1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. We've had very few donations over the year. I'm going to be short soon as some personal things are keeping me from putting up the money. If you have something small to contribute it's greatly appreciated. Please put your screen name as well so that I can give you credit. Click here: Donations
    Dismiss Notice

Any Hardcore computer programmers here ?

Discussion in 'Tilted Gear' started by CrazyBeing, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. CrazyBeing Vertical

    Well, I hope to be the one in future. Right now I'm just learning.
  2. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    I used to be, then realized that it was tedious and not that much fun if you weren't programming what you wanted.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Baraka_Guru

    Baraka_Guru Möderätor Staff Member

    To help bolster conversation, it helps to have more talking points for the original post.
    • Why do you hope to be a programmer? What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it?
    • What skills/language are you learning right now?
    • Are you self-taught or are you in a course/program?
    • What language(s) do you hope to learn in the future?
    • What kind of software/systems do you hope to build with your programming skills?
    • What kind of job do you want to get with your programming knowledge?
  4. CrazyBeing Vertical

    Well my favourite is C# because it automates most of the tasks, which in other languages we have to write unnecessarily. Of course I am just a beginner by the standards but I have faith in me.
  5. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    But I only like doing either full design and build from A to Z.
    Or I'm typically brought in to improve other people's existing work. Mostly to optimize...or performance related troubleshooting. Make it zoom.

    I don't like the typical full cycle development pattern or schedule. I find this tedious and I even rebel vs. it.
    It has to be a tool that has a purpose and an end-game.
    Just making changes on a regular basis to the periodic whims of the "powers that be" makes my teeth itch.
    And I find their expectations for regular work month after month to be a PITA. (why can't you do that faster?? You did it before...faster, faster, faster)

    This is why I don't normally go for typical dev roles, it annoys me...and sooner or later will drive me crazy. (that and I hate syntax for some reason)
    Most of my activities involve interacting with databases.
    And most of my usage of code (MANY versions and types) are used in conjunction with this. So it's not my whole focus.

    My codework is usually just another skillset that I use in roles of Administration, Operations, Architect, Director or Project Manager.
    But I do "do" code & dev...it's usually considered "Tier 4". They've got to be in a sticky situation they can't get out of before they get to me.
    Like the Obamacare site issues...I'd be working on something like that.

    It's weird...I didn't go into this with intent...it just happened, I survived...and I have a knack.
    Also strange, I find that many devs don't understand physics...only syntax; so it often gets them into trouble. Why don't they teach that???

    C# seems to be the flavor of the month...at least I see an increasing market for it out in my parts.
    But there will be another...sooner or later...and another...and another.
    Hell, I still have "Master-C" stuck up in my brain...and that hasn't been used in decades. (yes, it existed...believe me)

    That's another thing...be at this long enough...and it all starts to blur together.
    And unfortunately, people have the unrealistic expectation that you can start & stop on a dime, switch cars (which by then is a car lot),
    answer ALL softwares you have listed, ad-hoc, when they ask...and be an up-to-date SME even if you haven't worked on it in 2 years+
    So you've got to learn how to tap-dance while you re-orient.

    I could go on...and I already have. :rolleyes: (not atypical for me)
    Enjoy the game, welcome to the jungle.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
  6. martian

    martian Server Monkey Staff Member

    I do some light coding as part of my responsibilities as a server administrator. A bit of Perl here, a bit of PHP there. Nothing too onerous.

    We've got some very talented coders in my workplace. I can't help but be impressed when they whip up some new widget in an afternoon that does $task. I lack the proper mindset to do it myself. I like getting my hands dirty too much to want to just program all the time.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    Here is a question. If you were back in high school, would you choose to learn one language and focus only on that one? Or would you learn the concepts and program with a bunch of different languages, but not spend enough time with any one language to be 'professional'?

    I did the second option, I started with BASIC, went on to C++ in high school, Java in college (1st & 2nd years), C, then assembly, and handheld client/server (Java lite (JNI?)) by the time I graduated. I'm sure colleges are teaching iPhone and Android programming now, but it was a similar concept, just a few years before smart phones. I can't complain about college much because they tried to prepare me with the skills I needed and they were right about handheld devices being hot, although they did miss on some other things. And in the end, I did use some C and Java at work, but a lot was in two other languages that I didn't learn in school. I also had to learn Python at work from scratch.

    However, I also couldn't put on my resume that I was an expert in this one language and as long as everything I had to do was in it, I would be great. It wasn't like I had been programming in some language for 7 years, and could create and fix whatever came my way. Now, picking that 'one' language might be tough. But I think CS majors should be more like medical school. You learn the basics and differences in year one, but then you specialize and focus on how that one language can be used in all of your classes and how people are using it in the real world.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Fremen

    Fremen Allright, who stole my mustache?

    E. Texas
    Is Fortran still used? I remember learning some of that along with Basic back in the 80's.
    I've forgotten all of it, btw.

    It was fun while it lasted.
    We had a class project once where you had to code a picture you made and then animate it. I chose to make a lightsaber lighting up and extending.
    It didn't work well. At all. :)

    Oh, and we had monochrome monitors. Green and more green.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    I wasted about a half hour today trying to figure out why my code was choking on a missing Fortran library. So yes, still used.

