So, you want a programming job?

This is a discussion on So, you want a programming job? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; http://resources.zdnet.co.uk/article...992,00.htm?r=1...

  1. #1
    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    So, you want a programming job?

    If you dance barefoot on the broken glass of undefined behaviour, you've got to expect the occasional cut.
    If at first you don't succeed, try writing your phone number on the exam paper.
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  2. #2
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Those folks at TechRepublic really are not anymore what they used to be. Quite the corporate bunch they are these days.

    Good communication skills? What's that supposed to mean? Half of the good programmers I know can't explain squat what they do. They just do it, and it enervates them having to explain it when it comes so natural to them. Not to mention a good part of them don't have poor social skills... they simply don't have or care about their social skills. I'd first hire a reclusive and shy programmer than I would hire the top kid in the block.

    The adaptability one is also funny. Here you have a way to deliver the fatal blow to a dying routine - proper software analysis; expect your programmers to just accept blindly and gladly(!!) that requirements change, they change often and they change in a unpredictable way. You see, we have to smile everytime someone just scrapped a week's work.

    Requirements change, yes. They do because sometimes its inevitable. But more often than not because the person before us did a poor job at analysing the customer requirements, did a poor job at extracting from the customer all necessary information, did a poor job at anticipating the customer wishes, and didn't even think for once to sit down with the programmers and discuss with them the software analysis part of the project. Well, sometimes that part is even skipped entirely. And you haver to accept that with a smile. No wonder the patch culture is so ingrained in our minds these days.
    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.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Obviously our views differ somewhat on this topic. I thought the article was actually quite good and I agreed with most of the points. I would agree that adaptability is important but also requirements beforehand are also equally as important but if you don't have all the reqs that's just life really.

    I think he forgot one very important one.

    Attitude. Good attitude will make up for a lack in other areas. Good attitude gets you through crunch time instead of waving your hands above your head saying 'OMG we are never going to deliver.' Bad attitude can really make or break a person's work and it can certainly demoralize a team quickly. All of us know people who are great at what they do but because of their attitude we tend to avoid them. They are certainly no fun to work with and can turn your good day into a rotten one. These are the types of people who can always be counted on to find something wrong with the company, the management, other people, and pretty much everything about life in a moments notice. I do my best to avoid such folks. These types of people have no business on teams and certainly should not be project managers. That's what I want. The captain of the ship telling us we are all going to die. That just doesn't work.

    Good communication skills? What's that supposed to mean? Half of the good programmers I know can't explain squat what they do. They just do it, and it enervates them having to explain it when it comes so natural to them. Not to mention a good part of them don't have poor social skills... they simply don't have or care about their social skills. I'd first hire a reclusive and shy programmer than I would hire the top kid in the block.
    I would argue if you cannot communicate your design well then perhaps it is not thought out properly. Communication is extremely important and a lack of it, in my extremely limited professional experience, leads to bugs, and unecessary re-design, which in the end amounts to wasting precious time.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 04-05-2008 at 02:19 PM.

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    Good communication skills? What's that supposed to mean? Half of the good programmers I know can't explain squat what they do. They just do it, and it enervates them having to explain it when it comes so natural to them. Not to mention a good part of them don't have poor social skills... they simply don't have or care about their social skills. I'd first hire a reclusive and shy programmer than I would hire the top kid in the block.
    That's a horrible stance on communication skills. For large software projects, the design is done by one or more teams - never by individuals. If you cannot communicate your designs and justifications to the rest of the team, then you are worthless. In my opinion, communication skills are just as important as programming skills for software engineers.

  5. #5
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Very important aspect no doubt! And I can relate from the other side of the fence. You see... I've developed an attitude.

    It's one of the reasons why I left the career. That and the fact I couldn't keep up with the technology. It was becoming too frustrating and too stressful and it was really affecting my personal life. I realized I had given all I could to programming as a profession. It was time I moved on. My attitude didn't bring me any good and I found my last couple for years to be an experience on moving between jobs. So yes, you do focus on a very important aspect.

    But we do differ on the communications skills I cannot deny your point, though. Food for thought...

    EDIT:
    That's a horrible stance on communication skills. For large software projects, the design is done by one or more teams - never by individuals. If you cannot communicate your designs and justifications to the rest of the team, then you are worthless.
    I agree I may have jumped a little ahead on this one. But I cannot relate either to the notion this is an essential skill. Good design describes itself. It needs very little of your communication skills. In fact, if you feel yourself in constant need of describing your choices, it's either a problem with your code or with those around you who can't do proper analysis of your code.

    Besides, the fact half of us forgot, never heard, or don't care about UML or similar documenting techniques anymore is only increasing the problem of... having to convey your code through through natural language.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 04-05-2008 at 02:44 PM.
    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.

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