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1345 posts tagged with programming.
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How do you know if you are a good programmer?

I was a comp sci major in college. That was 12 years ago. I graduated and as careers often do, I never programmed seriously again since... until now. I've spent the last 2 years teaching myself LAMP and jquery. It was like riding a bicycle. The data structures theory and other small things I managed to retain from my comp sci courses proved useful and in a very short amount of time I was able to rebrand myself a programmer. It's much easier and faster to create powerful, useful software these days than it was 12 years ago. Thing is though, and I imagine a lot of developers do this, the internet has made me more of a code aggregator than a programmer. I have 4 windows open at all times: coding window, app window, the jquery API and stackoverflow.com. Whatever I don't know how to do, I find very quickly on stackoverflow. I copy and paste the code directly and modify it as needed. Done. But I want to be better than that. I follow the general rules of good programming practice as much as I can... don't repeat yourself, be efficient, make your code neat, clean and easy to read. Without having a mentor or a guru around you, how would you know whether or not you are a good programmer or if you are a total hack???
posted by postergeist on Feb 19, 2013 - 19 answers

How to go from good software engineer to God of the Code?

(Java-flavored question) I have work colleagues who can explain how and when the JVM inlines code, or when implicit constructors are made / called based on the access level of global variables. They can think through code like the compiler thinks. How do I get to that level? [more inside]
posted by blahtsk on Feb 13, 2013 - 16 answers

Arduino time alarm without an external interrupt alarm pin on the RTC?

I want to program my Arduino to go to sleep at 6 pm and wake back up at 5 am, and then execute a few simple functions once every hour while it's awake. I have a DS1307 real-time clock, but it doesn't have an alarm interrupt pin, so I can't just set up an external interrupt to tell the Arduino to wake when the alarm pin is set to high. What's the best way to do this without an alarm pin? [more inside]
posted by dialetheia on Feb 12, 2013 - 5 answers

Contract programming position questions.

I interviewed for a remote programming gig recently, and they requested a trial contract before making a final offer. I'd be hired as a long-term remote contractor (year+, 100% telecommuting), not an employee. I have some questions: [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 12, 2013 - 8 answers

I need to learn the basics of APIs

I'm a web developer who is very capable with HTML and CSS, but that's about it. I am fairly comfortable with SQL, but now I need to learn to develop an API. I'd like to read a good book on the subject. Is there such a book? All I can find are things that explain why an API is useful, or things that assume you already know what you're doing in order to build/use an API.
posted by dylan_k on Feb 11, 2013 - 11 answers

Dot Net development tools?

Any suggestions for good Dot Net development tools? I'm interested in suggestions for a wide range of tool types, for example (but not limited to) unit testing, code coverage, style enforcement, bug finders, profiling, code/API documentation generation, installer/distributable packagers, continuous integration, build systems, report generators, static code analysis, decompilers, IDE enhancements, etc., etc. [more inside]
posted by Flunkie on Feb 8, 2013 - 11 answers

"Lazy" software

When programmers say that good software is "lazy," what exactly do they mean?
posted by thecolor12 on Feb 7, 2013 - 16 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

Crash course in freelancing please

Some freelance programming/design work (javascript data visualization) is about to drop into my lap through a friend who has heard me talking about how much I enjoy this stuff. I'm a student and have never done this professionally, but would love to in the future. Help me not look like a rookie and make this go smoothly and professionally. [more inside]
posted by PercussivePaul on Jan 31, 2013 - 10 answers

Elevator question

When an interviewer asks an interviewee for a programming job to design an object-orientated elevator control system, what are they looking for in a good answer?
posted by Artw on Jan 30, 2013 - 8 answers

PHPFilter: Need to sort array in a weird way - help

I have an array which has listing information for products on a website. The products fit into two categories (call them 'bits' and 'bobs') I need to sort the array so that it goes from a completely mixed up and randomized list to: bit, bit, bit, bit, bit, bit, bob, bob, bob, bob, bob, bob, bit, bit, bit, bit, bit, bit And so on, basically reorganize the array so that the list is in alternating groups of six Array structure is basically a numbered array of keyed arrays, like so: Array ( [0] => Array ( [id] => 39549 [title] => Product Name [author] => Author Name [price] => 7.66 [type] => bit ) [1] => Array ( [id] => 39549 [title] => Product Name [author] => Author Name [price] => 9.66 [type] => bob ) )
posted by signsofrain on Jan 24, 2013 - 10 answers

How do I find web development projects to work on?

I was told I can't code anymore, but I love to code. I want to keep up with cutting edge technologies, and while I'm learning -- why not develop projects that people need while getting a part-time income. One problem: Where can I find projects? [more inside]
posted by MMALR on Jan 23, 2013 - 6 answers

Words, bits, or what?

