Programming as a career

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I've been doing some programming at work, but because it's a hardware place, the bar is set pretty low in terms of languages. I've floated my resume out there a couple times, but aside from a couple nibbles, nothing, so I've realized that I don't have enough CS knowledge: a decent amount of perl, less decent PHP, some Mysql, some Javascript, and a couple of C classes that I've taken a couple years ago that have fallen into disuse. What, then, should I improve on? Should I take some Java classes? I figure that I'll have to take a data structure class sooner or later; should I aim for a certificate or even a degree?

Leee, Friday, 21 August 2009 03:28 (fourteen years ago) link

Java and C# are very high in demand. And definitely get a Bachelor's degree in CS if you can. Tons of places won't even give you the time of day if you don't have one.

Mr. Snrub, Friday, 21 August 2009 03:36 (fourteen years ago) link

Bump. Anyone else, or did Mr. Burns give the long and short of it?

Leee, Friday, 21 August 2009 21:00 (fourteen years ago) link

I've been in this career so long I'm obsolete, so my best advice is look at the want ads for programmers and see what's needed most. And I hope a BS in CS still means you know C inside and out.

nickn, Friday, 21 August 2009 21:27 (fourteen years ago) link

Oh, and get the A+ certification. No, it's not very programming-related, but it shows that you know rudimentary knowledge of PC repair, it's a super easy exam, and it's on your resume forever.

Don't bother with most other certifications, though. They're an absolute nightmare to study for and they become obsolete too fast. Instead, I'd start contributing to some free open source project on sourceforge or google code or something, and then bring that code with you to all your interviews. It gives you a good answer to the "yes, but what have you done lately?" question, and voluntarily contributing for a free project makes you look good.

Mr. Snrub, Sunday, 23 August 2009 04:02 (fourteen years ago) link

three months pass...

Asking coworkers and family, and two things I often hear:

1. Get at least a bachelor's in comp sci/software engineering (I have an ever-useful English degree already) because in terms of career growth, you won't get priority unless you have that degree. This is important to me, given that I'm currently at a position where I have almost no room for growth.
2. Don't get a bachelor's, because everything's getting outsourced in software engineering anyway.

I'm reluctant to give up before I've even gotten started on programming, since I took forever to find a job, first of all, and one that I actually enjoy.

Leee, Friday, 18 December 2009 05:40 (fourteen years ago) link

People who say #2 don't know what they're talking about.

Just make sure you either specialize or diversify your skills (whichever suits your persona, there are pros and cons to either) so you're not a one trick programmer, and you'll be fine. In this late 2009 economapolypse, I'd go with the diversify-yourself-and-learn-a-whole-bunch-of-shit-for-fun angle. Companies will give preference to people who geek out on programming in their spare time, or *ahem* at least can pretend very well that they do.

Sock Puppet Pizza Delivers To The Forest (Sock Puppet Queso Con Concentrate), Friday, 18 December 2009 06:35 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, learn a bunch of shit, more the better.

kingfish, Friday, 18 December 2009 06:40 (fourteen years ago) link

3. Make up for lack of degree w/ experience (fuck going back 2 school)

shartin jort (am0n), Friday, 18 December 2009 06:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Other recent observations: open source environment jobs have blossomed.. Microsoft technology jobs have softened (for pretty obvious budget reasons.) It's awesome to know both, but if you had to choose one, choose the former -- since it's free, and if you can prove that you wrestled with bugs in some open source package, and overcame them, that's something you can put on a CV.

(The really stupid thing about tech companies: no one will hire a seasoned C# programmer for a mid-level Java position, or vice versa -- even though the two language skills are highly transferable. This is digressing into rant territory, so I'll stop.)

Sock Puppet Pizza Delivers To The Forest (Sock Puppet Queso Con Concentrate), Friday, 18 December 2009 06:51 (fourteen years ago) link

3b. Or at least spend a number of days going through wiki pages on algorithms involving binary search trees, sort algorithms, and abstract data types like stacks, queues, linked-lists, etc. A BS in CS will teach you that and a lot more, but in practice, it's the former stuff that companies really care about. You do need some math skillz to understand the former. learning O-notation is a bonus.

