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Best resources for learning SQL for database newbies

I am making a transition from an Excel-based reporting analyst to a database-oriented role in which SQL will be the primary necessary skill. I have next to zero database experience. I'm looking for resources that would be effective at teaching me what I need to learn. More within… [more inside]
posted by JimBJ9 on Aug 20, 2014 - 15 answers

I have no IDeaL what I'm doing (IDL programming for absolute dum-dums)

So, I recently got selected to do undergraduate physics research this summer. Great! Awesome! Yay me! However, my research advisor has asked me to use something called IDL to analyze tomographic images of compounds and turn them into 3D images. This is good news, because IDL is used a lot by astronomers to analyze astronomical data, and I want to continue my education in astronomy. But, I've never used IDL ever before. I'm not even sure exactly what it is (a programming language?). My question is this: how do I get up to speed so that I can hit the ground running with my research? Difficulty: Research begins in two weeks. Details: [more inside]
posted by runcibleshaw on Apr 25, 2014 - 12 answers

Concrete steps from academic economics into data science/management

I would like a job that allows me to write programs or scripts for data processing/analysis. I am trying to understand what a move from academic economics to data-science/management would involve for me in terms of specific steps and goals. What would I need to learn, and what should I prioritise learning? Should I study at home or take a course? When (i.e. after how much or what sort of study/self-study etc) should one think about actually applying for those sorts of jobs? [more inside]
posted by mister_kaupungister on Apr 4, 2014 - 7 answers

Help me hire a programmer

I am working on my dissertation, and I need to hire someone to write some code that will scrape content off of a password-protected site that uses AJAX. I don't really know how to go about doing this. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 27, 2014 - 17 answers

Comprehensive machine learning text[book]?

As a post-Masters student in a technical discipline -- computer-science-related -- I find myself wishing to fill in knowledge gaps from courses that I took in school. I'm looking for one, long, comprehensive text on Machine Learning (or several shorter texts) from which to self-teach the whole ML process from beginning to end. Topics of interest would be - supervised, unsupervised and semi-supervised learning - clustering, classification etc. Having already delved into Manning's 'Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing' in school I feel I've a decent knowledge of SVMs, perceptrons, clustering, (H)MMs, etc. but I'd like to learn more about general algorithm design, ML and how it has evolved over the years. Thanks! :)
posted by code_n_cakes on Nov 5, 2013 - 4 answers

Unusual APIs

I have become obsessed with cool and unusual web APIs, especially those that interact with the real world (read or write). Help me find some more. [more inside]
posted by LiteOpera on Oct 12, 2013 - 6 answers

You had me at 'hello world' in n log n operations.

I want to duplicate the experience of taking a college course on algorithms and data structures. I am unlikely to stay in sync with a fast-paced online course with firm deadlines. What are my best options otherwise? [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Sep 15, 2013 - 8 answers

Self-teaching programming skills -- some bumps in the road

I know MOOCs have like, a 7% success rate and I'm starting to viscerally understand why. How do you keep yourself on track, as a self-guided learner? How do you shift gears between multiple programming languages? How do you refresh yourself on material after a lapse? Special snowflake background details within. [more inside]
posted by dee lee on Sep 7, 2013 - 6 answers

IntertiaFilter

What $20 item will help me remember that I can make better use of my time than playing video games? Exciting snowflakes inside! [more inside]
posted by Tevin on Jul 12, 2013 - 14 answers

How do I scope a dynamic webpage thingy?