After a torturously long stint in grad school, I’m trying to figure out what to do next. The only things on my resume are my education, a couple of summer jobs from the early 00’s, grad-student stuff (TAing, running a colloquium for a few years), and some part-time adjuncting. Should I 1) try to get a job in publishing or some other word-related field, or 2) pursue my burgeoning interest in computer programming? (If you’ve got a plausible 3, I’d love to hear it.) [more inside]
posted by DaDaDaDave on Jan 15, 2013 - 7 answers

When you got everything, you got everything to lose.

I'm 23, and I've had an objectively great programming job for six months. Part of me wants to quit and become a barista or something. Am I crazy? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 11, 2013 - 57 answers

You have to take off your shoes before you can take off your stockings.

I'm slowly working through the problems on Project Rosalind, a bioinformatics primer. Would you suggest working out each solution from first principles, or do you think it makes more sense to look up existing algorithms and implement those? WWaBSD? [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Jan 9, 2013 - 5 answers

Spinning, exploding Excel-driven web app: How or should it be?

Sometimes, I am a front-end web developer. Frequently, I meet new people at work who want to turn really complicated Excel documents into dazzlingly interactive web applications. Besides Excel's "Save to Web App" or "Save to SharePoint" features, such people ask if I can tap into an industry to support this -- perhaps scads of agencies and web-based or downloadable tools that make "websites" or at least customizable, interactive reports from Excel spreadsheets, data, and calculations. I'm yet to find this an abundance of examples of this. Are there? If so, what do you call them? [more inside]
posted by metajc on Jan 9, 2013 - 2 answers

Best questions to pose to the interviewers in a programming interview?

What are some really good questions to pose to the interviewers at the end of a programming interview? I'm looking for ones that make the interviewers feel good about you (great question!) but ALSO make them feel good about their organization - so that everything ends on a happy note. [more inside]
posted by kitcat on Jan 7, 2013 - 14 answers

How to approach a Masters in Computer Science

I am interested in going back to school for a masters in something, but probably comp sci. I would like some advice on how to approach this. [more inside]
posted by dubitable on Jan 4, 2013 - 7 answers

Math major wants to be a software developer.

What courses should I take if I want to be a software developer? Is knowing data structures and algorithms enough? Or should I learn computer architecture, networks, and operating systems as well? [more inside]
posted by molamola on Jan 3, 2013 - 28 answers

Teach a kid to Raspberry...

Raspberry Pi online forum or F2F user groups for kids? [more inside]
posted by Currer Belfry on Jan 2, 2013 - 2 answers

The use of Linear Algebra in Programming.

I just finished my first course in Linear Algebra. I know a fair amount of Python. Please help me come up with a project that combines the two. [more inside]
posted by lobbyist on Dec 23, 2012 - 11 answers

Automated PDF modification

Is there an automated way of placing elements from one PDF file into another? Open to coding this via Python if a relevant module exists. [more inside]
posted by mnemonic on Dec 17, 2012 - 4 answers

Online Programming Courses for College Credit?

Any recommendations for online programming courses for college credit (NOT books or free online resources/tutorials)? Python and Java preferred but I'd be interested in other languages. [more inside]
posted by Alabaster on Dec 4, 2012 - 8 answers

Where is the site that does neat code archaeology on git repos?

It's a visualization tool that analyses history of a code base to do some archaeology so you know who to talk to if you have questions about that section -- I swear I saw this somewhere recently, in the past week or so. I thought I bookmarked it because it was neat. I can't find it. What's the url? maybe it was some fancy git blame thing.
posted by bleary on Dec 1, 2012 - 3 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

How to solve a complex statistics problem with a script?

In this game, you roll a number of six-sided dice to get a total. The total is either the highest single die result, or the sum of any multiples rolled, whichever is higher. For example: If I roll three dice and get a 3, 4, and 6, my total is 6. But if I roll a 4, 4, and 6, my total is 8, the sum of the two 4s. What I want to find out is the mean, median, mode, and standard deviation of the possible totals given N dice. How might I create a simple script to compute this? [more inside]
posted by j0hnpaul on Nov 30, 2012 - 24 answers

What are large corporations doing around the production of mobile apps for their organizations?

What are large corporations doing around the production of mobile apps today? For customer use, obviously, but for internal use too? Built in-house or contracted out? Android or iOS or both? Or are web-apps for mobile preferred? Where can I read more about this? [more inside]
posted by kitcat on Nov 26, 2012 - 3 answers

Make Master Make Me a Maker

I have come into an ok amount of free time and I would like to throw myself into the world of being a "maker". [more inside]
posted by sendai sleep master on Nov 25, 2012 - 12 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

Easy app maker?

