Will this work?

As a bit of a follow-up on a previous entry, I’ve found another question that inexperienced programmers are prone to asking which bothers me. Will this work? This question at least comes with significantly more detail than what is delivered with the “This doesn’t work” rhetoric I’ve discussed before.  The problem here is that developers […]

How to ask a good Stack Overflow question.

Before I dive into my own opinions about how to ask a good question, it’s probably important to note that Stack Overflow has provided a guide on this exact topic.  I can think of no better starting point than here.  If you think the Stack Exchange community is full of elitists and you’re mad because […]

Unit Tests Don’t Prevent Bugs

… but you should still be writing them. Given the following set of test cases:

We can quickly verify whether or not our  isPrime() function is working for the numbers one through nine.  But we can’t guarantee that our  isPrime() function has no bugs.  Do we know whether or not it returns the right value for ten or […]

Does Not Work

One of my biggest pet peeves is listening to other programmers claim that a particular piece of source code simply “does not work” when they are seeking debugging help. Claiming something “does not work” isn’t what one programmer says to another programmer.  The phrase “does not work” should be reserved for when you’re taking your […]

How do you eat an elephant?

One of the largest struggles novice programmers have difficulty with is disassembling large problems into a logical set of smaller, solvable problems. There is no code that is hard to write.  Writing code is not the hard part about being a programmer.  Take any problem and break it down into small enough sub-problems so that they’re solvable, […]