6. May 2010 17:46
I was just checking Prof Barry Dwolatzky's topic this week and i just found it so interesting, I mean seriously " Are you a good programmer? ".Well i would look at three different things that really matters most.
In my corporate experience, I met a kind of technical guy I’d never met before: the career programmer. This is a person who’s doing IT because they think it’s a good career. They don’t do any programming in their spare time. They’re shocked when they find out I have a LAN and an awesome computer setup at home. They just do it at work. They don’t learn new stuff unless sent on a training program (or motivated by the need to get a job that requires that technology). They do “programming” as a day job. They don’t really want to talk about it outside of work. When they do, they talk with a distinctive lack of enthusiasm. Basically, they lack passion.
2) Self-teaching and love of learning
Programming is the ultimate moving target. Not a year goes by without some new technology robbing an old, established standard blind and changing half the development universe. This is not to say that all good programmers pick up these changes and ride the bleeding edge. However, there’s a class of programmers that will never, ever pick up a new technology unless forced to, because they don’t like learning new stuff. These programmers will typically have learnt programming at university, and expect to get by on whatever skills they picked up there, plus whatever courses their company is willing to send them on.
3) Hidden experience
This is correlated with the “Passion” point, but it is such a strong indicator that I’d like to emphasise it with its own point.
I started programming when I was about 17, with vb6, c++ & java then migrated to the .net framework, did some php. When I was 23 I wrote an enterprise application for financial instituation - online money transfer . This was what I call my “coccoon stage”. When I entered that stage, I was a mediocre programmer, and lacked the confidence to do anything really complicated. When I finished it, I had gained that confidence. I knew that I could code pretty much anything so long as I put my mind to it.
Has that ever appeared on my CV? Nope.
I strongly believe that most good programmers will have a hidden iceberg.