Tag Archives: programming

Developers and IT people: you need to have more than a good resume/CV

If you are a software developer or someone working in IT, you need to consider having more than a good resume or CV. You should consider having:

  1. an up to date profile in LinkedIn
  2. a professional web site (at least a one pager). It could be a blog, or an about.me page…something that provides information about yourself in a summary form.
  3. some repositories on github showing your work or an example of what you can do.

If you use github.io to host your professional web site, you get to cross off #2 and #3 with one effort.

I was reminded of this when I went to check out this page: DevProgress Tech Volunteer Questionnaire. You can see them asking for this information. It makes sense: if you are looking to hire a developer, it would be great to see not just what people are saying about them on LinkedIn, but what their code looks like too.

For some employees, putting code on github may not be an option. In that case focus on the first two and have a page somewhere on the web that discusses why you can’t host code there.



Why Python programs often have this: `if __name__ == “__main__”:`

If you were wondering why Python programs often have this: `if __name__ == “__main__”:` and then a call to a function, a good explanation is here.

In short, if your program is used as input to other programs, then you want to have that snippet of code in them. If your programs are standalone, you can get by without it.

What programming language should you learn? (2015 edition)

It depends on a number of factors, but if you want to decide solely on popularity, then you need to see this: The Most Popular Programming Languages of 2015 | ProgrammableWeb.


At the top you have some consistency, with Java at the top, and C, C++ and C# in the top five. Python, a language that I am becoming fond of and using to replace Perl, is up there at #4.

Following that are what you’d expect: PHP, Ruby, and Javascript, as well as some data oriented languages.

What is interesting, and not shown, are new and up and coming languages, such as Swift. I expect that to inch into the top 10 in the next few years.

If you want to focus on learning a programming language, and you have no other criteria, pick something from this list.

Want to learn node.js? Here’s some great tutorials

Node.js is a hot topic and technology. If you want to see some good tutorials on it to help you learn, I recommend this, from developerWorks: Learn node.js development from these top Bluemix guides.

How to learn Python: fast, slow and somewhere in between

As one of my areas of skill development this year, I am teaching myself Python (the programming language). I had a number of different sites offering help with it, but I have found these three the most useful, so far. I have found each of them useful, but I have spent the most time on “medium”. If you are interested in learning Python, I recommend you check these out:

Fast: Tutorial – Learn Python in 10 minutes – Stavros’ Stuff. Great as a cheatsheet or a quick intro to Python or if you used to do work with Python but haven’t done it in awhile.

Medium:the Python Tutorial from python.org. If you know other programming languages, this is a good starting point.

Slow: Learn Python the Hard Way. Good if you don’t know much about programming and want to make Python the first language you know really well.

Are you trying to learn to code? Are you finding it difficult?

It’s likely not you. As this piece argues, Learnable Programming, there are limits to the approaches that online sites have which many can get by, but some cannot. If you are in the latter group, give this piece a read. Afterwards you might think: aha! That’s why I couldn’t get it!

With technology, if you don’t understand something, don’t assume the problem lies with you. It may, but most of the time, the problem lies with the technology.

A return to Twitter (not the service, but the community)

After the frustration with the Twitter service for changes like this, I thought I would give up Twitter. However, Twitter is the sum of a number of parts: there is the service that Twitter provides, from the backend servers to the APIs to the user interfaces and client software you use;  and then there are the people that contribute to Twitter. Among those contributors are people I really enjoy socializing with whom I cannot connect with any other way. To give up all of Twitter means tossing out the baby, the bathwater and even the tub itself. That’s dumb. (I do dumb things often, but typically correct most of them in time. :))

To get around that, I decided to use my limited software skills and the APIs that Twitter provides to write my own Twitter client, in a way. It is a hack, but it is a good hack (for me). I am able to control what I see this way. Not only do I not have promoted tweets, etc., in my feed, but I am able to get rid of things like RTs from everyone, rather than having to turn of RTs one at a time. I’m also able to save all the tweets in a spreadsheet or some other format, so I can look at them when I am less busy, or decide on other filters I want to apply, etc. Later on I can write more filters so if a trending topic gets to be too much, I can just delete it or save it to a different file for later.

Now my Twitter experience is gone from poor to great (for me).  I have thrown out the dirty bath water, but kept the tub and the baby. This makes more sense, obviously.

Last but not least, I appreciate all the people who expressed concern over my leaving Twitter. It was very kind of you, and why I want to stick around, if I can.