Friday, May 1, 2009

Answering Justin's Questions

This is a comment I put on a post at Justin's blog.

"This should be interesting, since this week was my first week as a programming intern.

* What do you do on a daily basis at your programming job?

Right now I am training a lot. There are several programs and over 250,000 lines of code that I shall be working to some extent with. The programs I need to know pretty well, the code only in sections (since it is just a summer internship.) Expect to spend months training and catching up on the project when you first get hired.

* How much time do you spend programming?

As a programmer you work with code constantly.

* What other tasks do you do besides programming?

You may also have to work with GUI components, more along the lines of graphic artist stuff, you also may have to take support calls.

* How long is your lunch break?

I eat at my desk, no one really bothers you, generally you have about an hour.

* Do people socialize or does everyone keep to themselves?

You chat throughout the day, only in short intervals tho, or at meetings, obviously you are there to work on your assigned tasks, not to socialize.

* How many people do you work with?

There is one guy who is training me who I guess I work with. There are several guys who have also trained with and are near my cubicle. I would say around 8 different people are working on different areas of the project I have a part of.

* What kind of development are you in (web, software, games, ect…)?

Meteorological software.

* What programming languages do you use the most?

Python scripting and C#.

* How long have you been programming?

about 3 years, but I have spent a lot of hours in those three years on it.

* Do you have sword fights while your code is compiling?

for 250,000 lines of code it compiles like running a program.

* Do you get to take breaks when you’re frustrated with code?

Yeah, you can switch to something else. Realistically people take smoke breaks every hour so if you need to you can take a walk or something, obviously you can't just veg out the whole day. There are other programmers you can bring in if you need to ask a question.

* Does your boss respect your job?

Yeah, generally management will never let you get as much time as you want or make the code clean the way you want it. Often you might feel frustrated because you have to hack something together instead of doing it the right way.

* Do you ever wish you were somewhere else?

I enjoy it a lot. Eight hours is a long time to be staring at a screen, tho. Still, if it is easy to focus on the project and the work.

* How much time do you spend surfing the web?

at work, a few minutes at lunch. A lot outside of work, mostly because of my blog,

* Is programming just like you thought it would be like before you started working in the field?

Yeah, I was a little naive about how much management wants to push the timetable and hack something together instead of writing something that is more stable and will be easier to modify.
Essentially, non-programmers generally are asking for things that may or may not be reasonable, and compromises have to be made on both sides.

Hope this helped, visit my blog at, I am putting your link on my site!"