Then again, some companies just want to hire people who like picking things up quickly.

Sock Puppet Pizza Delivers To The Forest (Sock Puppet Queso Con Concentrate), Friday, 18 December 2009 06:55 (fourteen years ago) link

Yeah, learn a bunch of shit, more the better.

ehh, having a multidisciplinary cv can be a pain, recruiters don't know what to do with you.

poster x (ledge), Friday, 18 December 2009 10:58 (fourteen years ago) link

I'll back the assertion that it is possible to be a coder without a degree (my ex is an example - heck he didnt even finish high school) but if you go down that path you gotta know C++, C#, assembly, perl, etc relevant to field language. You have to live and breathe code and *enjoy* doing it. I see people who code like other people play and write songs on guitars. Theyre the ones who do well.

millivanillimillenary (Trayce), Friday, 18 December 2009 11:12 (fourteen years ago) link

i would think with that trayce you kinda have to get a bit lucky, and find a company that's a bit more relaxed in their recruitment drive.

i recently applied for a java role, having a rather great bouncy interview and selling my enthusiasm for coding etc. They seemed impressed and I thought i'd done well but the other guy won the job basically because he knew more about 'business' terms.

all companies are different, worth researching them individually for your applications.

bracken free ditch (Ste), Friday, 18 December 2009 11:21 (fourteen years ago) link

Games industry is perhaps a unique beast compared to coding in all other fields, as it is a lot more of a "prove yer shit" industry.

millivanillimillenary (Trayce), Friday, 18 December 2009 11:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Know this really well.

Then this.

And then this.

Now you're pretty much all set.

Mr. Snrub, Friday, 18 December 2009 12:01 (fourteen years ago) link

xp Trayce, yeah agree with that

bracken free ditch (Ste), Friday, 18 December 2009 12:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Is learning C++ a particularly good idea these days? There's got to be a lot more jobs in Java and PHP, at least. Hell, probably even in Ruby and Python. People do argue that you learn so much from programming C++ that it makes other languages much easier to pick up etc, but that doesn't seem to me like a good enough reason to start there.

Guess it depends on the job you want -- I imagine the places where they use C and C++ now are ones where you're most likely to actually need a CS degree.

What do I know -- I just quit my programming job last month and have no idea wtf to do in the future.

Øystein, Friday, 18 December 2009 12:48 (fourteen years ago) link

I had heard that C++ had lost out a lot to Java and Visual C++ to C#, and meanwhile C is still going strong for embedded systems, which C++ is largely unsuited to. But I have never been paid to write in any of those languages so I dunno.

When I was last job-hunting I put just about every language I had even basic knowledge of, and a specialist IT recruiter told me it was confusing and I needed to narrow it down. So don't do that.

I suppose that sounds obvious (writing 30-line programs in yr spare time or in lol college != doing useful work on a real major project), but when your core skills - and I'm not sure I have any - are kind of limited and obsolete, and your jobs to date have involved a lot of whatever nobody else wants to do that day but thinks you can pick up as you go...

brett favre vs bernard fevre, fite (a passing spacecadet), Friday, 18 December 2009 13:23 (fourteen years ago) link

I have a good front-to-back knowledge of web development, from html to java, and i do put it all on my cv, but I try to position myself as a java developer. Still most of the stuff i get from agents is for entry level html crap. Basically all agents are know-nothing cunts.

poster x (ledge), Friday, 18 December 2009 13:48 (fourteen years ago) link

is it worth learning to use stuff like eclipse and that because i guess while most people can do java C++ fewer people will know how to work with the specfic development tools etc?

I sb'ed your mum (ken c), Friday, 18 December 2009 16:37 (fourteen years ago) link

It might also be helpful to learn about recursion, as told by H.P. Lovecraft:

o. nate, Friday, 18 December 2009 17:47 (fourteen years ago) link

3. Make up for lack of degree w/ experience (fuck going back 2 school)

I kind of sort of have this covered at my current position, but I'm sort of an ad hoc backwater one-person band supporting a group in a hardware company, so there's not a lot of support for me but also not a lot of priority given to me vis-a-vis promotions, accumulating job skills past a rudimentary point, etc. It's good for financial security, but if I need/want a real developer's job, I feel a bit underqualified, thus thinking about doing school part time to get a BA/BS. And that goes to Sock Puppet's 3b; I'm a bit intimidated by the mathier stuff on my own, I do much better in a classroom.

