Q&A With the Experts

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#1 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Q&A With the Experts

Post icon  Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:40 PM

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To kick off the new year, our resident Experts on Dream.in.Code have volunteered to participate in a Q&A! So from now through January 27th, you can post your questions our Experts. The questions should indicate which experts you would like to respond, or if it is directed to the panel at large. Our experts will then consolidate their answers, which will be posted in a separate thread.

Please note- No help/homework questions here. Post those in the help forums.


Without further adieu, let's introduce our Experts:

KYA- Hi, I'm Knowles Atchison, Jr; I have been programming for about seven years now, over one year professionally. I am a software engineer for a large consulting firm and am currently engaged in C++ and Java development. My undergraduate degree is in Computer and Information Science and I am currently working on a Master's degree in Computer Science. I hold Oracle Certified Associate and Oracle Certified Professional certifications in Java. I enjoy programming as a hobby and you can find my musings over at my Dream.In.Code blog.

jimblumberg- Okay, I've been programming for the last few decades, mostly C/C++ embedded programming. I started programming in junior high using FORTRAN IV then after a break I migrated to Sbasic and dBase II on a Kaypro, then dBase III and IV on a PC. I started my C programming using Microsoft C version 4, then moved on to C++ with Borland C++ Version 3. During that time I also used assembly for a project based on the HC11 and C on 8051 type processors. I now do most of my programming in C or C++ using gcc/g++ on Linux.

Dogstopper- Hi, I'm Stephen Schwahn, and I've been programming for 4 years - 2 professionally. I'm primarily a Java programmer, though I also work with PHP, Python, C/C++, and various other languages. I am still in high school, and have taken all the computer science classes offered. I am entering college next fall hopefully dual majoring in Physics and Computer Science, and I want to specialize in scientific computing (research focus rather than developmental focus). I work for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory as an intern. I write scripts that parse large datasets and automate tasks, and I created a neutron activation calculator for the Android platform

macosxnerd101- Michael is a college student at Virginia Tech majoring in Computer Science and Economics. While Michael started tinkering with computers from a young age, he found his love of programming in high school after taking some IT classes. Michael loves all things Java, Data Structures, and Math related, and currently works as an Android and PHP developer. He also enjoys dabbling in other languages like Erlang. In his free time, Michael can be found geeking, sleeping, eating, or bowling.

Programmist- I've been interested in computers since I was fairly young. When I was in the 2nd grade (1982) my mom would drop me off at the city library and I'd sit in on adult classes on computer architecture and how to use an Apple II. My first real programming language was BASIC on an Atari 400, which was fun...until someone would inevitably trip on the power cable and ruin hours of work. When my parents saw my frustration they got me an IBM clone PC with 512KB RAM and no hard drive, which was awesome at the time. :) I've been programming professionally for about 8 years and been in IT for about 13 years. A few years back I started my own consulting firm and have been working as an independent consultant ever since. My recent projects have included the following tech (among many more): Java, Groovy, Grails, Spring, Guice, CoffeeScript, jQuery, KnockoutJS, MongoDB, and Tomcat.

pbl-
Started in 1973 at the University of Montreal Computer Center with Fortan and Compass (Cyber serie assembler)
1981 Micom Philips on Assembler Z80. Wrote probably one of the first hard disk driver in North America
Met my first VAX in 1982, joined Digital as Software Specialist in 1986
Worked for Digital as performance specialist fixing performance problems all around the worldon VAX/VMS.
When Digital closed in 1996 in Canada started as consultant for performance problems mostly with ex Digital customer.
2005, developped during spare time Java application for selected customers.
Retired in 2008, worked for fun, programming slot machines in C for 3 years.
2011 start as permanent employee as performance specialist in C/Cobol on OpenVMS for an International Financial company in Montreal who made an offer Icouldn' refuse.

