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Paul Grove
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I know there are different sort algorithms and there are pros and cons on each but could I off the top of my head sketch out an implementation for each algorithm probably not. Yes I would expect a coder who is having to write a sort algorithm would know how to do it. Even better know of an existing framework to do the required sort algorithm. But if I had to review some code I would ask myself what are the requirements, and it was sorting then I would make sure I re-acquainted myself with the finer details of sort algorithms in the language I was reviewing. So maybe we have similar viewpoints just at at different ends of the scale?
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
Would you expect an aerospace engineering to be able to fly a plan? No, but he should no the principles of flight. Would you expect a civil engineer to be able to drive a digger? No, but you would expect him to know how deep a hole can be dug without it collapsing. Would you expect a senior software engineer how to implement a specific algorithm in language x? No but you would hope he knew the fundamental principles and practices of how to produce we designed and quality systems. If he can still dip into code all well and good. Would you expect a programmer to be able to program. Yes Lets not forget their are lots of different roles and responsibilities in large software projects not everyone needs to be the best programmer. That's all my point is. PixyMisa - If you think I have a problem, well that's your opinion, but not one that I fully agree with :-p
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
I agree with the article but disagree. My background I did a Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering Geotechnics(basically a cross between geology and civil engineering) after 4 years of Uni 5 years doing the job I decided to go back to Uni and do a 1 year IT course. To get my first IT job the employer knew they were recruiting mainly non programmers, thus we all went through a long programming aptitude test to see if we could at least think like a programmer and produce pseudo code snippets to questions. In the 10 years I have now been working in IT of have done pretty well for myself. I am not a brilliant algorithmic programmer but I can do all basics in my chosen language of Java (I am SCJP and SCWCD but just certs that can be crammed), I would call myself a alright coder thanks to my Google search skills and my focus on quality and being professional. I have coded and delivered many successful J2EE applications, but this is less about lots of algorithms but more about plumbing together frameworks with some business logic. I have worked with some very good people including some exceptional programmers that put my programming skills to shame. But writing small algorithms as a tiny part of a modern day senior developer in large businesses these days. So why have I done so well for myself? I spend many hours a week reading about many things in programming especially good design an coding principles and practices and have always been vocal in pushing these practices into the teams I have managed. I also make sure I work in teams that have smarter people than me so I learn. I have also developed my communication skills and tried to break down the barrier between geeky developers and the business. Being able to write algorithms is great but not the be all end all list of the skills a modern day developer must have. Give me a mediocre programmer that has read some Bob Martin (and other) books, has a passion for continuous improvement, can talk to the business and project managers and understand coding is all but a small part of delivering a successful software project. Rather than a great algorithmic programmer that sits with his headphones on and does not communicate. But hey his code is amazing, shame he is the only one that can understand it let alone the poor badly paid support team. I have seen too many times the mess that is left behind when great programmers have hacked a program together. There is a place for all kinds of programmers in our industry we just need to stop thinking that everyone needs to be superstars. Know your own and those around you strengths and weaknesses and work with it. Why are very good technical people pushed into team leader position or architect positions if they do not have good communication skills? All that said if you are going for a job as a low to medium grade programmer role you should know the basics of the your primary language and at least be able to produce basic pseudo code for logic problems.
Toggle Commented Feb 25, 2010 on The Non-Programming Programmer at Coding Horror
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Feb 25, 2010