I have some Java on me now, I'm taking a C++ class at jr. college this Winter Q.

Leee, Friday, 18 December 2009 21:22 (fourteen years ago) link

People who say #2 don't know what they're talking about.

Re: outsourcing -- does it matter that I work in Silicon Valley? I tend to assume that if the general trend is towards outsourcing programming, SV would be the place where it happens first.

Leee, Friday, 18 December 2009 21:24 (fourteen years ago) link

is it worth learning to use stuff like eclipse and that

i guess it'd be a good idea to know how how yer basic ide works but no point going out of your way to learn any particular one. once you know one you know them all, more or less.

poster x (ledge), Friday, 18 December 2009 21:32 (fourteen years ago) link

OTM. Every company has their own specifics w.r.t. IDEs so it's probably not a good use of your time to worry about the environment outside of what you need to know to get things done.

There's no concrete answer to the get/don't get a C.S. degree question. As you might have guessed already it depends... amount of experience, depth of background, relative visibility, the type of job you're looking for and what industry it's in (something like game development is it's own Universe). I can only offer up anecdotes from my own career - I've had exactly two formal programming classes, but 18 years of job experience from IT garbage collector, to webmaster, device driver wizard, and database king. Like everyone else has been saying, have a broad familiarity with a couple areas of deep knowledge. If I was starting now, I'd make Java one of those deep knowledge areas.

Also, don't underestimate visibility. Write some code, improve on it, and then blog the results. Write comments on someone else's coding blog. I've gotten a couple of contract gig offers just because I posted some sample code to my blog. Go figure.

Lastly, get familiar with database basics. Nothing ridiculous like Oracle but just your basic MySQL/PostGreSQL fundamentals. I didn't set out to be a database guy, but I knew some stuff and now four years later I'm a full-blown DBA and pretty good at it.

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 19 December 2009 00:25 (fourteen years ago) link

> I had heard that C++ had lost out a lot to Java

i think this is due to a shift towards webapps (java servlets). i'm a dyed in the wool c programmer now doing java for a living because everything is now sat on a server being served by JBoss.

(never had a lesson in java, hadn't been invented whilst i was in education... lol, z80)

i am aghast at some of the job adverts i see, the list of disparate things they expect you to know. but a lot of this is due to agency idiots. (that said, if i think about all the disparate things i use at work...)

the thing they don't teach you at college but is fundamental when working professionally and/or in groups is version control. get comfortable with cvs or svn or maybe even git. at the very least know what they do.

i'd also recommend having something you can show people, like contributing, or starting, an open source project. or just having some flashy applets somewhere.

this stuff all takes years, 25 years in i'm still picking stuff up.

koogs, Sunday, 20 December 2009 10:27 (fourteen years ago) link

Hm, I like a syntax-highlighting text editor with parenthesis matching and suchlike, but for the actual business of compiling and running I'm still alt-tabbing to a console window, guess I'd better stop being so afraid of letting the IDE take care of it...

Ha, agency job ads. Seen ads asking for 3 years' experience in technologies which aren't 3 years old.

This is good encouragement to actually listen to the woman who's been trying to get us all to use svn. The only version control I've used was command-line only and didn't do much beyond locking the file and adding a timestamped comment. Seems they're a lot more sophisticated now.

brett favre vs bernard fevre, fite (a passing spacecadet), Monday, 21 December 2009 16:32 (fourteen years ago) link

file locking is so '90s.

poster x (ledge), Monday, 21 December 2009 16:37 (fourteen years ago) link

Hm, I like a syntax-highlighting text editor with parenthesis matching and suchlike, but for the actual business of compiling and running I'm still alt-tabbing to a console window, guess I'd better stop being so afraid of letting the IDE take care of it...

