Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

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#1 Amadeus  Icon User is offline

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Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Post icon  Posted 09 June 2009 - 11:21 AM

Good day to all, and welcome to what we hope will be a regular periodic feature here at DIC – Q&A with the pros! In this setting pros refers to members of the professional IT community, willing to take your questions and provide answers. In the future, we will be bringing in professionals from outside the site as well, but we could not think of a better way to kick things off than by having the first panel be made up of established and esteemed professionals from right here at DIC…folks you already know.

The format (which may be altered in the future) will be thus: below is a list of the panel members, a bit of background, and areas of expertise in which they have graciously agreed to answer any questions. Questions can be posted here and should contain the question, as well as the member(s) from which you’d like to see an answer (include as many as you like). The professionals you designate will then answer the questions.

We have some top notch members here at DIC, and we’d encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity. If you have any questions about this initiative, or suggestions for improvements, please contact Amadeus via PM or email.

Post Your Questions In This Thread!

With no further ado, our professionals are:

Baavgai - currently an Oracle and SQL Server DBA, Senior Programmer / Project manager primarily doing client server with C# WinForms and intranet ASP.NET. He also does a lot of ad hoc ugliness, as required. For fun he plays with PHP, Python, Java, C, Linux, etc.

Martyr2 - The name is Martyr2 and I am a 12 year computer programming veteran specializing in desktop application and web development. I have worked for a number of companies doing specialized retail software, inventory tracking, system and database design and custom invoicing.

Currently I am the lead web developer for the world's largest travel franchiser doing corporate travel tools, maintaining their intranet and troubleshooting there 170+ global agency websites.

For over 2 years I have been answering questions on Dream in Code and writing for my blog "The Programming Underground" where I help programmers with tough problems.

I dabble in C/C++/VC++/C#, VB6/VB.NET, PHP, Ruby, Java/Javascript, and a slew of web technologies. Sometimes you can even catch me throwing out some mIRC scripting from time to time.

With my spare CPU cycles, I hack the keyboard doing mashup projects, playing with APIs and troubleshooting the impossible. I consider myself one of the leading programming theorists in North America studying programming best practices and how it leads to better system design. I am also the top rated Programming and Design answerer on Yahoo Answers Canada.

I am glad to be part of this Q&A and am looking forward to answering questions you might have.

NickDMax - I am a Java EE consultant. and I work in Enterprise Content Management and Document/Records Management. Most of my experience has been with the development of middleware and B2B applications. I have worked extensively with Workflow/process modeling for Document/Content management systems. I don't deal much with JSP -- Instead I work with Web Services, EJB, JMS, and servelets. I tend to work with systems that connect the back-office with business users.

As a consultant I get exposed to a number of different work environments using a host of different technologies and methodologies. I have work with at least 15 different teams in the last 2 years. Each with a different goal and each successful (though lots of lessons learned).

Answering questions related to Java EE -- Enterprise Development -- Middleware and B2B development -- Agile Development Methodologies -- Project life cycle -- Development processes. etc.

Psychocoder – Another of DICs most recognizable experts in many areas, Psychocoder has an affinity for .NET technologies and is happy to answer any questions in that area, as well as questions pertaining to what managers/leads are looking for in a resume and working in a team environment, both remotely and in person.

Programmist – An accomplished developer answering questions re: Java OOAD and development in practice

PBL - In the IT business since 1973 at the University of Montreal Computer Center

Joined DEC in 1986 as performance specialist who fixed performance issue on VAX and Alpha running VMS worldwide.

Pbl is easily recognized as one of the top java gurus on DIC

Skyhawk133 - can field questions on internet marketing, seo, ppc, social media, email marketing, analytics, website optimization, community management, and anything dream.in.code related.

SixOfEleven - Answering questions on object-oriented programming/analysis/design in non-specific languages as well as questions on .NET programming (excluding ASP.NET). Also offering advice on how to get started with game programming, programming games in C# and programming games with XNA.

Amadeus – A member of the professional IT community for 17 years, Amadeus has worked extensively as a software application and web developer before moving into the management side of IT shops. Answering questions on C/C++ development, web development, database administration, project and program management.

