Programming Experience

This is a discussion on Programming Experience within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; When I was a wee boy I used to program BASIC on my BBC Micro :'( Does that count? Nah, ...

  1. #16
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    When I was a wee boy I used to program BASIC on my BBC Micro :'(
    Does that count? Nah, I didn't think so ...

  2. #17
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    A brief life-story:

    Around the time that Todd started programming, I had a couple of years experience with the predecessors to PC's, Z80 and 6502 based machines. I wrote my first programs in Basic, then Assembler, then Pascal, then more Assembler (I wrote a Z80 simulator running on PDP-11 as a final year project in 1984/85 school year, and at the same time, started working part-time before I finished school).

    My first job, starting part-time, I did Pascal programming of an administration system for car rentals, and then a video rental admin program.

    After that I spent some time working for a couple of different "voicemail" companies, writing applications that answer those premium rate numbers, billing systems for voicemail applications, and such things.

    When I got fed up with this small company not paying very well and struggling to keep itself afloat (mainly due to incompetent management), I joined a contracting/consulting company that did real-time OS development, and I was maintainer of one processor-variant of their RTOS kernels, as well as "hired out" to one of their clients, working with the RTOS and processor debugging for a rather complex embedded system.

    I joined AMD a couple of years later, and in the process moved to England (from Sweden). I worked for the embedded processor division, then moved to desktop processors a few years later. I spent just over 7 years with AMD.

    I worked for a graphics company for a couple of years working on graphics drivers for Windows, then went back to AMD working with their new virtualization technology.

    Now I'm working for an embedded OS company.

    In total, that's about 22 years of "paid for programming" experience, in various areas, most of which involved working inside an OS of some sort or another.

    --
    Mats
    Compilers can produce warnings - make the compiler programmers happy: Use them!
    Please don't PM me for help - and no, I don't do help over instant messengers.

  3. #18
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    Started programming about 5 years ago during highschool (as a hobby, nothing to do with school). Taught myself. Loved it so much I'm now doing a Bachelor's degree in Software Engineering. I would like to move to Canada, because I like the idea of it -- But I'm sad to hear I'd be unable to get a certified engineering licence, since I'm educated outside of Canada

    As to what I have to show for it, nothing huge -- just a few small things. Mostly useless and are now kaput. I mainly do it because I like doing it, I suppose you could think of like an author that writes a few good books and doesn't bother to publish them, but eventually hopes to one day.

    > (Semi-astute members will remember this, too.)
    Oh oh oh, Me!

    Wow matsp the programming village bicycle
    @matsp or @brewbuck, Since you've been doing this for such a damn long time, through the boom and all. Have you personally found out-sourcing to be a problem? You don't have to answer that if you don't want to. I'm just keen to know.
    Last edited by zacs7; 04-03-2008 at 03:13 AM.

  4. #19
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    My programming experience starts pretty much with the Sinclair's ZX81 processors and BASIC some 25 years ago. I was living in UK back then and was probably one of the first buyers... or my dad was. Quickly moved to Pascal when my dad bought the first PC, an Amstrad PC 1512. I also started playing around with other solutions, most notably DBASE that started my love affair with databases that lasts to this day.

    My first job was at Alcatel Portugal where after an hiatus of 1 year as an operator to the IBM ES9000 Mainframe, I was finally able to start programming for money... with COBOL, for that same mainframe. I also quickly learned VMS and soon enough was administering the company's two VAX minicomputers.

    From there my life took a turn. Visual Basic was introduced to me and I kinda stopped in time as my profession and the success of this language kept me forcing using it. Starting with version 3 of this product no longer I had the time to pursue other interests. It was however this period the most... ahem... profitable of my career.

    2 years ago, after more or less 25 years of programming I quit the profession and am now running a bookstore. My lifelong dream. Picked up C++ two years ago and have been ever since experimenting with everything I can put my hands on.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 04-03-2008 at 03:17 AM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  5. #20
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    Mario a strange thing on your side:

    This ...
    Mario F.
    Using VC++ 2005
    and this ...
    After 20 years of Microsoft (Goodbye and thank you for all the fish), I moved to Linux. The culture shock I feared never happened. Be smart.
    So you use VC++ 2005 on Linux? How? Why?

  6. #21
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manav View Post
    So you use VC++ 2005 on Linux? How? Why?
    Should I answer you, or just kind of ignore the question?... I'll answer you, since I want to believe it was a question made in good faith; Because I still have windows, duh!

    I just don't use it anymore past VC++ 2005 (and a few other odds and ends until I find their replacements for linux)

    FYI, my current wxWidgets based project needs some work to be ported to Linux. Work I don't want to do. So it stays in Windows and will probably be fully developed in there and only then ported.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  7. #22
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    Sorry if I derail this thread.
    But I have successfully use MASM on Linux. Most programs compiled using MASM (for Windows of couse) also run fine.
    I used wine for this.