Yeah, I programmed in notepad etc for years, before moving to a proper IDE, mostly because I figured I should learn to program without any tools to help me out. In hindsight that wasn't a particularly good idea, it just made thinks more convoluted and slow. Rewriting code was a major pain etc.
Learning an IDE (Eclipse, for instance) is hardly any work at all, since you can start off treating it as little more than a fancified text-editor, and learn the cool tricks as you go along. I mean, hell, I'd used one for over a year before I even heard of "extract method"! Sheesh.

Actually, that reminds me that getting comfortable with Maven or Ant is fairly quickly done, and something well worth doing once you're comfortable with Subversion (SVN) or CVS.
Also, testing frameworks. JUnit if you're using Java. It's both quick to learn, and well worth it; just don't let the annoying Test-Driven Design (TDD) fanatics put you off.

Øystein, Monday, 21 December 2009 18:15 (fourteen years ago) link

there are things netbeans cannot do that easily vim will do in a heartbeat but i can't live without the code completion stuff as i don't really know the libraries (and they change). plus java projects have such a deep directory trees and our stuff is so scattered that you end up spending most of your time in vim typing directory paths to swapping between files (could use ctags i guess)

eclipse i never got to grips with - there's no 'compile' button as it's continually compiling and i like having a compile button.

svn can be used on the command line but we use tortoise.

koogs, Monday, 21 December 2009 19:11 (fourteen years ago) link

four years pass...

Programmers are the magicians of the modern age

calstars, Sunday, 8 June 2014 21:36 (ten years ago) link

Not the ones I've known. And I've known more than a few.

Aimless, Monday, 9 June 2014 04:56 (ten years ago) link

buncha putzes

j., Monday, 9 June 2014 05:09 (ten years ago) link

Programming is the worst

Nhex, Monday, 9 June 2014 06:46 (ten years ago) link

DevOps is the worst.

koogs, Monday, 9 June 2014 10:32 (ten years ago) link

Software Engineer USA™

, Monday, 9 June 2014 16:04 (ten years ago) link

we like to pretend we're architects and engineers and builders but we're really more like apprentice mechanics or those dudes that assemble pre-made furniture half the time

a strange man (mh), Monday, 9 June 2014 16:07 (ten years ago) link

programming is great if functions and syntax are well documented. it is the worst thing imaginable otherwise.

sufi john paxson (Sufjan Grafton), Monday, 9 June 2014 16:09 (ten years ago) link

I do enjoy the critical thinking parts of my mind that were unlocked by learning CS theory and programming over a period of time, but it really chafes me to see software developers think that they're able to solve non-software societal problems with that toolkit

a strange man (mh), Monday, 9 June 2014 16:09 (ten years ago) link

professional googlers

lag∞n, Monday, 9 June 2014 16:10 (ten years ago) link

Oh, I forgot that one. Software Architect. Classic.

I much rather SysAdmin, coder, developer, webmonkey/webmaster, script kiddie

Mind you, my end goal is probably to be a 'Software Architect', so I should lol carefully

, Monday, 9 June 2014 16:10 (ten years ago) link

yeah, really smart or tricky code makes you seem like a wizard but what it really makes you is an asshole if it's ever meant to be maintained

pretty sure my coding style has gotten progressively dumber on purpose

a strange man (mh), Monday, 9 June 2014 16:10 (ten years ago) link

^^ thank you

sufi john paxson (Sufjan Grafton), Monday, 9 June 2014 16:11 (ten years ago) link

I think software/systems architect is a fine title, even if my actual designs-buildings-and-structures friend recoils in disgust. I hate when people introduce themselves as "architects" without the qualifier.

