Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

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#1 sniderj1  Icon User is offline

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Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:59 PM

Hi guys,

I've recently gotten an internship for the winter at a local tech company. It pays about $20 an hour and will be full time. My only task for the next three months is to work on a program that will automatically determine whether a program is following the company's best practices. None of the people I've talked to have been very optimistic about my chances. How optimistic are you guys?
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Replies To: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:07 PM

Not knowing a thing about you - I say a bit under half.
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#3 sniderj1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:27 PM

Ouch, is that because you expect the program to be hard or me to be an incompetent?
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:41 PM

First we don't like to call it incompetence, but rebrand it as "inexperience". Vegas odds give it a mix of both degree of difficulty and incompetence inexperience. ;)/>

Again - I don't know you or what this company's coding standards are.. so who knows. Them giving you this as a project is a positive sign they somewhat expect you to run far with it based on what they assess your skill set as. That or they are sadists and will be taping the whole thing for a humor series on youtube.
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#5 sniderj1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:52 PM

Not sure how much I should tell you since I haven't seen the non-disclosure agreement yet, but it's basically seeing if a program meets the standards of a RESTful API.

Edit: My experience is mostly as a user of RESTful APIs and as a generic computer science students who are built in a factory outside San Jose.

This post has been edited by sniderj1: 10 November 2012 - 08:55 PM

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#6 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:29 PM

View Postsniderj1, on 10 November 2012 - 09:52 PM, said:

Not sure how much I should tell you since I haven't seen the non-disclosure agreement yet, but it's basically seeing if a program meets the standards of a RESTful API.

Edit: My experience is mostly as a user of RESTful APIs and as a generic computer science students who are built in a factory outside San Jose.


Picture this said by someone else TO you:
I'm a nerd that's played a lot of video games. I was just hired as an intern to make a video game. The more experienced staff members are not very optimistic about my chances. What do you group of strangers that have never met me think of my odds?

Do you now see why we aren't blowing rainbows and sunshine up your skirt?

It has nothing to do with us having a negative opinion of you. Its that we have NO opinion of you because we know nothing of you, your skills, your job, your employer, your assignment... shall I go on?

Oh - and reread your own statements. It says that you are a generic science student built in a factory outside San Jose. Is that just language barrier, or is it a way of humorously saying you are one of the many drones churned out by a comp-sci university course?
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#7 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 10 November 2012 - 10:57 PM

Quote

My only task for the next three months is to work on a program that will automatically determine whether a program is following the company's best practices.


"Work on" as in, "here's the problem, kid, go work on it" or as in "hey, lead developer, here's your intern, find something for him to do"? That is, are you going to be developing this on your own, or are you going to be taking instruction from someone who knows what they're doing - or will something else be happening?
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#8 sniderj1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:41 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 10 November 2012 - 10:57 PM, said:

"Work on" as in, "here's the problem, kid, go work on it" or as in "hey, lead developer, here's your intern, find something for him to do"? That is, are you going to be developing this on your own, or are you going to be taking instruction from someone who knows what they're doing - or will something else be happening?


More like "All of the important people have real work they have to do, so you get to work on this thing. You report to this other software engineer, but don't bug him too much."

Edit: And when I said I was a "user" of RESTful APIs, I meant my previous experience was in developing apps that use RESTful APIs.

This post has been edited by sniderj1: 10 November 2012 - 11:43 PM

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#9 turboscrew  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:13 AM

I must be on the bad news side: the fact you ask us if you are
up to the task kind of indicates that you don't know what to do.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

On the other hand, by browsing the web and asking well formulated questions, you can do small miracles - if your background knowledge
is adequate.
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#10 sniderj1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:27 PM

I know where to start and which of the best practices can be reduced to an algorithm. I just don't know how much effort a best practices detector normally takes to make.
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#11 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:51 PM

I've never really come across a best practices detector before, but I imagine it takes a fair bit more effort than you would assume, because most things do.

So, just for the sake of conversation, what sorts of "best practices" are you trying to detect?
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#12 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:21 AM

There are things called static analysis programs that analyse code for potential problems. They tell you about things like unused variables, exposure of underlying data structures, possible sources of null pointer exceptions, etc...

One example is called FindBugs.

If this isn't precisely what you want to do, I bet it's close -- certainly a good starting point for your investigations.
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#13 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 16 November 2012 - 07:07 AM

Ditto on the question about what type of "best practices" are you trying to detect?

For example another best practice is checking in code and checking in often. Will you be tracking how often each developer checks in? And what is considered "often" enough?

Also will your static analysis be also simulating data going through the system? Will you be able to detect code that uses a time stamp an ID (bad practice) vs code that uses a time stamp as a spoofing detector/preventer (good practice)?
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#14 stackoverflow  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:52 AM

This is simple. Don't make a new program.

Use something like Vera or CheckStyle.

This post has been edited by stackoverflow: 16 November 2012 - 08:52 AM

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#15 sniderj1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Developing A Best Practices Detector: Easy money or secret death trap?

Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:07 AM

The company makes APIs in exchange for money. Programs are supposed to follow the format specified at http://martinfowler....rityModel.html.
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