    I spend a great deal of my day writing code, but I'm totally not a programmer. I write scripts that move, sculpt and analyze data. My job is made manageable by the efforts of hardcore computer programmers. Every time I start to think I know shit about programming, I come upon a problem that completely fucking baffles me. And I end up banging my head against a wall until I figure it out, or I back up several steps and take a different approach that avoids the problem altogether.
    • Like Like x 3
  10. CrazyBeing Vertical

    Like most I also started with c++ in high school, c in college 1st year (I learned c after c++ :D ). Then java in 2nd year and now in my last semester I learned about c#. And I realized c# is so much better and interesting with all this .Net thing going on which gives people the choice to use just about any language they want.

    But now I think people should not go out and learn about every other language. One should start with C and then go to some object oriented language of their choice. I think I wasted my time learning java and c++, instead I could have perfected my c#. Infact Java and c# are so similar that I think if we learn both we will get just plain confused most of the time figuring out the minor differences.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Yes, I find that it tends to be used for core algorithms within programs...of course, there's still legacy out there, but it's still current in newer versions too.
    Cobol is also still out there and even used in newer versions. The project I'm on, the environ/entity uses it...however, I'm not working with it,
    not needed for my project focus. Actually, they warned me to stay away from it and not assist or help.

    I find, no matter what code type you cut your teeth with, the mindset is mostly the same...and the experience and soft skills you build on translate.
    Once you know how to troubleshoot, you can troubleshoot...and so on...design, structure, plan, analyze, optimize, tuning, etc...
    And the concepts/utilities/methods you create/collect also goes with you...
    It builds your toolkit...those basically translate too...nothing new under the sun and all that.

    You either have the "voodoo" or you don't
    ...or you may be weaker in one aspect or another. (ex: mine is syntax, it's friggin' radiation to my absent-minded brain)
    Many focus on where their "knack" is... (ex: mine is performance & efficiency)
    Some play hide & seek, dancing a jig, singing a patter and hiding their lack of voodoo from mgmt. (we know who you are... ;))

    The rest is just semantics, specific syntax & options, tedium...orientation to the pros & cons of that code type in that environ with that application.
    But this is true between vendors & versions...the various flavors...and so on. You'll always be reorienting.

    And for anyone who's lived it long, there's no way to memorize all options & errors, unless you're focused on one code, one environ, one role.
    Otherwise, you may stagnate or specialize. And either may be a trap career-wise.
    Sooner or later, your HD gets too full...you've got to purge, defrag and filter your brain.
    That's another soft skill.
    Everything counts.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Fremen

    Fremen Allright, who stole my mustache?

    E. Texas
    Any of you catch the premier of AMC's new series last Sunday of "Halt and Catch Fire"?
    Seems to be about maverick computer programmers/builders set in the early-mid 80's.

    I watched the first episode and enjoyed it. What I understood, at least. ;)

    Here's a link to the first episode at AMC.

    Halt and Catch Fire – AMC
  13. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    But that is the tricky part that I think has to or should change in the next few years. Or maybe it is changing. Yes, every programmer needs to learn the basic structures, algorithms, and concepts similar to all languages. But, would you rather hire a person who is fluent in English, or knows how to say hello and do basic tourist level sentences in 6 or 7 languages? I think it is time for CS education to evolve and start creating specialists. Web, security, C#, legacy (not for everyone, but there are jobs out there for people who know how to deal with it), Java, Perl, Python, Matlab, R, Oracle, SAP, iOS, operating systems, assembly, VB, and interfaces. Sure, each language would need to teach people what it can and can't do, the security aspects of writing good code, and proper documentation. But after the first semester, take a look at what type of job you would like and spend the next 4 years learning everything about that language and how to do databases, data entry, automation, networking, client-server, interfaces, and everything else in that language.

    Even though Apple just released a new language this week, I would think that new languages would start to slow down in the next decade.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
    • Like Like x 2
  14. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Fully agreed @ASU2003 - but also...a good coder has to willing to learn outside the box.
    You cannot say, "that is not my..." and survive long. That or you end up being again in one code, one role, one environ ...and you stagnate.
    Those who posture, I find either are in fear or in truth, they undermine themselves. There aren't as many options.
    There is a balance.

    You don't want them overwhelming you & your ability or going beyond scope
    ...but at the same time, you've got to make it "happen" or try an adventure or experiment.
    So, if you're an admin...try databases
    If you're a coder...try security
    If you're a web or graphics designer...try networking.
    Or all of the above and beyond.

    What I'm saying is prepare for the storm, give yourself shelter...but also don't be afraid of the rain and lightning...it's exciting and interesting.