Now, the part of the business where people use "architect" as a verb... not so good.

a strange man (mh), Monday, 9 June 2014 16:12 (ten years ago) link

I do enjoy the critical thinking parts of my mind that were unlocked by learning CS theory and programming over a period of time, but it really chafes me to see software developers think that they're able to solve non-software societal problems with that toolkit

― a strange man (mh), Monday, June 9, 2014 5:09 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

From the dudes I've met, I get the impression many of them think they do have superpowers and can basically write a piece of software/webapp to solve just about any social/civic/political issue

, Monday, 9 June 2014 16:12 (ten years ago) link

they probably also think they can throw together that application in a matter of a few days

programmers are horrible estimators

a strange man (mh), Monday, 9 June 2014 16:13 (ten years ago) link

working with computers makes people feel very powerful because computers are powerful

lag∞n, Monday, 9 June 2014 16:13 (ten years ago) link

bring back punch cards

sufi john paxson (Sufjan Grafton), Monday, 9 June 2014 16:14 (ten years ago) link

ya, it's just funny because in canada you're not really allowed to use "software engineer", because, well, you're not an engineer. but in the states, it's quite common

, Monday, 9 June 2014 16:15 (ten years ago) link

Because it feels nakedly self-serving to me! I know, I should get over that feeling.

Last of the Mojitos (Leee), Friday, 14 July 2023 20:06 (eleven months ago) link

you should!

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Friday, 14 July 2023 20:33 (eleven months ago) link

FWIW, my best jobs have been found via former co-workers. And I definitely try to help folks who are good and reach out.

xpost I feel compelled to speak up for devops. My experience is that for services you either need to do a devops model (end to end ownership) or a SRE model (professionalized ownership with a seat at the table). In the late 90s and early 2000s, I saw many shops that had a clear distinction between development engineers and "ops" folks. The situation often devolved because the ops folks were not empowered to request the things they needed to make the software operate reliably, so they always got blamed and couldn't do anything about it. Meanwhile, the development engineers just looked down on the ops folks. If you want stuff to work, you just can't do that.

Now, as you grow as a company, it really does make sense to have oncall be split to teams that can handle it during their working hours for the most valuable services, and so that ends up being separate teams from the development team. But these oncall teams basically need the ability to have input into the system design and the roadmap in order to be effective. They need to be able to tell the development team "no".

So yeah these days that probably means you need to know k8 or some basic AWS stuff. That's OK, there's lots of resources on that and I've found it really enlightening and challenging.

fajita seas, Friday, 14 July 2023 23:26 (eleven months ago) link

Yeah talking to friends/former coworkers for referrals often gets you past the automated resume screening stage, which can filter out even highly qualified applicants. Actually every software job I've had has started out that way, and in one of them, the hiring manager specifically told me "if <my friend> thinks you're good, we trust him". One of the things I mentioned above that I need to change with my job search is do exactly that: more reaching out for referrals, less applying on Indeed or company websites. It's a little less awkward for me to do it this way:

1) stalk them on LinkedIn, see where they work
2) look for suitable positions at their current company
3) msg and say "hey x, noticed you work at y now and I was looking at positions on their website. How is it working there? Mind referring me?"

I also feel guilty asking people for help but this approach means they don't have to do much. Sometimes they get a referral bonus which is nice for both of you

Vinnie, Saturday, 15 July 2023 11:21 (ten months ago) link

I'm renovating the format of my resume and one of the things that I've been told is to move my skills section up nearer the top. That being said, how should I organize the skills? I'm torn between doing a flat list in descending order of industry significance, or sectioning things according to languages, databases, frameworks, etc.?

Last of the Mojitos (Leee), Friday, 21 July 2023 23:31 (ten months ago) link

I do a Programming list (languages, frameworks) and a Technologies list (applications, standards). Seen some resumes with it broken into like five lists, which seems like overkill. Lately I've been doing the thing of tailoring the resume for every position, so I'll include all the skills I have that are on the listing and I'll drop some other skills to keep each list to one line

Vinnie, Saturday, 22 July 2023 02:46 (ten months ago) link

three weeks pass...

I've signed an offer!

Anna Kendrick Lamar Odom (Leee), Friday, 18 August 2023 23:19 (nine months ago) link


Zing Harvest (Has Surely Come) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 18 August 2023 23:31 (nine months ago) link


sean paul akerman (Whiney G. Weingarten), Saturday, 19 August 2023 00:31 (nine months ago) link

Awesome Leee! I also got an offer contingent on the company winning a contract, desperately hoping that comes through because I got nothing else

Vinnie, Saturday, 19 August 2023 01:49 (nine months ago) link

Good luck Vinnie!