Rest assured that any questions sent by email will also be posted here to be answered.

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#2 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:27 PM

I'll kick this off.

To any/all: If you could suggest just one thing for a student interested in a programming career to learn/do, what would it be?

Baavgai: What does the future of Oracle look like? Does it have a chance of gaining traction with the likes of MySQL and MSSQL?
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#3 Nykc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 09 June 2009 - 12:40 PM

@Skyhawk - In a world where social networking is completely over running the internet world, how important do you feel using those mediums as advertising outlets would be.
ie. creating a myspace for your company, facebook, twittering about sales, etc...
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#4 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 09 June 2009 - 01:03 PM

Great question Nykc.


Just as an FYI, we're going to hold answers until we've consolidated questions as I'd like to have the responses from the experts be more in an interview style (i.e. all in 1 reply, rather than segmented).

So keep posting your questions, and feel free to elaborate on ones that have already been posted.
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#5 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 09 June 2009 - 02:03 PM

View Postskyhawk133, on 9 Jun, 2009 - 01:27 PM, said:

To any/all: If you could suggest just one thing for a student interested in a programming career to learn/do, what would it be?


That is an excellent question skyhawk. I have a good answer, but I will hold onto it as you suggested.
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#6 SwiftStriker00  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 09 June 2009 - 03:23 PM

Dear Experts,
As a computer science student graduating within the next few years I am consistently hearing how my jobs are being outsourced yet my I have a few professors telling that they are coming back (I can't tell if they are just trying to keep me motivated). So my two part question is: 1) Being in the field you have seen first hand where the jobs go, and over the last decade is the trend to outsource or keep jobs state side, or is there a more recent change in said trend? 2) Everyone knows that good work ethic, pride in the subject, and good grades help, is there any good tactics to market myself or ways to win over employers to keep the job local?
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#7 bdprogrammer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 09 June 2009 - 05:27 PM

@All Experts
Hello, i have a question. As i am not a computer science student(doing my graduation in other engineering subject) can i build my carieer as a software developer? What is needed to learn? I will be highly pleased if you show some way of starting my journey. Thanks in advance.
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#8 Core  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 09 June 2009 - 06:27 PM

@Baavgai - as a client-server solution developer, what do you think is the most important stage during the development of a client-server product? To be more specific, what stage of the development process influences the product most?

@Martyr2 - as a prgramming theoreticist, do you think that such methodologies like Agile and Extreme Programming do have a certain impact on the industry?

@NickDMax - working as a consultant for a company, do you feel that your programming skills are the most important part of the job, or there is something else too?

@PsychoCoder - as a .NET developer, do you think it is a good think that .NET includes many libraries that previously required developers to write hundreds of lines of code to perform the same task? Some developers affirm that by using this instead of writing the function/class on your own (basically re-invent the wheel in this case) the developers lose their analytical/development skills.

@Programmist - as a Java developer, do you think that Java will still be actively used on mobile devices in a few years or it will become outdated?

@PBL - what made you choose Java as your primary language instead of something else, like C++?

@Skyhawk133 - as an Internet Marketing specialist, do you think that the current trends in Internet advertisement cause the users to become more irritated by ads and therefore seek to avoid them?

@SixOfEleven - as an active XNA user I can say that it is a good place to start for those who are just getting into game programming. However, do you think that it is also a domain for professional game developers? We don't see too many major game projects being developed in XNA.

@Amadeus - as a database administrator, what was the worst problem you encountered when managing a database server?
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#9 xiii1408  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 09 June 2009 - 06:36 PM

To Martyr2 and Amadeus:

What would you advise those studying C++ on their own to study after finishing their first C++ book supposing the book covers C++ concepts leading up to and including the STL?

Thank you.
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#10 crazyjugglerdrummer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 09 June 2009 - 06:38 PM

General question for everyone, not necessarily just experts:

Where do you think the OS trends are going? What impacts will this have?

