Simon Willison’s Weblog

Entries tagged softwareengineering in 2013

Filters: Type: entry × Year: 2013 × softwareengineering ×


Are there any good bootcamps, such as Code Fellows, DevBootCamp for mobile (iOS/Android)?

Big Nerd Ranch have been offering iOS and Android for several years now. A friend of mine went in the iOS course a while ago and spoke highly of it—he has since released an app to the App Store.

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How can I convince my boss that I should dedicate time to clean an important part of our code base?

It sounds like your boss needs to learn about the concept of Technical Debt: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog...

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What are ways to avoid getting discouraged while searching for a job as a software developer?

Do you have any programming side-projects? If not, I suggest starting one. You’ll learn a bunch, it will impress interviewers (and help you pull ahead of other candidates) and it will help you build confidence in your own skills.

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Will a professional programmer lose anything if he doesn’t learn object oriented programming?

Yes. OOP is a very important programming concept—a professional programmer who is not familiar with it will be unable to understand vast swathes of high quality existing code and will have a great deal of trouble passing interviews or contributing effectively at great companies.

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How do I become a global nomad as a software engineer?

Go freelance, start working on projects and build up a reputation as an excellent engineer who gets high quality work done on time. Build up a large roster of satisfied clients who wish to work with you in the future, and know how to successfully work with you via email and video conferencing. Now pack your laptop and head off around the world.

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What are key considerations when building behind the firewall web apps?

CSRF and XSS are still important: don’t leave any security vulnerabilities which might allow an evil website out on the internet to run JavaScript that steals data from your behind-the-firewall web application.

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What advice would you give to a new technical co-founder at a startup?

It sounds to me like you’d be better off seeking an engineering role in an existing, relatively mature startup (one with 5-15 engineers) rather than looking to be a technical co-founder of a brand new company. Startup engineering is likely to be pretty different from what you’re used to, and there’s no better environment to learn than a fast-moving company that already has a small and highly talented group of engineers.

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What is the best resource for someone who is non-technical to learn about computer programming/creating software?

Learn to program. You don’t need to learn programming to the standard where you could work professionally as a software engineer, but having enough programming knowledge to write some simple programs and automate some simple tasks will make you enormously more capable when it comes to working with programmers—or in business life in general.

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How is Web engineering related to Software engineering?

I’d describe it as a subset of software engineering that deals with issues relating to the web—web application development, web protocols, browsers and so on.

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What tech conferences will be taking place in Seattle the summer of 2013?

We have a list of upcoming (mostly tech) professional events and conferences in Seattle here: Conferences in Seattle | Conferences & Events | Lanyrd

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Which web/software development conferences a student should attend and why?

Offer to volunteer at conferences. If accepted, you’ll get in for free and you’ll get to meet loads of people (including spending time with the speakers)—in exchange for a full days work manning desks, finding speakers in time for their talks, giving people directions and generally helping organise and clean things up.

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What are the most commonly used or most interesting open-source packages and software?

I’d say the open source browser engines, Gecko (Firefox) and WebKit (Safari, Chrome, iOS, Android) are probably some of the most important and widely used pieces of open source code these days.

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How do I learn Python fast?

Learn how to use the Python interactive prompt and start solving problems with it. The official Python tutorial is an excellent place to start: http://docs.python.org/2/tutorial/

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What was the Registration Fee for QCon NY 2012?

Registration opens in February—they haven’t announced ticket prices yet. You could always email them and ask.

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How should people organise software developer focused conferences in order that they achieve socially acceptable representation across relevant demographics (eg gender, ethnicity) in terms of speakers and attendees?

No one wants to feel like they have only been invited to speak because of their gender/other demographic factors, especially since they risk losing some the respect of the audience if there is a feeling that they weren’t invited purely for their expertise.

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