Anna Kendrick Lamar Odom (Leee), Monday, 21 August 2023 19:22 (nine months ago) link

two months pass...

Damn, I hope I never lose my job. They make you do take-home tests now? And along with all the extra studying for all the certifications you need these days. And of course you need to contribute to some open source projects to make your GitHub profile look good, how does anybody find time to do all that?

Mr. Snrub, Sunday, 29 October 2023 10:07 (seven months ago) link

Yep take-home tests, leetcode/hackerrank, fundamentals you learnt in college but never use on the job... there's a lot to prepare for! I did put a couple projects on my github but I think that's more important for entry-level or people like me who've been out of the field sometime. I've read most hiring people don't bother to look

Btw I didn't get the job I mentioned upthread so I'm back to the grind. Have a second-round interview next week though

Vinnie, Sunday, 29 October 2023 10:43 (seven months ago) link

Is it worth (re)learning front end development in 2023 or will it all be replaced AI soon?

formerly abanana (dat), Sunday, 29 October 2023 14:26 (seven months ago) link

Take home challenges have always been a part of some interviews as long as I've been in the field.

Sorry to hear that Vinnie!

I had an actual post apocalyptic nightmare last night where Javascript stopped working.

Iguodalai Lama (Leee), Sunday, 29 October 2023 14:50 (seven months ago) link

Front End development involves knowing what users and business analysts want when they can't tell themselves - it'll be the last thing to go!

Andrew Farrell, Sunday, 29 October 2023 21:44 (seven months ago) link

This dropped on the AI thread, but certainly pertains to this one. If anything, more so. Worth watching even if just the first 15 min.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Sunday, 29 October 2023 22:01 (seven months ago) link

i'm glad he likes nick bostrom because it means i don't need to take him 100% seriously.

formerly abanana (dat), Monday, 30 October 2023 12:57 (seven months ago) link

I think he's clearly right about the general trend and mostly right about the speed at which programming norms will change to have AI do the heavy lifting. The offsetting trend will be how many more lines of code will be incorporated into every day real world processes.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Monday, 30 October 2023 17:18 (seven months ago) link

I thought it nice of him to start (with uncommented code samples) by making sure that we know he's a bad programmer - the "the tests are easier to write than the programs" is a similarly brave declaration that he should be let nowhere near CS students.

Andrew Farrell, Sunday, 5 November 2023 01:01 (seven months ago) link

It sounds like his vision is that software development will go through the following phases:

1) AI writes the code, humans still read it

2) AI writes the code, humans can no longer understand it

3) There is no more coding as such. The AI is the only program you need. It does it all.

o. nate, Monday, 6 November 2023 15:55 (seven months ago) link

who codes the coder?

koogs, Monday, 6 November 2023 16:43 (seven months ago) link

Yes, that's a simplification. There will still be people coding the AI. But will be a tiny, very specialized workforce. Much smaller than the current legions of software developers. Roughly the size of the workforce that designs CPUs nowadays.

o. nate, Monday, 6 November 2023 16:47 (seven months ago) link

In line with that, a lot of this handwringing and prognostication over AI seems to be an inversion of the enthusiasm people had for increasingly higher-level languages allowing civilians to not deal with lower-level code but... C and assembler are still being taught decades later--we still use Fortran!

Philip Nunez, Monday, 6 November 2023 17:59 (seven months ago) link

but that'll free us to use our time for art etc.

"Elon Musk tells Rishi Sunak AI will put an end to work"

future be like the Federation in Star Trek

koogs, Monday, 6 November 2023 18:05 (seven months ago) link

yeah, I tend to think of this as just another iteration of making an even higher-level language, albeit this one is probably going to end up being a higher step than in previous instances. I think there will continue to be cases where a very specific and detailed logic will be required and this will still have to be written in detail one way or another by a human, even if it's just very specific English language sentences, but that's still programming.


silverfish, Monday, 6 November 2023 18:23 (seven months ago) link

Are C and Assembler still being taught, or is it just that there's still jobs in those skills because of legacy codebases? I mean, you can still learn C on Pluralsight, I suppose...