    Schools are notorious for being behind the times...they aren't prepared for a vertical like IT and computers. It changes too fast.
    Hell, do you know how long it took them to start training beyond full/pure computer science?? As if you were making the HW component itself.
    ...they didn't have career paths like we do now (i.e. - 1990's)

    Even my own specialty of databases...they didn't have that until recently. (finally I can get a degree in what I do... :rolleyes:)
    And they STILL don't truly teach programmers and admins, an understanding of basic DB capacity & performance.
    They teach SQL, they teach object creation, they teach basic design and perhaps "normalization" (to 3 lvls)
    BUT they don't teach the impact...a basic sense of working with something of REAL substance. It's real, it takes room, you have to lift it, etc.
    Admins get it for storage...but it doesn't translate to them often in DBs (strangely, what they are often supporting...yet it doesn't compute)
    Web designers and coders often don't get what the impact difference is between 5 rows and 5 million...they think it's just syntax & function.
    A basic thing that coders have to do everyday, go to a DB...but colleges do NOT teach it often or well.
    The mindset is lost on them.

    This is what my favorite futurist, Alvin Toffler has noted is coming if not here already...
    “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”

    Those who will truly survive and excel...are those that can not only comprehend, absorb, manipulate and apply
    but ALSO...judge, purge, reorient, retrain and relearn...again and again and again.
    With the dynamic, chaos and pace of current and future society and especially coding...you must adapt and flex quickly
    and somehow let go of that which is unnecessary...use that space to get up the current and upcoming.

    This is NOT just a soft skill...but this is also a real physical ability of your brain.
    Some can, some can't...some will do a bit better than others.
    Like sport, you can train...accumulate ability.
    So it goes for programming.
    Those who adapt survive...those who adapt better excel.

    Question is...how long can you play??
    What are your limits??
    You have to learn to pace yourself and focus too.
    AND manage the expections of those giving the orders.
    It's a challenge for anyone...even the best.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
    • Like Like x 1
  15. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Where ever I roam
    Yes, technology does change and evolve. And you should keep up and learn new skills. But if I were to spend the next 60 days learning Swift (Apple's new language) and making some iOS programs to show off. Or learn C# and make some C# programs to show off, which one would be more likely to land me a job interview? I think I know the answer, that it is better to compete with a few people for a few job openings than to compete with more people for more jobs. But, I'm not sure what the reality is. But, maybe in 6 months Swift will be gone if it doesn't catch on. That is the risk. Also, where the jobs are might matter too.
  16. Leto

    Leto Slightly Tilted

    wow. rogue49. just wow. I came up through the COBOL mainframe world as a support then consultant programmer. Never got to use any of those new fangled languages with only one letter (C? C+? C doubleplus good?) before I got kicked upstairs to management and was relegated to being an Excel & Powerpoint user for the rest of my career. But back in my early days i was coding COBOL to CICS, IMS database, ADABASE / Natural, and I could talk night-time operators through JCL restarts for production abends over the phone because nobody was allowed to take a modem and computer home with them to support a banking system.

    In the end, I was lucky enough to be a mainframe programmer in the 80's & 90's when the money was on-shore. I like to think that it paid for my house. Now I'm trying to save for retirement by working with all these wiz kids and their fancy beans :) . They satisfy my requirements for me...
    • Like Like x 2
  17. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    If you want my opinion, allow me. If not, that's just too damn bad. :p (jk)
    Seriously...IMHO...go for C#.
    The market is huge, there are many jobs, Microsoft and C# aren't going anywhere.
    And it's actually better to compete with many for many. You always want options.
    Plus, the "powers that be" tend to stick with the familiar, tried & true...even if that's boring...and they pay for it.
    Then again, I could be biased...and unaware. (it's happened before...) And I tend to be a slow adapter.

    It depends on your own situation and love.
    If you can survive the cutting edge, both financially & politically...make the powers that be change their ways...and INVEST. (time & money)
    And that's your knack, your thing...then go for it.

    But if you want stability, cash and time...stick with the standard.
    Me? It's just a paycheck, it's not my love, I just have a knack at it...so I'll go where the market is.
    I can't speak for you.
    Hell, there was a time that Linux was the baby and cutting its teeth.
    Then again, I still have "Master C" stuck up in my head...and that didn't go anywhere.

    These are the things that make sagas.
    Or at least really good war stories. ;)

    BTW @Leto ...Is that good "wow" or a bad "wow" or both? I thrive on feedback.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  18. Leto

    Leto Slightly Tilted

    @rogue49 - that's most definitely a good wow. I remember when I tried to explain to my friends what I did for a living, and they couldn't get their minds around it. It was only around 1989 or so... but still I can place the time and place where I was standing downtown and I overheard another person actually using the terminology of my work in a conversation. he said something about an 'abend and an 0C7 '(bad data or S0c7 ) return code. I was nonplussed. I figured that after that point, it was going to become more prevalent.

    But your post was spot on and quite lucid. thanks.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Actually, I'd say the real challenge for coders is learning soft skills not related to programming.
    Or "How to speak human..."
    • Communications
    • Documentation
    • Training
    • Diplomacy
    • Politics (yes, there is a difference...)
    • Budgeting
    • Scheduling
    • Management
    • Presentation
    • Job hunting and evaluation (...resume creation and interviewing)
    and so on...

    You've got to figure this shit out on top of all the work and keeping up with the skills.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
    • Like Like x 1