    So i thought maybe you were doing something of similar level.

  8. #23
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I don't think wine will do. Visual Studio uses the .net framework and wine can't work around that, as far as I know. (Or too troublesome or too slow to be a viable option)
    It's however possible to use the command line compiler - I've seen it described somewhere - with an acceptable loss in performance, I reckon.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by manav View Post
    Sorry if I derail this thread.
    But I have successfully use MASM on Linux. Most programs compiled using MASM (for Windows of couse) also run fine.
    I used wine for this.

    So i thought maybe you were doing something of similar level.
    Or you can use nasm in native Linux, which is (nearly 100%) masm compatible. gcc, I believe, is even capable of producing nasm-compatible output.

    --
    Mats
    Compilers can produce warnings - make the compiler programmers happy: Use them!
    Please don't PM me for help - and no, I don't do help over instant messengers.

  10. #25
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    Again, sorry for the derail:
    But MASM is much higher level, NASM is too low level. And I could easily compile native Linux binaries (along with the Windows binary run under wine) using MASM and binary tools. MASM would make .obj files and I would convert them using binary utilities. This was when I used to do asm programming.
    But now it's all QtC++ for me

    And to the topic, I have only more than 6 months of professional programming experience.
    I hope to catch you all soon, say, by 2010. ha ha

  11. #26
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Sorry about my reply however. It's not your fault. It's mine. I've been taking maybe a little too much crap on the forums lately and am becoming too defensive.

    as you say, back to topic.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  12. #27
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >I am interested in knowing how much experience
    >you all have and what formal education if any.
    I say I have no formal education because I didn't learn jack from the courses I took. I'm self-taught in that I didn't go to school to learn how to program, but it would be a horrible lie to say that I haven't learned a lot of what I know from other people. The rest is from experimenting and just writing my own code. I've been programming for about 12 years now.

    >It's one thing to have a general idea about many aspects of programming and quite a
    >different thing to be able to explain everything in full detail right off the top of your head.
    There's just so much information that it's impossible to keep it all in your head and not make a mess of things. There's also something to be said for being able to find the answers even if you haven't memorized them or figured them out on your own. That's a skill I've found lacking in new waves of programmers.

    In my case, I can generally keep the stuff I use on a regular basis in my head and can explain it with excellent accuracy (I've been called a human compiler because of this ). For everything else, I use references to double check myself simply because if I don't use it, my recall becomes hazy. I'll also use references to double check myself if I'm debating with some pedantic boob who nitpicks everything.
    My best code is written with the delete key.

  13. #28
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prelude View Post
    There's also something to be said for being able to find the answers even if you haven't memorized them or figured them out on your own. That's a skill I've found lacking in new waves of programmers.
    That's not a skill in my opinion, it's actually a natural talent. That is to say, you really don't get better at this (not to a significant degree, anyway), you're just born with it. The reason you don't see it so much in the "new waves of programmers" is because as computer technology becomes so much more mainstream, programming (read: h0w 2 b a hax0r or m4k game cod3z) has become more of a fad than it used to be and people who really shouldn't be programming are making an (unhonest) attempt at it because it simply seems cool.

    Not to knock the new waves of programmers (in fact, I'm sure most here would consider me in the new wave), because there are still plenty of young talent out there... it's just that I agree in that it seems a larger portion of the "new wave" seems to lack the necessasary ability to be a good programmer.

    That said, I should also mention that I have always had a gripe with those who consistantly tend to find their own solution for a problem rather than researching and finding what has been tested to be the best solution. I'm really only talking about sitations where the solution will have its dependancies in reality, not in cases where people are just solving for pleasure. This makes me think of Prelude's hashing tutorial in which she explains the most efficient hashing algorithms and why they should be used rather than just coming up with your own (likely worse) algorithm. In many cases, even if you are able to find a solution, it is not the best... and if you are reaching for the best code, then it's worth it to put the reasearch and see if someone else has done the testing, already.
    Last edited by SlyMaelstrom; 04-03-2008 at 08:04 AM.
    Sent from my iPad®

  14. #29
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >That's not a skill in my opinion, it's actually a natural talent.
    I don't agree. Perhaps some people are more inclined to research first, but the research process itself is a learned skill. The problem is that too many new programmers are used to having things handed to them and don't understand what it's like to have nothing to work with.
    My best code is written with the delete key.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    That's not a skill in my opinion, it's actually a natural talent. That is to say, you really don't get better at this (not to a significant degree, anyway), you're just born with it.

    Wouldn't a natural talent be knowing something without needing to look for it?

    Either way I don't think that's a talent, looking for something I mean.

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