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 6 November 2023 18:47 (seven months ago) link

I spoke with someone who graduated university a couple years ago and they did an assembly class, but it was more to learn how the processing works at the most basic level rather than anything intended for some kind of practical application (which was already the case 20+ years ago when I was in school).

I don't know if C is still taught by itself, but C++ is still taught and you kind of get the basics of C with it.

silverfish, Monday, 6 November 2023 18:59 (seven months ago) link

I assume that you'd need C if you wanted to get into OS/Unix stuff? I also heard that NASA uses C? And lots of embedded devices?

As for assembly, doesn't that get used in heavy duty graphics programming (i.e. video games)?

Kira Nerys Witherspoon (Leee), Monday, 6 November 2023 19:01 (seven months ago) link

Not as much anymore. It's all fairly abstracted down to frameworks and licensed engines. And a lot of the GPU stuff is via both frameworks and drivers.

ɥɯ ︵ (°□°) (mh), Monday, 6 November 2023 19:03 (seven months ago) link

So there's some low-level programming being done but it's being broadly reused because very few studios will build their own engine from scratch rather than licensing Unreal or Unity.

ɥɯ ︵ (°□°) (mh), Monday, 6 November 2023 19:04 (seven months ago) link

i don't think many large engineering orgs are writing new userland code in C proper.

os/device level is another matter.

but C++ will never die, partly through legacy systems, but partly because it's what e.g. pytorch and tensorflow are implemented in. and C is a prereq for most C++ dev work.

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 6 November 2023 19:11 (seven months ago) link

the closer i've got to ml platform and infra, the more jobs i see that i can't apply to because i don't know c++

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Monday, 6 November 2023 19:11 (seven months ago) link

modern c++ is actually pretty decent. i picked it up on the side over the past year or so since qt in c++ is the only option for desktop linux applications (lol) that doesn't make me want to walk off a cliff.

i think everyone should give it another look, esp if it's preventing you from applying for cool shit

butch wig (diamonddave85), Monday, 6 November 2023 21:57 (seven months ago) link

I've got back into c++ recently, and loving it. sadly not for any career aspect, i don't think I could handle the pressure of applying it to in a job.

Ste, Tuesday, 7 November 2023 13:32 (seven months ago) link

So, uh, do I need to start thinking about a third career?

The SoyBoy West Coast (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 8 November 2023 01:47 (seven months ago) link

I've been thinking the same lately, or maybe going back to my second career. My job search is lasting much longer than I hoped

But at least I got a story from it. I recently applied for a position where they had me take this homegrown multiple-choice online assessment which was straight up hilarious - couple questions flat out had no correct answer, couple more ambiguous, and several arcane code questions where they ask what the output would be but you can just execute the code in a browser and see the correct response. They scheduled me for an interview and then I saw they have literally the lowest rating on Glassdoor I've seen: 1.6 out of 5. Thought about cancelling but deciding to just do it for the practice. Place looked awful and all work is onsite. Company owner asked me a few things illegal to ask during an interview. Backend is a software I've never heard of that was apparently discontinued in 2007. They were even hesitant to tell me the benefits when I asked - turns out they have no PTO or sick days for one year, no insurance for three months! They did send me an offer that's at the very bottom of the range I was asking but I decided not to bother going further, I feel like there's no guarantee they'd even pay me

Vinnie, Thursday, 9 November 2023 16:58 (seven months ago) link

three months pass...

smdh JS:

-1 % -1

Selune Gomez (Leee), Tuesday, 13 February 2024 20:47 (four months ago) link

Fortunately -0 === 0 but still: lol

the new drip king (DJP), Tuesday, 13 February 2024 20:53 (four months ago) link

unary+ converts an array or boolean to a number
double negation converts an array to a boolean

+[] == 0
+!![] == 1

formerly abanana (dat), Tuesday, 13 February 2024 21:06 (four months ago) link

the video silby linked eons ago that's mostly about javascript still pops into my head

ɥɯ ︵ (°□°) (mh), Tuesday, 13 February 2024 21:28 (four months ago) link

saw somebody yesterday claiming

"2" + "2" - "2" = 20

which i guess works if + on strings is append but - is subtract

koogs, Tuesday, 13 February 2024 22:00 (four months ago) link

two months pass...