I'm pretty dim, but I've been told to write a scope of work for a dynamic webpage. Can you help me with the lingo? [more inside]
posted by Banish Misfortune on Jul 11, 2013 - 5 answers

Help me find a website: mash your keyboard and lines of code appear

That's about it - it was a one-trick website with a programming version of Guitar Hero, where you would mash your keyboard and lines of code would appear in that rhythm. Help?
posted by sixswitch on Jun 22, 2013 - 3 answers

Finding an over-the-phone "tutor" for ASP.NET

Does anyone have any suggestions about finding an over-the-phone "tutor" for ASP.NET -- someone whom I can bug throughout the day with simple 5 minute questions e.g. "what's the best way to update multiple tables on insert from an ASPxGridView?". [more inside]
posted by tomargue on Jun 6, 2013 - 8 answers

Extracting Data from SEC's EDGAR system: How (w/o XBRL)

Trying to run some value-investing analyses, and running into a huge roadblock. I want to extract SEC filings (via the EDGAR database) on a daily basis and have the data inserted into a MySQL database. I'm basically looking at forms 10-Q, 10-k, DEF-14a, and forms 3, 4, and 5. After the initial set-up, I'd only need to d/l forms that have changed (via change of timestamp, I'm assuming). [more inside]
posted by NYC-BB on Jun 4, 2013 - 6 answers

How does one become Tony Stark? (the Engineer, not the Iron Man)

If you were starting with no applicable background, no engineering degree, nothing except for a lot of free time and a moderate amount of money to spend, how would you become Tony Stark? No limits on time, whether it's 6 months or 60 years, how would you go from Joe the VCR clock programmer to Tony the Engineer? [more inside]
posted by walka on May 26, 2013 - 21 answers

What is a good programming tool for developing RPG games?

I want to develop an RPG game based on a non-popular, out of print tabletop RPG - the game I'm developing will be for PC/Mac/(possibly mobile). So far, I'm looking into RPG Maker, which seems to be able to fit the bill most appropriately. I've also looked at Titanium for developing mobile games, but this seems like it's not necessarily a good fit for just hitting the ground running. Any ideas are welcome - priorities are that the system is flexible for development and is easy to begin with (I'm cool with advanced features, but don't want to have to hack the system in order to merely start bringing my ideas to fruition).
posted by jibberish on May 19, 2013 - 6 answers

Outlook and VBA

How to make Outlook automatically change the "From:" field when replying to certain emails? [more inside]
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man on May 13, 2013 - 5 answers

Talk to me programmers!

Is it worth changing careers, getting a masters in CS? [more inside]
posted by nel on Apr 12, 2013 - 17 answers

What's the deal with programming author Yashavant Kanetkar?

This comment in a Hacker News thread introduced me to Yashavant Kanetkar. Apparently his C programming books are the worst of the worst. Yet somehow, the Indian education system uses his books pervasively. I tried to find out more about this guy and the controversy around him, but web searches turned up a flat nothing. Anyone read his books or know about the story?
posted by scose on Mar 3, 2013 - 2 answers

Data-getting programming for noobs

Can you help me get an idea of what this personal programming project of designing a "data-getting" program (details inside) would involve, given I would be starting from noob level? Alternatives? [more inside]
posted by mister_kaupungister on Feb 5, 2013 - 12 answers

Subscription service: how to price it? What to avoid?

I have an opportunity to develop a CMS-type web service for a franchise where I will charge ongoing monthly subscriptions instead of an upfront development fee. They have been burned by two failed projects already; I have no interest in selling my hourly labor beyond my day job; hence the subscription idea. I am excited about this opportunity (yay residuals!) but I want to be really careful not to bite off more than I can chew. [more inside]
posted by rada on Feb 5, 2013 - 8 answers

Responsive Email Template Resources?

Know of a good resource for mobile-friendly responsive email templates for html emails? [more inside]
posted by mgriffioen on Nov 30, 2012 - 2 answers

Minimum level of skill or ability to be a programmer/UX designer

What is the minimum level of skill or ability to be a programmer/UX designer? [more inside]
posted by ChipT on Nov 21, 2012 - 11 answers

What should I ask my CVP?

