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  Who would you consider a programmer?  (Read 13027 times)
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Offline Damocles
« Reply #90 - Posted 2012-08-03 10:13:06 »

caught me

Offline Oskuro

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« Reply #91 - Posted 2012-08-03 10:14:34 »

because they're uncaring gits that just do stuff without thinking

Don't be that harsh. Sometimes the bureaucracy of HR departments makes it difficult to have people with technical knowledge conduct interviews. That's why many companies have tiered interviewing processes, where you first meet the HR people, and then move on to a technical interview. Sadly, sometimes the HR people discard applicants before that.... Or, worse (This happens a lot in smaller outsourcing companies) the one doing the interview is some sort of a big fish / boss who thinks knows best.


What I find funny, is that the ordinary layman person thinks that a programmer
must be very good in math.

It's not the math per-se, but the methodology. Learning math helps structure how people think about solving problems.

It's rather sad too, because I see lots of people who studied theoretical careers like Physics or pure Mathematics (not an easy feat) being reduced to low level programming/computer jobs (Updating COBOL operations for banks, or doing data input), with no prospects of moving up to greater things.

Online Roquen
« Reply #92 - Posted 2012-08-03 10:24:42 »

Q: How much mathematics should a programmer know?
A: more.

Actually I love comments to the contrary because it's reassuring to know that I'll always have more work available than I ever could possible ever perform.  Seriously so many fields of mathematics are uber useful.  Not understanding the basics of fields related to what you want to do is massively limiting.  Maybe you can get by without but you're not doing yourself any favors.

WRT: Interviewing.  Any company you can BS you're way through the interview process is one not worth working for.  As for the game industry...you're not going to get past the phone interview.  Don't delude yourself.
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Offline Oskuro

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« Reply #93 - Posted 2012-08-03 11:21:40 »

Any company you can BS you're way through the interview process is one not worth working for. 


Heh, of course, it's just something that happens. Not necessarily due to BS though. Sometimes people are given their job because of their attitude (Job interviews have a very important subconscious element, they aren't purely objective) or just because the interviewer likes them. It's not a foolproof system.

Quote
As for the game industry...you're not going to get past the phone interview.  Don't delude yourself.

Yeah, but the problem with the industry isn't necessarily skill, but offer/demand. It's a job with a high demand (Every kid in the world who plays videogames wants to work there) and that, quite often, results in either extremely high bars to entry, or in extremely poor work conditions.

At least in my experience, when it comes to large studios/publishers, there's a polarizing trend. Either they ask for the next John Carmack (which is actually the reasonable route), or they expect to get people who just finished college on the cheap, burn them by subjecting them to permanent crunch time, and then replace them with fresh new cheaper candidates (What I like to call the GameLoft paradigm... Oh, and despite their name, they cram you in a window-less basement  Roll Eyes).


In the end, Math is invaluable here to actually crunch the numbers and find out if it is worth it.  Grin

Offline gimbal

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« Reply #94 - Posted 2012-08-03 13:26:57 »

because they're uncaring gits that just do stuff without thinking

Don't be that harsh. Sometimes the bureaucracy of HR departments makes it difficult to have people with technical knowledge conduct interviews.

Yeah you're right (don't know what I was thinking being so crude), but on the other hand you do hit the nail on the head - sucky bureaucracy. The interview is the first chance you have of presenting yourself - that works both ways in my book. If the interview is not handled with the proper care by the company, I take that as a hint. But I may be spoiled by working in the Netherlands, interviews tend to be slightly more laid back and informal compared to other countries / continents. At least from what I've gathered speaking to people not from the NL.
Offline Oskuro

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« Reply #95 - Posted 2012-08-03 13:32:13 »

I agree on the sentiment that it's not just the employee who has to make a good impression, but also the employer.

Unfortunately, that's something often overlooked, in part thanks to the prevailing corporate culture (the idea that employees "serve" the employers), in part due to the current tough economic times.

But if a person is in a position where she can afford to reject job offers, she should be very critical of the company she is interviewing for. No one is doing anyone a favor, its a business transaction, with the goods being the employees skills and work, and should be treated with the same mutual respect.

Offline gouessej
« Reply #96 - Posted 2012-08-03 13:44:39 »

A float is that number thing with commas,
A double is the bigger number thing with commas.

When you need to do that comma stuff you can use a float.
I was speaking about the IEEE-754 1985 floating-point standard.

Offline sproingie

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Medals: 202



« Reply #97 - Posted 2012-08-03 17:40:34 »

Yah, I always got people telling me "oh you're a programmer, you must love math" too.  Code to them has lots of numbers and formulas, so I guess that's all math.  I always had to retort: "No, I hate math, that's why I have a computer do it for me."

I'm into functional programming, so in some sense I do use a really abstract math involving functors and arrows and monoids and all that gobbledygook, but my understanding of the theory is really just skin-deep, and I rely on the compiler to catch the flaws in my reasoning. 

In the end, it's language skills that serve me best: the ability to pick meaning out of strings of symbols, and the ability to compose arrangements of them to express an idea.

Online princec

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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #98 - Posted 2012-08-03 17:42:27 »

If you can transform human intention into a format that a computer can use to effect the result intended, you're a programmer.

Cas Smiley

Offline Riven
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Hand over your head.


« Reply #99 - Posted 2012-08-03 17:47:20 »

If you can transform human intention into a format that a computer [gasp]
But now we have to discuss what you'd consider a computer...


trollolololol

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Offline ra4king

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« Reply #100 - Posted 2012-08-03 17:59:46 »

A computer computes. Duh Tongue

Offline Oskuro

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« Reply #101 - Posted 2012-08-03 18:12:50 »

If you can transform human intention into a format that a computer can use to effect the result intended, you're a programmer.