I've started looking again (thankfully a voluntary search this time), but I've been whiffing pretty badly so far. Just 3 phone screens, and nothing beyond that (though I'm not applying every day), and one thing that I've noticed is that I hate the "walk me through a complex project you've worked on" prompt. Maybe this is confirmation bias but I feel like every time I get asked that, the interviewer is at best unimpressed with my answer. What exactly do they want to hear? (Obviously that depends on whether it's an HR person vs. someone on the tech side, but I don't think I've success with either.) If I'm being honest with myself, I don't think I have any impressive projects in my career, but maybe I'm not being generous to myself?

Costas Mandylorian (Leee), Monday, 22 April 2024 02:22 (one month ago) link

Imo the point of that question is to demonstrate some combination of: you are good at explaining something, you have done actual work, you made technical decisions, you worked effectively in a team, you worked effectively with limited direct supervision, you worked effectively with legacy code. It’s not to dazzle the interviewer with like “I wrote full self driving for Tesla!” Just pick something from the most recent gig that you can explain what you did and what the impact was.

G. D’Arcy Cheesewright (silby), Monday, 22 April 2024 03:36 (one month ago) link

For a phone screen, I don't really know what they'd be looking for. Probably some combo of impact and your importance to the team? I've never been asked that question on a screen

But in a technical interview, I've struggled a bit with that question. The only project I've worked on that truly felt complex was in a 16-developer team but I only worked on a couple parts of it in depth and I struggle to explain the project in full

I should mention I did finally get a senior SWE job late last year which I'm still working in now. So far so good: place is a bit behind in tech stack but the people are good to work with and open to improvements. Very relieved to be out of the search for now

Vinnie, Monday, 22 April 2024 10:45 (one month ago) link

I tend not to ask candidates variants of "toughest challenge" or "hardest bug", but if I were to, here's what I would look for:

- Level of technical depth in at least one area engaging with the problem. As you engaged with it, what things did you bring to the table to help break it down? A decent understanding of databases? A clear understanding of how mobile a11y works? considerations around network protocols, latency, errors? Nuances and tradeoffs in web frameworks? Etc

- Field of view: How aware were you of how your work fit into the bigger picture, either with your teammates, your management chain, or other "crossfunctional stakeholders"/non-programmer types? Did you see flexibility in requirements where none was necessarily obvious, bring insight to others or learn insight from others that helped you resolve the challenge?

- What would you have done differently in retrospect, or what did this challenge teach you about how to engage with other challenges in the future?

Not all of everything needs to be present, and a lot somewhere is better than a little everywhere. But that's what I would look for.

One challenge is that the person evaluating you may know absolutely nothing about the domain you were working in. I am fortunate to have a pretty diverse background, but I see this sometimes when I get folks who have very specific experiences that I do not (working on network switches, or non-consumer systems, etc)

fajita seas, Tuesday, 23 April 2024 21:21 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

Failed to move onto the next round of interviews at a place I *really* wanted to go to, seriously gutted. I might've come off too strong/desperate.

The Mandymoorian (Leee), Friday, 17 May 2024 17:44 (four weeks ago) link

two weeks pass...

Found another bug in this framework I'm using (after a few days of crippling self-doubt / depression.)

default damager (lukas), Monday, 3 June 2024 22:55 (one week ago) link

The market seems pretty tight right now, especially if you're trying to avoid the AI craze. Very low rate of responses, as well as an unusually high rejection rate at the initial phone screen stage (or I've become a worse interviewer than the last time I did this).

Scott Baculum (Leee), Friday, 7 June 2024 20:46 (one week ago) link

Here at the big tech company I work at, we are basically hiring zero new grads (after always hiring plenty every year). We don't even have interns.

And we're not hiring anyone else either except as backfills, it seems :(

fajita seas, Friday, 7 June 2024 22:57 (one week ago) link

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