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  #1  
Old 2013-01-19, 01:46
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J McKalling J McKalling is offline
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So, what's a programmer?

Well I've sure met a lot of people, and I was wondering for real what the common census is on the term "programmer".

People have mentioned being a designer, companies look out for (application) developers, at school they talk about programmers, just a few examples of what could be a form of the same practice.

What do you think, what makes a real "programmer", and what do you think is not a programmer but a lesser/greater/more professional form of it?

And otherwise, do you think being a programmer could come in different degrees? Think about being able to intuitively write any programming language with little learning efford, being able to find your own design patterns or techniques and only later discover they already exist (so to confirm you understand it yourself), etc.

Btw: I've tried this thread in different places as well, and I'm curious what this board can come up with.
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  #2  
Old 2013-01-19, 02:06
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programmer I use the same as coder.
A "lesser" coder could be, say, a scripter.
Not sure theres any words for greater/lesser degrees though.

I think its too complex to sum up skill levels easily - as different people could be better/worse at different aspects.

Quote:
being able to find your own design patterns or techniques and only later discover they already exist
This happens to me all the time - I have frequently also coded functions only to find they are built in anyway :P
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  #3  
Old 2013-01-19, 02:21
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I also think a programmer should be interpreted as a coder. But the latter isn't really a word I'd like to use.
But if you're used to putting in code yourself manually without the aid of GUI levels, then what is a programmer compared to an application developer? Because those are very often encountered in professional environments, but they aren't that well with manual coding, don't know a lot of patterns or techniques, etc.

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Originally Posted by Darkflame View Post
...
This happens to me all the time - I have frequently also coded functions only to find they are built in anyway :P
That's what I'd call a real programmer, as opposed to developer. Companies always refer to their employees as being developers, who work with software packages to create their own software. But coming up with your own coding techniques with manual code, is very different. People who are used to software like (for instance) Unity, are not used to coding techniques.
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  #4  
Old 2013-01-19, 02:34
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Geekiest thread ever in all of MBN's history ?
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Polaris: "And what is a guitar doing in the middle of an asteroïd anyway?"
sgk: Think of it this way: it's like a message in a bottle. In our world, we put a message inside a bottle to protect it while it travels through the oceans to reach some other island. In other worlds, they put a message inside an asteroid to protect it while it travels through space to reach some other planet. In this case it is a gift, a guitar, rather than just a message.
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  #5  
Old 2013-01-19, 02:38
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Originally Posted by SpaceGuitarist View Post
Geekiest thread ever in all of MBN's history ?
Maybe, I wasn't here back then
But I sincerely noticed programming people (or just generalise as "beta" people if you will), are more common here than I initially thought.
So I didn't think this would be a bad question here to ask.
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  #6  
Old 2013-01-19, 02:39
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On a serious note, I am a programmer too - I program music.

I've actually seen this on the credits section of several records where the term is given to those who make their music on PCs.
Example: "John - Piano, guitar, programming".

I prefer the term "Waveform Scientist" though, considering how I like to tweak audio.
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  #7  
Old 2013-01-19, 02:41
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What do you mean? Are you implying digital musicians are often programmers as well, or just that they are sometimes called like that?
Either way, I too have such an interest. But I haven't got the time to explore it.
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  #8  
Old 2013-01-19, 02:44
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Well, we use software+plugins to "program" our music onto PCs, by placing the musical notes into a grid, defining tempo, creating automations, sampling and tweaking audio tracks, etc.

All this is called "programming". MORE INFO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Programming_(music)

Ofcourse, it has nothing to do with coding.
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Polaris: "And what is a guitar doing in the middle of an asteroïd anyway?"
sgk: Think of it this way: it's like a message in a bottle. In our world, we put a message inside a bottle to protect it while it travels through the oceans to reach some other island. In other worlds, they put a message inside an asteroid to protect it while it travels through space to reach some other planet. In this case it is a gift, a guitar, rather than just a message.
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  #9  
Old 2013-01-19, 03:07
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My definition of a programmer:

Sombody who does all that cool 'behind the scene' stuff with computers
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  #10  
Old 2013-01-19, 03:22
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I'd stick with a basic "A person that creates programs".
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  #11  
Old 2013-01-19, 10:47
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Developer is a programmer too as far as I know.
And developers know their design patterns as well. I don't distingiush the two words.

There is a difference perhaps to someone who writes lowlevel C code and someone who uses a gui to create only the frontend, but even the frontend programmers I know use visual studio to program their calls to the backend within a model view controller design.

Personally i was taught Java at uni, and nowadays I mainly work with database programming.
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  #12  
Old 2013-01-19, 13:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
Developer is a programmer too as far as I know.
And developers know their design patterns as well. I don't distingiush the two words.

There is a difference perhaps to someone who writes lowlevel C code and someone who uses a gui to create only the frontend, but even the frontend programmers I know use visual studio to program their calls to the backend within a model view controller design.