jon.kiparsky- I worked in all sorts of jobs for most of my life, picked up some web stuff and some perl along the way. Learned my way around Unix back when it was Unix. In 2008, I moved to Boston, decided to have a go at a career, and started learning Java with an eye towards making a technical writer of myself. Have since learned a fair bit of lisp, bits and pieces of other languages, and become pretty good with Java. I'm currently learning Javascript and working on bringing my knowledge of web stuff up out of the 90s. I work as a writer, and I'm interested in information and how it works, and the human aspects of coding and development, in addition to the relatively simple problems of expressing solutions in machine-readable formats.

cfoley- Programming has been a hobby since I was 9. My current project is not not building a piece of software but learning a bunch of programming languages that have always intrigued me. Professionally, I do scientific programming. I did Chemistry at uni and this background has led to studying towards a PhD in bioinformatics and commissions in hydrogeology.

Curtis Rutland- Hi, I'm Curtis Rutland, and I've been programming professionally for about five years. I'm a .NET developer for a large credit union, mostly developing intranet applications for different lines of business, including IT itself. I work mostly in Silverlight and WCF, though I also work with WinForms as well as WPF, ASP.NET, and ASP.NET MVC. I have very little formal programming education, so most of my knowledge is practical rather than theoretical, but I've spent my working years studying C# as well as the .NET Framework online. I'm usually working on several side projects, which you can follow on github.

modi123_1- I have a comp sci degree, and have worked as a software tester, programmer, designer, project lead, graphic designer, support, and release manager. My primary focus has been .NET for both internal and external desktop applications and websites, and making rainbows.

AdamSpeight2008- Adam can often be found in an area of </Dream.In.Code> where wax crayons are often eaten used, otherwise known as the vb.net forum. He originated from Barnsley (Yorkshire). He has worked for a company that did software for electronic testing and measurement equipment, but he currently seeking gainful employment. On </Dream.In.Code>, when he isn't being a Moderator, has written many tutorials and supplied lots of code snippets. Covering a broad range of subjects;- From a simple Swap Extension Method to a Permutation Enumerator for a Collection. You can find few of his Open-Source projects being hosted on CodePlex. Check out his blog The Madman Scribblings.

Dormilich- I’m for quite a long time in frontend & backend web development (in other words, I make websites as a hobby for about 15 years). I’m pretty well with X(HT)ML, PHP & JS though I’m not a designer. most noteworthy, I have read the manual(s).

tlhIn`toq- Programming since the first Commodore VIC-20's came out. All desktop application stuff (No web or mobile apps). Much of my experience is with photographic applications and using external devices: Communication with cameras, barcode/RFID readers, manufacturer SDK stuff, PLC's, sensors etc. I am the only software engineer for a company that installs globablly, so I have to do everything from design architecture to GUI to being the code monkey.

Raynes- IT background is: I've been programming for around 5 years, mostly in Clojure. My first language was Haskell, so I've always been based around functional programming. I picked up a paid internship doing Clojure at Geni in early 2011 not long after my 17th birthday and plan to move out to LA to work with them full time at some point in 2012. I have numerous open source Clojure projects of varying popularity that can be found on my Github page. I am currently authoring a book on Clojure with No Starch Press and I spoke at Clojure Conj 2011 on JVM sandboxing and my clojail sandboxing library.

Jstall- I've been programming for about four years. My primary project for the last couple of years is a social networking site for which I have done server side programming using PHP and client side using Javascript,mostly with jQuery. I also work on database design and implementation using MySQL. I use HTML/CSS fairly often although the designers at the company I work usually create the templates(views). I have passing familiarity with CakePHP and CodeIgniter frameworks, having done maintenance on some small projects that used them but am far from proficient :P

- Software engineer working in the games industry for a number of years. Am primarily a PlayStation 3 and PSVita programmer of late, but also have experience of XBox 360 and mobile platforms, as well as PC games of course. I primarily deal with Research and Development within games, being partly responsible for the quality of the platform from which games are built - this includes graphics, physics and anything else you will find in a game engine.

calebjonasson- I have been writing code for the past eight years and currently work for a large sized company; as a software engineer, writing internal software. In my spare time I like to work with data mining, mobile development and web application development. At work I primarily use PHP and Java but when I get home I like to work with different languages and try new things.