I am a software developer at [a big software company]. In a few hours here, I've got a one-hour meeting with my retiring-this-month corporate vice president. We are both women in tech. What should I ask her? [more inside]
posted by kthxbi on Oct 1, 2012 - 8 answers

Help a beginner learn Java/J2EE

I need to learn Java/J2EE. Where do I start? What resources are out there? How do I become a good programmer overtime? [more inside]
posted by turniphead on Sep 28, 2012 - 4 answers

CompSci/Programming Social Network?

So, I'm getting back into programming and am interested in comp-sci type stuff. I've been thinking about maybe rejoining G+ and socializing with various ubernerds who are into that kind of thing... I left over the nymwars, but it seems they still haven't fully fleshed out their policy yet, so I'm still hesitant to jump back onto it. Is there any other sort of social network for nerds? I mean, like, a social network, not just a question/answer site stackoverflow, but some place where you're really feel like you're interacting with others? I feel like G+ still probably has a solid set of users from the technical fields, though I could be wrong, since I haven't used it in over a year, but at the time it had plenty of geeky people. I subscribe to the /r/compsci and programming subreddits, but I'd like something more personal and less forum-y...
posted by symbioid on Sep 25, 2012 - 15 answers

This gradient effect is harder than it looks

I'm a coder and a total neophyte regarding graphics and design. I see this kind of single-color gradient everywhere, but simply cannot manage to make one myself. [more inside]
posted by tempythethird on Aug 9, 2012 - 12 answers

Where can I find a good programmer, and how on earth do I budget for them?

Where can I find a good programmer, and how on earth do I budget for them? [more inside]
posted by XtinaS on Aug 8, 2012 - 7 answers

Can you help me find this blog post?

Some tech blogger - probably one with a Mac focus - wrote a post about leaving TextMate for a different text editor, in the style of someone addressing a person with whom they were ending a romantic relationship. Can you help me find it?
posted by Egg Shen on Jul 27, 2012 - 4 answers

Regarding the Android Market, what apps do people think are missing?

Regarding the Android Market, what apps do people think are missing? I'm teaching myself a little Android programming. I'll try upload eventually a free app or two hopefully that the Marketplace doesn't already have a bunch of.
posted by KHinds10 on Jul 23, 2012 - 18 answers

Help Me Make An Interactive Data Visualization

I want to make a map-based interactive data visualization (to be accessed on the Internet) and I have no idea where to start. [more inside]
posted by Defenestrator on Jun 14, 2012 - 12 answers

Bookmarklet help wanted

Help me find a good set of tools for creating bookmarklets. [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss on Jun 12, 2012 - 9 answers

I'm hiring a freelance programmer for the first time...what pitfalls should I watch out for?

I'm hiring a freelance programmer for the first time...what pitfalls should I watch out for? [more inside]
posted by internet_explorer on Jun 8, 2012 - 11 answers

What can I do to move into product development software?

I'd like to move to a company that makes software as it's primary product... what kind of skills will I need to add to my resume to get in the door? [more inside]
posted by underflow on May 30, 2012 - 3 answers

How to parse a text file & collect a piece of each line automatically?

I need to go through text files, each containing hundreds of lines, and copy a specific part of each line, and then add all those parts together into one long line, each part separated by a comma. But how? [more inside]
posted by Unhyper on May 9, 2012 - 13 answers

Help me fill out a job description.

I was given the task of filling out a job description for a programming environment. Should I respect the history of previous job descriptions when writing out this job description? [more inside]
posted by DetriusXii on Apr 30, 2012 - 9 answers

New spelling, new root?

I'd like to check if changed spellings are changed words. [more inside]
posted by meinvt on Apr 13, 2012 - 6 answers

C++ filter: How do I get a filename from a FILE * pointer?

Is there a way to find out the filename associated with a specific FILE * pointer? (OS: Red Hat EL 5) [more inside]
posted by tckma on Apr 12, 2012 - 28 answers

Help me populate a spreadsheet by scraping an RSS feed.

