Beginning enthusiast programmers on MeFi are often advised to learn by working on a substantial project and then exhibit it publicly on GitHub. How can someone new to a technology or tool scope out learning projects that are (a) commensurate with the learner's current, possibly rudimentary skills, (b) substantial enough to be a significant learning opportunity, and (c) interesting enough to hold the learner's attention past the initial phase? I'm especially interested in suggestions for learners who aren't learning front-end technologies or don't want to build yet another shopping cart or calendar widget.
I need a guide suggestion on learning for developing Android app and game. First of all, I have no background in programming and I am never good in math. What I do have is artistic skill and two ideas for mobile devices, one calendar app and one time management game. [more inside]
It's been nearly 10 years since I've poked at game programming as a hobby (Hi smackwich!). What are the best platforms, engines or technologies for not-windows hobby/indie game devs these days? [more inside]
I'm a very inexperienced freelance programmer, who recently delivered a completed software project to a client. They liked it, and asked me if I'd consider "a small annual fee for three years to help with technical issues once it goes live". That sounds fine to me! Except that I have no idea what to charge here - I'd guess 10% p/a but that's pure speculation. Is there some sort of industry standard I could refer to for this sort of thing? If not, what do you typically ask for?
Career advice filter: I'm currently an experienced research assistant at a major research university (three years out of undergrad) who developed serious programming skills working on NLP projects doing parsing and information retrieval. My undergraduate degree is in Linguistics. I'm attempting a career transition into a more purely technical, software-oriented, possibly NLP-flavored position. Do you have any practical advice for ways that I can showcase my programming abilities and/or convince prospective employers that I am solid candidate (despite the lack of CS degree)? [more inside]
I’m a US citizen and would like to go somewhere for a coding 'vacation' for a few months. Essentially I just want to live somewhere cheap and work to improve my software development skills – learn new languages, build a couple projects, etc. Where could/should I go? [more inside]
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]
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]
I work for a large public sector institution. We have about 30 developers. Our code base is about 2 million lines of code. It's been custom developed over about 12 years. New CIO wants to gradually replace it all with vendor solutions, 3rd party apps. Reasoning being is that they want their apps to do more and more and feel 3rd party (SAP/PeopleSoft/etc) can do it faster. They state that they won't need to let anyone go, since the new system to replace this one will be doing so much more there will be a need for programmers to do an maintain integration code. I'm a developer, what is the end scenario here? More developers? Less? All outsourced? Are there case studies of similar transitions?
Google App Script - no error generated? I have two scripts that run on form submit, but sometimes they don't run at all. No emailed errors, no messages to the execution transcript or log. [more inside]
I can't find a text messaging app that does everything I want, so I use multiple apps and confuse my friends with multiple phone numbers. Is there a better way? [more inside]
I'm working on some personal full-stack projects and trying to figure out what my options are for setting up a development environment. For work stuff, I'm used to deploying a dev environment on a machine inside the corporate firewall and then either VPNing or SSHing in to work on it remotely, but I'm not sure what the best choice is for personal projects. [more inside]
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?
What are some practical, small (meaning not necessarily enterprise scale) uses for Erlang? [more inside]
For the past year I've been trying to bike down every street in St Louis. In the beginning this was easy and wide-open and fun. The middle has been less so. Now, sitting at ≈65% completion [map: zoomable | 1.5mb png | GPX] my current approach has become overwhelming and tedious, and is no longer working; I need to get way smarter about this. How would a programmer, a mathematician, or a GIS/transit specialist approach this endgame, and what tools/software would he/she use? [more inside]
I'm in a pretty miserable job and I'm trying to get another gig. A yearlong job hunt hasn't really been fruitful, so I'm trying to branch out. What else should I be looking for? [more inside]
I'd like to learn basic CoffeeScript for a one-off project, but most of the books I've seen come from the perspective of the JS developer making the leap to CS. JS is ubiquitous and will no doubt come in handy in many more situations. What is a good pocket library of 3-4 books for someone new to JS and front-end web dev stuff, but not new to programming concepts? (For example, my C pocket library is K&R, Deep C secrets, and C: A Reference Manual. I know that the front-end web world is a lot richer than C-world, but do what you can to help me.)
Currently a Microsoft developer looking to expand my horizons into the world of mobile native application development. I've ready quite a bit regarding the debate between native and non-native apps (PhoneGap vs. native iOS vs. native Android vs. Titanium vs. other frameworks). I'd like to take a stab at getting my feet wet with Objective-C and iOS first. Where do I start? [more inside]
Tomorrow morning I'm meeting with someone to talk about implementing a local scheduling/database application. Most everything I know about the project suggests it's something I could do in my sleep. Thing is, I desperately need the money, I don't know how much to "bid," and I have a long history of undervaluing my work. How much should I ask for? [more inside]
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]
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]
I'm lacking direction in my job hunt. Can you recommend a specific tech recruiter? [more inside]
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]
I want to analyse a whole bunch of satellite imagery at the same time, and I'm not sure my usual tools (GDAL, R, Python) are adequate for the job. [more inside]
I'm writing a simple simulator with python and I would like to be able to have my users log in to the simulator over the internet and change their own set of variables. [more inside]
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).