Personally i was taught Java at uni, and nowadays I mainly work with database programming.
Fair enough, officially that's all called 'programmer' as well. But I don't think I fully agree.

So Jesse, you know Java? Is that all you work with, or just what you were taught?
I wasn't taught a lot either, but I know a lot more than one. Java is my favorite, but I'm also a PHP and C# programmer. And I taught myself (x)html, dhtml, javascript, css, xml, sql, regexp (completely without using lookup sources!), ASP(.NET), dtd, xsd, xml&html dom, and a lot more.
Most of these I don't really claim to be programming languages, but they sure are languages.

For example, at highschool I never opened a book to learn about programming. I always knew alot more than the teachers taught us, and even at exams, I aced in sequence wihout efford. Funny thing was I even used better techniques they never told us about, and wasn't noted extra for it
But does this seem like an average programmer? I still hope to find someone with similar talent someday, and I would like to know whether this is what's called a "real" programmer, or just something else. Look at it this way, from my own experience, I find the "programmer" too basic, naive or inexperienced, and I am proven to have better talent in things than often seen in one. It just feels like I'm something else, and in some way, that's fun, but in another way, I'm alone without peers.
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Visit the Twinsuniverse to find everything about the LBA universe!

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Words come in all sizes. But even if they fit you,
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and then the good in others second.
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  #13  
Old 2013-01-19, 15:20
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Quote:
regexp (completely without using lookup sources!),
Your an alien. No one can hand code anything but the mostly basic Regex and get it right without a lot f checking and rechecking.


Theres a old programming saying:

You have a problem,
You decide to solve it with a Regex,
You now have two problems

Quote:
People who are used to software like (for instance) Unity, are not used to coding techniques.
Id say that depends what they do with it.
The "higher" level the tool, the more it does for you.....but the more you can do over that as well.
Like that "slow light" demo - that was Unity based and probably took a hell of a lot of physics and maths. Unity just got the "boring" 3d and GUI done for them.

Quote:
For example, at highschool I never opened a book to learn about programming. I always knew alot more than the teachers taught us, and even at exams, I aced in sequence wihout efford
Same here - but thats hardly impressive given how absolutely basic their teaching was.

I self-learnt on this thing:

I inherited from my brother. Made a few games,applications, and a method to print graphics to a dot matrix text-printer.
It certainly gave me massive appriciation for what we have today.
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  #14  
Old 2013-01-19, 15:25
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Actually, where I work, the term "programmer" has kind of a bad connotation. Sounds like a hobbyist thing, like you know some languages, some frameworks, and patterns, you know how to write code and get some results, but you don't have a vision of the big picture. We prefer to call ourselves engineers (software engineers). We're not so much interested in one particular technique or another, but rather in how we can combine all the available techniques (languages, frameworks, platforms, networks) to build an efficient, robust yet flexible system which is actually useful to its users.
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  #15  
Old 2013-01-19, 15:28
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Oh, btw: If Carpenters Were Hired Like Programmers
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  #16  
Old 2013-01-19, 15:47
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@DF,
No really, I'm dead serious. I know regexp, and I've never gotten into much trouble with it. It's like a full language, and if you really get it, you can "speak" it too. In fact, I don't even use it sparingly, it's all over the place, especially when validating input. It's one of those things I think you should be a master in to be able to "just use it for this and that" and then continue on the main work.

@Link,
I understand that, but for me, it's actually the other way around. I "see" the software I'm building, 3D if you will, and I can memorize the location and functioning of all of it's features. Most of my collegues ask me where to find this or that feature, and I can explain right away. I'm also a lot more efficient and consequent then they are. That's what they praise me for. In fact, I have a contract for being "extra", but I'm hardly replacable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Link View Post
I genuinely lolled at that one!
I agree a lot of people who call themselves a programmer are like that. Like hobbyists. I'm a hobbyist as well, learned most of if at home (w3schools FTW!), but I'd prefer to refer to "die-hard programmer" instead, to at least make some difference.
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Visit the Twinsuniverse to find everything about the LBA universe!

Threads: News, Introduction, Discussion, Bugs collection || Content: Characters, Enemies, Items
Words come in all sizes. But even if they fit you,
they might not come at appropriate times.

Good for everyone is finding yourself first,
and then the good in others second.
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  #17  
Old 2013-01-19, 18:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Link View Post
I've read it to the end, didn't understand.
Only programmer's are supposed to get it?
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Polaris: "And what is a guitar doing in the middle of an asteroïd anyway?"
sgk: Think of it this way: it's like a message in a bottle. In our world, we put a message inside a bottle to protect it while it travels through the oceans to reach some other island. In other worlds, they put a message inside an asteroid to protect it while it travels through space to reach some other planet. In this case it is a gift, a guitar, rather than just a message.
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  #18  
Old 2013-01-19, 19:09
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Well I did get the general humorous idea ofcourse - but I didn't see the exact relation between the absurds shown in the joke and real life situations.