I would like to scrape information from an RSS feed into an Excel-readable text file for a completely legal non-copyright violating use. In a better world, I'd have access to the database that generates the feed, but since this ain't a perfect world it appears that scraping is my best bet. Are there tools that will help me automate this, or programming tutorials that will help me figure it out myself (it's been 15 years since I last write any code beyond simple SQL queries)? [more inside]
posted by croutonsupafreak on Apr 4, 2012 - 9 answers

PHP Form woes

LearningProgramming(PHP)Filter: I have a form with a select field (with about 70 options) and a couple of radio buttons. The final result differs according to what has been selected. I'm pretty sure the worst possible way to do this would be to use a lot of IF and IF ELSE statements but I'm not sure what would be the "correct" way to do it. [more inside]
posted by Memo on Apr 4, 2012 - 13 answers

Indie programmer or call-center drone? A false dilemma disguised as hope?

Does it make sense to block off a few months to develop the skills needed to pursue a modest career/business developing indie games and mobile apps for Android, or am I better off just getting an entry-level job at a call center and make a decent amount of money doing sales or tech support? [more inside]
posted by porcupine on Mar 28, 2012 - 15 answers

Show me how to flip a coin 15 times and tell me all 32,768 possible outcomes

How do I find every possible outcome of an arbitrary length set of coin flips? [more inside]
posted by mcstayinskool on Mar 22, 2012 - 8 answers

SQL Query to find unique combinations

SQLNoobFilter: I am trying to find all unique combinations on a table. Does my simple query do the trick or is there more to it? [more inside]
posted by amazingstill on Mar 14, 2012 - 5 answers

How do I promote my Open Souce tech project?

How do I promote my Open Souce tech project? [more inside]
posted by KHinds10 on Mar 9, 2012 - 7 answers

Can one man still create a complex website

Hello, brightminded and helpful mefi's. I have an idea for (IMO) an awesome new website that I believe will be huge. Is it still feasible in this day and age for a person to buy a stack of books and learn the coding skills needed for a website with very robust features, to say the least? Or will I have to acquire the funding to hire the people to do this? Funding is non-existent at the point in time.
posted by DesmondDoomsday on Mar 5, 2012 - 11 answers

What should I learn to work with awesome programmers?

Suppose I'm a programmer. I want super awesome companies to be excited about hiring me. And I want to work with nice and smart people. What kinds of techonologies should I spend my time learning? [more inside]
posted by oranger on Mar 5, 2012 - 26 answers

Useful to you, programming for me?

I want to contribute with my programming ability (software developer) to free software. I could be developing another tower defense game but prefer a small project which might be mildly useful to somebody and possibly teaches me something outside of programming. What would be a useful to you and a good project for me? [more inside]
posted by EuroBunny on Feb 25, 2012 - 10 answers

Where to start with teaching a bright 13 year-old programming?

Where to start with teaching a bright 13 year-old programming? His interest comes from wanting to code Minecraft mods. [more inside]
posted by grubby on Feb 23, 2012 - 19 answers

Best path to becoming a web app guru

What's the best way to learning web-app development after working through Learn Python the Hard Way (or any other introductory Python book for noobs)? [more inside]
posted by rahulrg on Feb 17, 2012 - 7 answers

What kind of magic does QString().setNum() do?

What kind of magic does QString().setNum() do to convert -1413011644 to 2881955652? [more inside]
posted by crawl on Feb 16, 2012 - 6 answers

Design Patterns / Jazz Standards

Hello MeFi. I'm curious as to the correlation between software development Design Patterns for and Jazz Standards. Usual loot from Google: Some dude who thought of it first (and used it as a nice allegoric explanation in Programmers Stackexchange and a somewhat geeky ironic coding-related mention ("Jazz supports interaction through event listeners"). These are all nice examples of the basic similarity between the two, I'm looking for more, though. Are you aware of any materials that somehow approach this idea?
posted by lipsum on Jan 25, 2012 - 2 answers

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