Hence Wii Music  Grin

Offline sproingie

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« Reply #102 - Posted 2012-08-03 18:16:23 »

A computer computes. Duh Tongue

And butlers buttle.  And fingers fing.
Offline Jimmt
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« Reply #103 - Posted 2012-08-04 00:42:59 »

Sproingie sproinges.
Offline ra4king

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« Reply #104 - Posted 2012-08-04 00:47:46 »

Sproingies are the cutest things ever.

Offline Jimmt
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« Reply #105 - Posted 2012-08-04 01:10:12 »

Goddamn, that is cool.  Shocked
Offline Eli Delventhal

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« Reply #106 - Posted 2012-08-04 02:55:58 »

Scripter: Scripts around, familiar with 1 programming language. *Able to make a calculator*
Coder: Does code for programs or for the web. Familiar with at least 2 programming languages. *Able to make a networked game*
Programmer: Same as Coder but also knows the fundamentals of how computers work. Years of experience with at least 2 languages and familiar with others. *Able to make a compiler*
Hacker: Knows all of the above + intimately familiar with unix and years of experience as a sysadmin.
A coder can make a networked game? That's pretty hard. Then to be a programmer I need to make a compiler? I've never tried, seems like a big waste of time. And I don't want to be a sysadmin because that sucks and it's not what I like to do. And Unix is mostly a pain in the ass.

Soo.... since I've written very few networked games, I guess I'm an advanced scripter or a beginner coder?

Might be your definitions are a little off. :/

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Offline gimbal

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« Reply #107 - Posted 2012-08-06 10:22:41 »

Might be your definitions are a little off. :/

Little? You're too nice Smiley

A programmer does not need to know how to make a compiler - a compiler developer needs to know that. A programmer needs to know how to USE a compiler.
Offline counterp

Senior Member


Medals: 11



« Reply #108 - Posted 2012-08-06 10:42:03 »

Little? You're too nice Smiley

A programmer does not need to know how to make a compiler - a compiler developer needs to know that. A programmer needs to know how to USE a compiler.

A programmer doesn't need to know how to make a networked game either. A 'hacker' does not need to know how to program at all... Most people would tell you that 'coder' and 'programmer' are the same thing and use them interchangeably.. I think he just threw 'scripter' in there for fun, first time I've heard that. Since if you're writing in a scripting language, you are still programming...

He's a lot of off
Offline gimbal

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« Reply #109 - Posted 2012-08-06 14:22:17 »

A programmer doesn't need to know how to make a networked game either.
Exactly, but its darned useful to anyone working on the networking side of a game though Smiley

Quote
I think he just threw 'scripter' in there for fun, first time I've heard that. Since if you're writing in a scripting language, you are still programming...

I make the following distinction - programming refers to the act of creating a program (durrr) while scripting refers to making an existing program do new things and stuff that isn't "built in". But that only holds when talking about creating regular desktop stuff, if you broaden the scope and start to include web dev then it becomes a big and confusing mess of terminology.
Offline Eli Delventhal

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« Reply #110 - Posted 2012-08-06 19:04:32 »

I generally think of a scripter as not a full-fledged programmer. Like they generally can work in very simple languages with some copy/pasting of code and modifying values as they want. Maybe they can do a few things beyond that. Programmer / coder are the same to me, and a hacker is a programmer who hasn't done the Computer Science part of things (just hacks things together, making them work, but doesn't have good design). A software engineer is a programmer who spends even more time on design, might even be spending most of their time on that.

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Offline jonjava
« Reply #111 - Posted 2012-08-06 20:05:59 »

Scripter: Scripts around, familiar with 1 programming language. *Able to make a calculator*
Coder: Does code for programs or for the web. Familiar with at least 2 programming languages. *Able to make a networked game*
Programmer: Same as Coder but also knows the fundamentals of how computers work. Years of experience with at least 2 languages and familiar with others. *Able to make a compiler*
Hacker: Knows all of the above + intimately familiar with unix and years of experience as a sysadmin.
A coder can make a networked game? That's pretty hard. Then to be a programmer I need to make a compiler? I've never tried, seems like a big waste of time. And I don't want to be a sysadmin because that sucks and it's not what I like to do. And Unix is mostly a pain in the ass.

Soo.... since I've written very few networked games, I guess I'm an advanced scripter or a beginner coder?

Might be your definitions are a little off. :/

Certainly. I'm not saying that's the de facto standard, however, it is a sort of guideline I personally would like to define the terms.

Basically what the hierarchy here is based on fundamental and broad computer and IT knowledge and not specifically based on software developed. A Programmer, I think, should be able to make a compiler. I.e, is familiar with the concept and knows what's going on behind the scenes. Perhaps another simpler way of putting is that bits and bytes including their manipulation and understanding should be second nature to a programmer. A Coder is our general developer. And by networked game I basically mean the concept and tools are familiar. Making a networked game isn't really difficult (2 player pong) once you know the socket. Not exactly a significant stretch.

A Hacker, I feel, is an addicted computer enthusiast and cs history buff.

Then again my definitions are bollocks. I'd be lucky to consider myself a coder by these standards. IT is such an insanely vast field that defining it in a handful of terms to begin with is ridiculous.

But I do certainly feel like there are a few thresholds between certain kinds of, in lack of a more general term, programmers - furthermore I feel like this threshold is based on the fundamental designs of a computer and computer science history.

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