CTphpnwb- My first programming class was Fortran and I took that class in 1980. Today, most of my programming time is spent in C++ or PHP, but also I do some work in Objective C and Javascript.

baavgai- DBA and senior developer for a large utility. Primarily a Windows shop, primary with .NET; ASP.NET and C# WinForms. I've worked professionally in IT for nearly 20 years.

Kilorn- I've been programming on and off for around 10 years, mostly off. I began programming on a team of 5 people working on a text based RPG based on the SMAUG 1.4a codebase which was written in C. After that project fell through, I went quite some time without programming much beyond the little personal project when I felt the itch. I just recently got into programming heavily in the last 3-4 years and have devoted the vast majority of that time to the XNA Framework.

H3R3T1C- I'm currently a college student studying to get my degree in computer science. I have been programming for over 7 years now. I mostly program in java which include Android and the java versions of Google Web Toolkit and Google App Engine. My area of expertise is Android with almost 3 years of experience.

codeprada- I was introduced to web development languages in a Web Development class at college but I didn't fully pick it up until 2 years after. I devoted most of my time to PHP, reading books and working on project both personally and for clients, until I came here early this year. I later studied Javascript, configuring Apache plus a few other things, MySQL, MS SQL and web security a bit more in-depth so that I could create professional grade applications for clients and also share my knowledge with others.

SixOfEleven- I've been programming from the age of 10 when my brother brought home a TSR-80 computer that hooked up to the TV and was programmed with BASIC. I studied programming and mathematics through out high school and university. Focused more on writing than programming for several years and only came back to it a few years ago. Current focus is game programming with XNA. Also studied technical support and have several industry certifications when it comes to that. Currently looking for work in an IT support position and working on a couple home brew game projects.

CodingSup3rnatur@l-360- I started programming around 2.25 years ago, as a means of creating a good software product for my school IT A-level. Thus, I started to teach myself ActionScript 3.0 (the school didn't teach programming as a means of creating a software product :crazy:). My personal focus at this time was more towards web development. However, I decided that web development wasn't really where my interests ultimately lied, and I subsequently picked up a C# book, and C# has become my main/favorite language, and I haven't looked back since. I'm currently employed by a garment rental/laundry/clean room consumables company, developing internal software in VB.NET, and a business language called Progress. I write, fix bugs, and extend desktop applications mainly, but I also write software to drive the exchange of information between our software system, and three other external systems. I also provide general IT support. I am also currently pursuing a Computing and Mathematical Sciences degree with the Open University. Finally, I am using my free time at the moment to research computer architecture, OS development, and associated languages (with a particular interest in assembly language). My current project is creating my own basic operating system.

skyhawk133- Chris currently lives in Albuquerque, NM with his Wife, Dog, and Chinchilla. He is the founder of Dream.In.Code, and owner of parent company MediaGroup1 LLC. With over 12 years of web development experience and a degree in web technology, Chris worked for several web development shops, and the Department of Defense becoming a full-time consultant. His hobbies are varied and change often, but he enjoys camping with family in and around New Mexico, and photographing air shows.

stayscrisp- My name is Shaun Ross Mitchell. I have a Bsc(Hons) in Game Development, I have a good knowledge of DirectX, SDL and OpenGL using C++. I also have a diploma in Game Mathematics and Interactive Entertainment. I currently develop game clients using AS3 for one of the UKs biggest online gambling sites. My main interests at the moment are developing an engine using Adobes new Stage3D technology and improving my DirectX framework.


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Answers found here.

This post has been edited by modi123_1: 22 March 2012 - 07:29 AM
Reason for edit:: added answer link


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Replies To: Q&A With the Experts

#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:15 PM

I'll start us off with a question directed at everyone- what is the most valuable skill you have picked up for programming professionally and why? Or to phrase it differently, what is the one skill you would encourage novice programmers to pick up if they want to succeed?
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#3 aaron1178  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 09 January 2012 - 08:43 PM

Well this is something fun and exciting :) I have a question reguarding the C++ and Php panels. I consider myself an expert in Php extension writing but thought I should put this out here.

