Overclock.net banner

How can you tell if a programmer is good or not?

3888 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Mrzev
I am a software dev with 10+ years, and I really dont know how to answer this. I look at other peoples code and feel envious, but they feel the same about my code too. So, when I was looking for a job, when i was asked how good of a developer i was, I really didnt know how to answer it. Being good or bad at something is relative to others. My vision can be 20:300 , but when everyone around me is blind, my vision is good. So how do you compare yourself to average? I also have high expectations, but once again thats a relative term based on a relative value... Ughhhhh.. Then there is skills in different areas... I suck at java, but i can get by. I have never written in GO , but i can learn fast... sooo? Is it a combination of experiences in areas that match yours? In a job interview is it what aligns with their current projects?

1. How do you know if your a good or bad programmer?
2. How do you know that other person is a good programmer.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
2,311 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think I also overlooked the aspect of forward thinking. So, I am looking at this code and its a mess, the database, the model, the controller, and the page all hacked together. Some cool stuff was done, but its a confusing mess that works poorly. I know the situation was, they asked for X, so he added X. They asked for Y, so he added Y. 1 Year later, its just patches on patches of stuff. What this developer lacked was asking the right questions in regards to designing for the future. How things are going to interact. What is going to be built upon.

I know i am a good programmer, my post was wondering the reasoning behind it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,311 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just check to see how good the error trapping is. There are a lot of programmers nowadays who skimp on error trapping (a pet peeve of mine because it usually results in inaccurate error messages).
Thats why i wrap my whole program in 1 massive try catch... GOOD LUCK CRASHING NOW... just kidding... But that is a good point. Seeing someone use a try catch instead of checking if null prior, or just using a blanket try catch without any exception handling. Yeah, i would agree that would separate the good from the bad with a subtle thing.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,311 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There are people who are good at memorizing rubbish and writing memorized crap on paper and then there are other who suck at this but excel at problem solving, designing and writing fast readable code on a computer.

In the end it seems most companies are looking for coding monkeys with a knowledge of some language to implement/code, not to be programmers, developers, to solve anything, to think, nope, just code.
My first job as a software dev my mind blanked out one day and i forgot what a while loop was called or something basic like that. I was describing it to one of the other newer developers and he said to just use GoTo. Even I knew that was wrong... needless to say, he wasn't there for long. Managers and software architects were telling me that he interviewed amazingly, and they were surprised too. From my experience at this new job, i am afraid to work for a new group that has never done software dev before.



While driving home today i came to the realization of the difference between a Entry level, Standard, and Sr Developer.

You can rely on a Sr Developer to get whatever done with a good design.
A standard developer on their own can get it done, but with an unknown quality of design.
Entry level you cant trust to get the thing done at all.

I guess its hard to tell because a single Sr Dev in the group can give direction to Entry level so that they can get the thing done, and the standard dev will end up with a good design. 2 Sr Devs will end up with a great design.

The nonsense i am dealing with at my job its clear that the original dev is above entry level because the project works... but its very obvious that he is not a Sr Dev because of how bad the design is. He knows its bad, but he never had the time to fix it. IMO a Sr Dev would never ended up with the terrible design because we know what questions to ask and how to approach unknowns... or that you take the time to refactor it then and not skip it trying to get more work done.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top