Saturday, May 23, 2009

IDE's, Please...

When I got my internship for the summer, I began using Microsoft's Visual Studio pretty heavily. Before this I had had some experience with Dev-C++, but mostly I had just dealt with Eclipse. I found Eclipse to be useful, but it was a little hard to learn. Of course, it is open source, which makes it attractive to many programmers. I hear a rumor Visual Studio may also become open source, and will be available on Linux; I don't know where to even begin there. IDE's can be of great help, I know that I use VS for debugging, finding references, going to definitions, and the good ol' Intellisense every day. Basically, if you are working on a large project, an IDE is a must. I've posted some links below on some forum conversations about IDE's, feel free to take a look.



Friday, May 15, 2009

Programming, or Just Hacking?

The business world can be a rough place for a developer. It seems client demands, under-staffing, and deadlines can make the most elegant and clean programmer a little dirty. Or a lot dirty.

While the simplest solution is often the best, their is a big line between doing something the simple, inventive way and programming a shoddy hack that will probably cause crashes later. Modularity is a wonderful thing, but often you don't have the time to make a nice friendly interface or too because you are assigned four things at once and you have to get them done and wrapped into the new version of your software. You always have to evaluate how much time you are saving in the short run, and how much time you are losing in the long run. Two weeks of development followed by months or arduous support debugging is quite the nightmare. Often you also have to think ahead of your employer, odds are they will want functionality in your software that it may or may not be designed for. Modularity can greatly aid when adding plugins.

The question after you have to ask before you start coding your solution is: AM I A PROGRAMMER, OR A HACKER? WELL ARE YA PUNK???