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  Becoming a Better Developer, Part 2: Know Your Core Competencies


If you're trying to grow your startup you've come to the right place. Get my 170-page ebook on how to grow a startup and join thousands of self-funded entrepreneurs by subscribing to my newsletter at right. For years business consultants have instructed businesses to “know your core competencies.” What this means is “know what you do well and stick to it.” For example: Harley Davidson makes great motorcycles. But they’re probably not so good at making perfume. Smith & Wes...

   Developer,Tips     2011-06-29 08:40:10


  Microsoft Interview Riddle Questions


Every year, many people will send their resume to Microsoft and Google. So how do these IT companies hire people? What kind of interview questions will they ask. Let's see what Microsoft asked before in this article. These questions are more focusing on how you are reasoning, not necessary your technical skills. 1.  You’ve got someone working for you for seven days and a gold bar to pay them. The gold bar is segmented into seven connected pieces. You must give them a piece of gold at...

   Microsoft,Interview question,Riddle questions,Answer     2012-03-10 04:56:48


  The Greatest Developer Fallacy Or The Wisest Words You’ll Ever Hear?


"I will learn it when I need it"! I've heard that phrase a lot over the years; it seems like a highly pragmatic attitude to foster when you're in an industry as fast-paced as software development. On some level it actually IS quite pragmatic, but on another level I am annoyed by the phrase. It has become a mantra for our whole industry which hasn't changed said industry for the better. The problem is this, in the guise of sounding like a wise and practical developer, people use it as an exc...

   Tips, Programming, Expert     2011-04-06 11:07:43


  How To Write A Good Programming Test


I’ve taken and marked a lot of programming tests in the past. I love doing them as it’s always good to see what challenges different programmers have come up with when designing them. Unfortunately, however, most of them aren’t very good. Below is a list of general ideas to help increase the quality of programmer tests. 1. Keep it relevant Too many of the tests have questions on content that simply isn’t relevant to the job. The whole idea behind a programming test is making sure the ca...

   Programming test,Interview,Questions,Pro     2011-08-26 02:46:44


  Could coding be the next mass profession?


Like farming was in the 17th century, factory work during the industrial revolution, construction during the Great Depression, and manufacturing after World War II. Better, because writing code is a creative act which can be done with or without a traditional (antiquated?) office-based job, and can create enormous personal and economic value. Most young people start in jobs that don’t have much of a future. Most don’t get higher education – only a third get any advanced deg...

   Coder,Learning,Training,Profession     2012-01-05 08:02:50


  Lessons from the Trenches


I believe that making a game is part art and part science, so it's no wonder that managing a game project is also part art and part science. Clearly if it was all science then the industry would get a collective F for not having made any significant progress over the last decade - all one has to do is just glance at the published postmortems to see that the same patterns are repeated over and over.A game has to be fun, engaging, grab users in the first two minutes and also keep their a...

   Game,Trenches,Tips,Game design,pattern     2011-10-10 05:08:50


  What I learned interviewing with Google


Over the last few weeks I’ve been interviewing with Google for a job doing primarily JavaScript development. I didn’t end up getting the job but I thought I would share the process of interviewing for Google as it was both very exciting and a humbling experience. I can’t reveal everything as I’m under a few NDAs. I’m not going to mention the products or teams that I was interviewing for but you may be able to guess. For those that don’t know me, I’m an independent developer/d...

   Google,Experience,Interview,Algorithm     2012-02-10 06:19:17


  How I explained MapReduce to my Wife?


Yesterday I gave a presentation at Xebia India office on MapReduce. It really went well and audience was able to understand the concept of MapReduce (as per their feedback). So, I was happy that I did a good job in explaining MapReduce concept to a technical audience (mainly Java programmer, some Flex programmer and few testers). After all the hard work and a great dinner at Xebia India office I reached back my home. My wife (Supriya) asked me “How was your session on …” , I repl...

   Java,MapReduce,Java Flex     2011-08-28 04:22:53


  Interview Programming Problems Done Right


Introduction Why 37signals Doesn't Hire Programmers Based on Brainteasers and my comment on HN generated a lot of responses, so much so that I'm writing this post to properly explain the essence of a good (IMHO) interview programming problem. Pascal's Triangle Pascal's Triangle is a shortcut for getting coefficients most often used binomial probability. The root element is 1. Every other element is the sum of the one or two above it (diagonally left and diagonally right). There are severa...

   Interview,Programming problem,Pascal,Triangle     2012-01-06 09:46:43


  Don't Give Your Users Shit Work


The problem with shit work is that no one likes doing it, but an awful lot of people say they do.Shit workTake a look at Twitter Lists. The idea behind Twitter Lists was that users would carefully cultivate lists on Twitter of different accounts they’re following (or not following). These could be divided into lists like Family, Friends, Coworkers, People I Find Mildly Attractive, People To Murder, People I Find Mildly Attractive And Want To Murder, and so on.The problem is that, anecdotally, ...

   Design,Facebook,Twitter,User oriented     2011-11-03 13:28:59