I feel like the best way for me to improve my very basic understanding of PL/SQL would be a book or website designed for an audience of programmers who know Java or C# or VB.NET. Is there such a thing? [more inside]
How to make Outlook automatically change the "From:" field when replying to certain emails? [more inside]
I have an urge to make a series of cheat sheets for a project that currently lacks them (the Grails web framework, if anyone's interested) and am looking for design inspiration. It's easy to find cheat sheets online, but most of them are (perfectly functional!) variations on zebra-striped tables. Googling for "well-designed cheat sheets" and similar gives results that contain cheat sheets for designers - I am looking for examples of well-designed cheat sheets that use color, typefaces etc. in a way that's information-dense but also pleasing to the eye. If anybody has links to examples of cheat sheets (for programming languages or otherwise), please leave a comment.
I am teaching myself how to program. But there seems to be a big gap between intro courses/resources (CodeCademy, O'Reilly books, Learn X the Hard Way) and Actually Doing Things. Help me figure out a road plan? [more inside]
I'd like to travel the world for a few years and work on some iOS app ideas at the same time, with the hope that if one of 'em makes enough money I can keep doing it forever! However, I reckon hostels probably aren't the most productive places in the world. Have any of you ever done something like this? What's the best approach for getting in the zone and being productive when you're on the go and surrounded by people? Are coffeehouse programmers as common in Europe as they are in the Silicon Valley? What about work-life balance -- is it possible to maintain a healthy hostel social life while also getting stuff done? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
Programming question: I'm looking for recommendations for some kind of visualization tool to help me stay organized within complex nested loops and if statements. [more inside]
I am a beginner in information technology, and I need to learn HTML5. For me to start learning HTML5, I need to know what languages/codes that I should know to start working in HTML5. I know HTML5 are used for webpages, mobile, games, and others. For example, I knew that I should be familiar with CSS3 So what are other basic information and skills needed to learn before starting with HTML5? Thanks
I'm applying for jobs as a programmer and I'm wondering whether to list the freelance programming work I've done. [more inside]
I'm looking for best-practices for managing multiple versions of the same C# code which are *almost* the same, but not quite. [more inside]
Is it worth changing careers, getting a masters in CS? [more inside]
Are there any published studies / figures about what percentage of smartphone users know what GPS is (i.e., do smartphone users know GPS determines your precise location)? Bonus question: do they know it's a battery drainer? [more inside]
For a personal project I'm working on, what would be the best programming language if I wanted the user to be able to input some text and image choices and have them receive the information back in an eBook? I've used PHP before to store and retrieve that information, but I'm not sure it could handle the conversion to an ebook. [more inside]
Should I attend App Academy? [more inside]
For basically my whole teen-to-adult life I have wanted to write AI for video games as a hobby. Mostly games of the overhead strategy type, think Red Alert, Warcraft (not World Of), Starcraft and so forth. [more inside]
I'd like to help my friend look into a career in programming. Best way to do it? [more inside]
I'm trying to hire a full time coder for my business. I build, maintain, and remodel my own portfolio of websites (PHP, JS, WP, HTML, CSS, MySQL, etc). Once I have a few candidates I would like to assign them all the same small (paid) project so that I may assess their abilities. What should the test include? All candidates will be US-Based. $6000/mo budget cap. [more inside]
This Fall I will be starting a PhD in the social sciences. Because of my research interests/subfield, I will have to know the ins and outs of statistical software like R, Stata, and SAS. Can this knowledge enable me to freelance for some supplemental income or should I being learning another programming language? [more inside]
I'm trying to work out how to use something like grep or sed or awk (or maybe even some Perl) to extract a string of characters which appears in a predictable place in a series of text files. Help/advice/tutorials very welcome! [more inside]
I'm having maddening problems creating objects in Python. Details inside [more inside]
Where and how can I hire someone in the U.S. (or India or any other country with these skills) to write a mobile app for me? I'm aware of websites like elance and odesk where programmers bid for work. What's the cost range for this type of quality work? [more inside]
Is Django still widely used by software developers? [more inside]
I just started my first developer job. I squint at the computer screen all day. By the end of the day, my eyes are red and bloodshot. I can't deal with small text, but I can't make it all bigger - for instance, I can change the size of the code in my IDE, but not the debugger. I've reduced the brightness of my monitors dramatically. The only time my eyes don't hurt is when I'm so absorbed in my work that I don't notice. By the end of the day, I don't want to focus my eyesight on anything; it's even killing me to type this. Even watching tv bothers me. I seriously don't know how to take care of my eyes. Can you please offer some advice, and even give me a few horror stories about what happens to people who don't learn to take care of their eyes? [more inside]
i have a need for a new document format. This document format would be novel, bringing together various kinds of media (text, code, vector and raster image formats, and maybe others) together in one container. These pieces would all have specific relation to one another, as defined by the creator of the document. I know that no document format exists to do what I want to do, and I'd like to develop it - by myself, at first, until I get a handle on the basics of the problem. [more inside]