Q: Is it possible to write a Polymorphic Php extension?
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#4 DimitriV  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:02 PM

This sounds and looks like a great thread. I have always wanted to know how you experts got so good at programming and a little bit of your history - one day I hope to end up a VB.Net expert or mentor just like AdamSpeight2008. I love wax crayons!
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#5 RodgerB  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 09 January 2012 - 09:28 PM

baavgai:

I enjoy reading your posts, they are thoughtful and insightful. You mentor in many different programming languages and from posts in the caffeine lounge I see you are well thought out in topics besides programming. Despite having a vast array of knowledge, your description of yourself is incredibly modest. My questions are:

What subjects did you study prior to undertaking an undergraduate in CS/SE (did you undertake a degree)?
Did any other study such as mathematics, linguistics, physics etc apart from the aspiration of working with computers as an external motivation become a determining factor for selecting this profession?
I find programming can become quite a mundane progression into a rigorous cycle of repetition. What keeps you intrinsically motivated to perform at your best without falling into a slump?
Finally, what hobbies do you have?

And to all experts:

How often do you use an engineering model apart from trial and error / code patterns to develop your applications? For instance hypothetically, you are developing a web application with a database back-end and know that your web application will be accessed by thousands of clients at the same time (hypothetically the web application becomes live at a certain time). Do you sandbox these things and strength test server load? Apart from the regular safety nets in place for code control and quality, how are these things tested?

How often do you see mathematics used throughout software engineering that isn't in gaming, but rather for code optimization? When designing algorithms that are applied in real world applications, do you find a firm grasp of Number Theory helps to optimize algorithms, and when openly discussing mathematics are you often greeted with blank faces?
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#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:00 PM

I wanted to remind everyone as well that the questions will be compiled and the experts will post their responses in a separate thread after this one closes.

@aaron1178: That sounds more like a help question that would be better answered in the appropriate help forum. :)
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#7 RexGrammer  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:52 AM

@All:

Let's say you're at a interview for a job and the interviewer asks you to make examples of bad and good software and explain. What would you say? (Would interpret it as a trick question, or give the answer?)

Did you pick up coding style from the people you worked with or some other way?

Again the situation when you're on a interview. If the interviewer asks you what was wrong in your previous job post? (Would you risk of revealing some firm secrets by answering that or would you avoid that question somehow?)

How much of your current knowledge did you gain at your work post?
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#8 darek9576  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 10 January 2012 - 07:12 AM

@all:

Most of you have been in the industry for some time now; some for a longer period than others.

My question is: do you still find yourself motivated to go home after work and learn some technology related things outside of work, or is it more of a 9-5 job now for you and just do it for a paycheck.

How do you guys make it so that the job remains exciting.
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#9 Curtis Rutland  Icon User is online

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 10 January 2012 - 07:24 AM

Folks,

Please don't answer the questions in this thread. We'll compile a set of answers to the questions after all the questions have been asked.

Thanks.
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#10 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:02 AM

FYI - I cleaned up some of the already posted answers - so if it suddenly looks different that was my doing...

Answers forthcoming AFTER the deadline..

Remember "He that can have patience can have what he will. " (Mac Daddy T.J.)
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#11 Kilorn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:03 AM

Did you save those answers somewhere safe?
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#12 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:03 AM

Yes.. yes.. they are safe.
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#13 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:18 AM

Very, very safe. ;)
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#14 codeprada  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:39 AM

Oops...I'll save my answer :blush:

This post has been edited by codeprada: 10 January 2012 - 08:41 AM

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#15 Crockeo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Q&A With the Experts

Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:08 AM

@Most

I've seen in your bios that most of you have had a beginning programming class before college. I was wondering two things:

A ) What had sparked your interest

B ) When did you decide to become a professional

This post has been edited by Crockeo: 10 January 2012 - 10:20 AM

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