Windows Vista is gradually replacing windows XP, will this allow us to use more cutting edge .NET technology as people upgrade? Mac OS X and Linux are steadily gaining popularity, Is cocoa mac development/linux development going to be more important in the future? Will we finally get C# semi-cross platform with MONO?

some w3 operating system stats
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#11 pbl  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 09 June 2009 - 08:45 PM

View PostCore, on 9 Jun, 2009 - 05:27 PM, said:

@PBL - what made you choose Java as your primary language instead of something else, like C++?


I started with assembler on CDC 6000 in the early 70ies
Then Fortran was my language for years then came Cobol and later they invented C
I did Cobol and C for a leaving during years

When the tendancy went to C++ I really hated that language, for me C++ is patched (with an horrible syntax) to support old C programs.

Then, when DEC disappeared, I had a mandate in a Java shop in Montreal to make a bridge between the Cobol main application and the Java based backbone. Making Cobol calls JSP pages is a challenge a can tell you :D And I felt in love with Java. Seemed a lot clear to me, not a patched language. Why making a Vector of Objects as in C++ when making a Vector of pointers to Objects as in Java makes a lot more sense. Imageine the time you save in the Vector code when all the slots have the same size (4 bytes).

I said that I would never touch C++ anymore....

Felt in love with a woman in a small city, so moved there. No Java job here... so for living, I work on a shop writting C code for slot machines on good old board with Motorolla chips. But still a Java lover so, as I can't code in Java at the office, I code/fix code in Java here.

Wrote few very nice applications in Java, but I am not a marketing guy, so I post them free on the net.
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#12 Core  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 09 June 2009 - 08:51 PM

Thanks for the reply, pbl, great answer! :)
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#13 masteryee  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 10 June 2009 - 12:21 AM

This is more of a general question to all developers: do any of you actually NOT have a bachelor's degree in computer science or computer engineering? If so, how difficult was it getting into the industry in terms of landing a full-time programming job? I know you're all programming gurus, but I'm curious how important a degree is to you and/or your employers, and how you would evaluate a potential coworker or employee who does not have a bachelor's degree, but knows how to code. Thanks.
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#14 red_4900  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 10 June 2009 - 05:14 AM

View Postmasteryee, on 9 Jun, 2009 - 11:21 PM, said:

This is more of a general question to all developers: do any of you actually NOT have a bachelor's degree in computer science or computer engineering? If so, how difficult was it getting into the industry in terms of landing a full-time programming job? I know you're all programming gurus, but I'm curious how important a degree is to you and/or your employers, and how you would evaluate a potential coworker or employee who does not have a bachelor's degree, but knows how to code. Thanks.

To elaborate on the above post, how would someone like me, who's taking system engineering, fare when trying to get into the industry? We do learn programming, although not as detail as those in CS do. I'm more interested in desktop application than system-embedded software, so I would appreciate it if any of you could give me any advice on trying to break into the industry.
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#15 Smurphy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Pros - Round 1

Posted 10 June 2009 - 07:14 AM

@Martyr2 I see from your blog and such that you are not limited by taboos. You will try and learn from everything including things that society looks down upon. Hacking. Some of your stuff borders on that taboo subject. Well I am focusing my studies on better "safer" coding styles. Also I am fascinated by the thought of doing red teaming some day. Do you think there is anything wrong with studying these kinds of subjects? I seem to get a lot of flack from people for studying code breaking and hacking. Also do you believe there is a lot that can be learned from such subjects? I find buffer overflows and the theory behind them fascinating.

@PsychoCoder As a project leader and manager does passion come into play at all? What I mean is if you were looking to hire a new guy and you had a choice between a good coder and an "ok" coder but that "ok" coder had a love for the job not just and ability for it. Would that help him at all?

@Anybody that wants to throw an answer out Have you ever had trouble communicating with people? To give an example last night after watching the video on google wave I was excited. Tried to explain it to my my dad and he was extremely rude and exclaimed he didn't understand, saying everything short of "I do not give a shit I am watching UFC ugg ugg me smash" Any tips on trying to communicate with people who are not computer savvy? I seem to be stuck trying to fix problems no one understands and am the target anytime a computer breaks.
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