that abnormal to be a female programmer. I'm abnormal about a lot of things you'd expect from a female... I play video games in most of my spare time, I liked Math so much I completed my entire math book during christmas break one year (What can I say, I found the subject interesting), I'm not very social, I dislike shopping, I only have 2 pairs of shoes, my significant other doesn't work but does all the housework/laundry/etc... but anyways, thanks :)

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  • How to Make Sure Your Company Doesn't Go Underwater If Your Programmers Win the Lottery

    - by Graviton
    I have a few programmers under me, they are all doing very great and very smart obviously. Thank you very much. But the problem is that each and every one of them is responsible for one core area, which no one else on the team have foggiest idea on what it is. This means that if anyone of them is taken out, my company as a business is dead because they aren't replaceable. I'm thinking about bringing in new programmers to cover them, just in case they are hit by a bus, or resign or whatever. But I afraid that The old programmers might actively resist the idea of knowledge transfer, fearing that a backup might reduce their value. I don't have a system to facilitate technology transfer between different developers, so even if I ask them to do it, I've no assurance that they will do it properly. My question is, How to put it to the old programmers in such they would agree What are systems that you use, in order to facilitate this kind of "backup"? I can understand that you can do code review, but is there a simple way to conduct this? I think we are not ready for a full blown, check-in by check-in code review.

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  • What disorders and diseases commonly afflict programmers? [closed]

    - by Randell
    What disorders and diseases commonly afflict programmers? The only one I can think of is the Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but up to now, I still don't know anybody who has suffered from it. Please only post those disorders and diseases that you or some other programmer you personally know have acquired from programming. Edit: I was just recently diagnosed with GERD, which was caused by my excessive amount coffee, which stimulate gastric acid secretion that causes the thinning of the esophagus. Just imagine yourself without an esophagus just because you drank too much coffee. That's for drinking an average of 3 mugs of coffee a day on weekdays. On weekends, one liter a day.

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