What would be the equivalent of asking for "more brown" in coding, for instance?
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Polaris: "And what is a guitar doing in the middle of an asteroïd anyway?"
sgk: Think of it this way: it's like a message in a bottle. In our world, we put a message inside a bottle to protect it while it travels through the oceans to reach some other island. In other worlds, they put a message inside an asteroid to protect it while it travels through space to reach some other planet. In this case it is a gift, a guitar, rather than just a message.
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  #19  
Old 2013-01-19, 19:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceGuitarist View Post
Well I did get the general humorous idea ofcourse - but I didn't see the exact relation between the absurds shown in the joke and real life situations.

What would be the equivalent of asking for "more brown" in coding, for instance?
It is quite simple. In the programmer's world, there are a lot of different routes a company could choose to develop their product. There are lots of different languages, techniques, design patterns, and other jargon, they could decide to use for their purpose. And so a different programmer exists for every single purpose.

In reality this offer of programmer does also influence the demand however, so companies tend to ask for a *very* specific programmer for their purposes. To extreme extends. Well, that's what the joke is about anyways.
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Visit the Twinsuniverse to find everything about the LBA universe!

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Words come in all sizes. But even if they fit you,
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  #20  
Old 2013-01-19, 19:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkflame View Post
...
I self-learnt on this thing:

<picture of commodore>

I inherited from my brother. Made a few games,applications, and a method to print graphics to a dot matrix text-printer.
It certainly gave me massive appriciation for what we have today.
Haha, funny thing! I learned my programming on this thing:
Click image for larger version

Name:	TI-83N_ZOOM.jpg
Views:	72
Size:	234.7 KB
ID:	9519
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Visit the Twinsuniverse to find everything about the LBA universe!

Threads: News, Introduction, Discussion, Bugs collection || Content: Characters, Enemies, Items
Words come in all sizes. But even if they fit you,
they might not come at appropriate times.

Good for everyone is finding yourself first,
and then the good in others second.
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  #21  
Old 2013-01-19, 19:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceGuitarist View Post
Well I did get the general humorous idea ofcourse - but I didn't see the exact relation between the absurds shown in the joke and real life situations.

What would be the equivalent of asking for "more brown" in coding, for instance?
It is a perfect example.
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  #22  
Old 2013-01-19, 19:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J McKalling View Post
Fair enough, officially that's all called 'programmer' as well. But I don't think I fully agree.

So Jesse, you know Java? Is that all you work with, or just what you were taught?
I wasn't taught a lot either, but I know a lot more than one. Java is my favorite, but I'm also a PHP and C# programmer. And I taught myself (x)html, dhtml, javascript, css, xml, sql, regexp (completely without using lookup sources!), ASP(.NET), dtd, xsd, xml&html dom, and a lot more.
Most of these I don't really claim to be programming languages, but they sure are languages.

For example, at highschool I never opened a book to learn about programming. I always knew alot more than the teachers taught us, and even at exams, I aced in sequence wihout efford. Funny thing was I even used better techniques they never told us about, and wasn't noted extra for it
But does this seem like an average programmer? I still hope to find someone with similar talent someday, and I would like to know whether this is what's called a "real" programmer, or just something else. Look at it this way, from my own experience, I find the "programmer" too basic, naive or inexperienced, and I am proven to have better talent in things than often seen in one. It just feels like I'm something else, and in some way, that's fun, but in another way, I'm alone without peers.
Php, java, c# it is all the same for me. Sure there are differences (php being quite different), but the ablity to code in it doesn't differ much. The question is, how well do you know the framework/libraries and otherwise, what skills do you bring to the table?

If you are far above your colleages, then your work is useless, as no one could take over if you happen to be ill or leave the company.


Ps, there's no need to brag
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  #23  
Old 2013-01-19, 19:55
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There are companies for instance, that ask for PHP programmers, who are experienced at the least with the OOP way, who can work with Doctrine, and can adapt to the model-view-controller design pattern. Then on top of that, they aren't affraid to ask for SQL, JavaScript and jQuery as well.

This is a real life example, so you should now see that "brown, walnut, black walnut" isn't so very different.
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Visit the Twinsuniverse to find everything about the LBA universe!

Threads: News, Introduction, Discussion, Bugs collection || Content: Characters, Enemies, Items
Words come in all sizes. But even if they fit you,
they might not come at appropriate times.

Good for everyone is finding yourself first,
and then the good in others second.
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  #24  
Old 2013-01-19, 19:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J McKalling View Post
There are companies for instance, that ask for PHP programmers, who are experienced at the least with the OOP way, who can work with Doctrine, and can adapt to the model-view-controller design pattern. Then on top of that, they aren't affraid to ask for SQL, JavaScript and jQuery as well.

This is a real life example, so you should now see that "brown, walnut, black walnut" isn't so very different.
But those all are very easy to program in....try assembly, i hated that
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  #25  
Old 2013-01-19, 19:57
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Makes perfect sense now, thanks Jack.
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