I'm creating a simple mobile app for a class project. What is the quickest and easiest way to develop a "proof of concept" or prototype for someone with limited technical skills? [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Nov 12, 2012 - 8 answers

Is a failed project as a learning experience something to hide?

On my resume and/or in a job interview, do I mention my participation in the Google Summer of Code if I failed miserably at it (technically) and then handled that failure really badly (socially/professionally)? [more inside]
posted by mock muppet on Nov 10, 2012 - 16 answers

Building website for math students, first-time programmer, need some guidance.

Building website for math students, first-time programmer, need guidance. [more inside]
posted by brighteyes7 on Oct 22, 2012 - 7 answers

10: Print "Hire me" 20: Goto 10

I have an interview for my dream job next week, help me not screw this up. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 17, 2012 - 11 answers

Suggestions for 2D man/woman animation toolkits/software

I am looking for a 2D animation toolkit that helps me animate various actors, like man, woman, cat and helps in realising various actions like sleeping, running, etc. with programmatical ease. I have looked into processing.org and started to toy with simple geometric shapes, but yet to stumble across an animation with man/woman actors. Could you help me find some good resources where I could learn to animate such things? TIA.
posted by godugu on Oct 4, 2012 - 3 answers

#wrapper { smart-level= 0% }

Please help me overcome this weird language hump I have with CSS. [more inside]
posted by FirstMateKate on Oct 1, 2012 - 26 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

Is there any software that will dynamically re-project a map as you click-and-drag it?

Is there any software that will dynamically re-project a map as you click-and-drag it? [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Sep 26, 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

New to the freelancing world (programming)

What is the quickest way I can obtain programming gigs from odesk/elance/etc? [more inside]
posted by RaDeuX on Sep 23, 2012 - 3 answers

Handling complex business logic without if-then-else

I'm working on a web app (PHP) that generates a personalized health guide based on a few user choices. The logic behind the generator is complex enough that if-then-else statements would get too nested, having too many conditions and difficult to maintain. I've been reading about rules engines, DSLs, karnaugh maps, finite-state machine, decision trees, rete networks and behavior trees. In addition to being utterly confused, I'm unsure which of these is the best approach for my app. Which one do you recommend? [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Sep 22, 2012 - 4 answers

Standing on the shoulders of giants

I'm looking for a list of the best (however you define it) third-party Python libraries. E.g. Django, Beautiful Soup, PIL, etc. [more inside]
posted by prunes on Sep 19, 2012 - 12 answers

Advice on converting a python program to a web app?

Hi I have programmed on eclipse, a reasonably straightforward program in Python 2.7 that applies image filters to user selected images e.g. by turning them to sepia, black & white, negative, etc. It uses Tkinter for the graphics user interface and the program functions ok. However, I was thinking about how to turn this into a web app. So to transfer this to an Amazon cloud server, I understand that for the client side user interface I would need to convert the program by adding html and javascript to the client side while python handles the server side? Does anyone know of any tutorials or other resources that are particularly good at covering web apps like this using python, html and javascript?
posted by conrad101 on Sep 19, 2012 - 3 answers

Becoming an awesome programmer

If I wanted to become a badass programmer, where would I start? Let's say I have no experience now, and by the end of this road, I want to be able to write code for anything - websites, iPhone apps, etc. Please map out a plan on how you'd do it - what you'd read, etc. Thanks! [more inside]
posted by rastapasta on Sep 15, 2012 - 17 answers

application migration to work in the cloud

I am looking for guidance on migrating an application to the cloud, from both a practical perspective as well as a theoretical perspective for a project. [more inside]
posted by conrad101 on Sep 5, 2012 - 2 answers

What are the most marketable computer/programming skills in the Seattle job market?

What are the most marketable computer/programming skills in the Seattle job market? [more inside]
posted by brighteyes7 on Sep 4, 2012 - 18 answers

Good habits for the highly effective computer scientist

I'm a physics graduate student and my PhD work is going to involve a fair amount of programming. Aside from the coding part, what habits and skills do I need to develop to become a competent programmer? [more inside]
posted by Zalzidrax on Aug 31, 2012 - 21 answers

checkButton1 = Tkinter.Checkbutton(master=root, command=lambd GAH FORGET IT I GIVE UP

I'd like your recommendations for online learn-to-touch-type software! [more inside]
posted by Salvor Hardin on Aug 22, 2012 - 4 answers

I want to start to learn PHP *TONIGHT* on a Mac! What the hell do I need and is there a good site/tutorial/book that is best suited for the job?

I want to start to learn PHP *TONIGHT* on a Mac! What the hell do I need and is there a good site/tutorial/book that is best suited for the job? [more inside]
posted by darkgroove on Aug 16, 2012 - 13 answers

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