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What are some mistakes you can make as a programmer that will get you fired immediately?

Taking one firm’s proprietary information to another will do it. Pepsi does not want the secret formula for Coke, and AMD does not want Intel design data, to pick two publicized examples. If you merely get walked out on the spot, you are lucky; criminal charges are possible. An example that’s not so widely known: I know a developer who worked at a computer company, where he wrote internal software that was not supposed to leave the company. His software would periodically report its status by sending an email to a server that collected status data. Both the software sending the emails and the server receiving the emails were supposed to be on the corporate intranet.

What are major misunderstandings about software development?

There are many great answers here, as this question can be interpreted in many different ways. But from my point of view I would have to say the single greatest misunderstanding in software development over the years, and particularly today, especially as we are trying to refine the agile cycle, speed up rapid development, sprint cycles, pair programming, lean teams, etc… is the gap between client need/requirements and team production.

What would be the next number in this sequence: 5, 0, 6, 1, 7, 2, 8?

These are weird questions, because they can not be answered with certainty without context. In the online encyclopedia of integer sequences, this series currently appears 5 times. Four of these are followed by a three (as indicated by many other answers) and one other one is followed by a 6. There are infinitely many imaginable integer sequences, and there is surely one where this series is followed by many other interesting integers.

What are some habits of software developers that are insulting to women?

I think this question ought to be rephrased. Devs? Not much (unless you think it should be tabs, not spaces, or you shit on other languages, or don't believe in code reviews). As a young girl with a lot to prove I often enjoy some aspects of “brogrammer” culture. Going out for drinks, politically incorrect jokes, swearing in the office, rude secret Santas… it gives me a chance to be one of the team and I understand it.

Have you ever fired someone on the spot? If so, why?

I had to fire George. He was laughing so hard that he couldn’t even keep a straight face… and I hated that I had to fire him. George was a little person. He stood about 4′5″ tall. He was a waiter at a restaurant I was managing. George was hysterically funny… but he was completely politically incorrect. He had been given several warnings about things he said in front of customers that you simply could not allow. Unfortunately, this time, the regional manager was there and I had no choice.

As a software developer, how often do you leave a backdoor in your code?

I never leave backdoors, but it is very common to add “features” that only a developer can use. For example, in a development environment, you might add a page that lets you log into any account to make testing easier. Oftentimes there may be a “default admin account” that gets created and sometimes people forget to disable that account. Another common one is pages that give you stack traces, configuration information (including database passwords and ip addresses), etc.

How can I switch careers from Java to big data?

I've already given an answer to such kind of question earlier and I'd like to add some points here as well. First I'd like to insist you people to go through following question to understand the future of "Big Data Technology"

Is it worth to sacrifice everything to become a software developer?

I’m not seeing the answer I like here, so I felt I had to weigh in. A lot depends on what you plan on sacrificing. If you plan on sacrificing small children or even tiny kittens…no, probably not. But if you’re planning on sacrificing your time consuming and expensive scrapbooking habit, yeah, probably.

What do programmers hate?

Fashion victim technology choices - being mandated to use something that is either wrong for the job or bad at it because it's hip, or because some big company uses it (case in point: MySQL - a tinkertoy as a real database, but "Facebook uses it" - yeah, they rip the SQL front end off it and use it as a giant distributed hard drive - it works because they don't use most of it). And then blowing a bunch of development time working around its problems.

Who are the bottom 20% worst programmers and what are they working on?

Nobody should rightfully claim to have sampled the top 20% or so developers unless they mentioned the locality or context. Unless they are talking about software developers at Company X. But even that is still inaccurate. I agree, there are some programmers who really suck!

How is programming as a passion different than programming as a job?

Programming as a passion is just like any other passion. When you love something so much that nothing can stop you from doing it, you get deeply immersed in it. You explore new ideas. Programming, to many, is much like being a musician or an artist. The concept of creating something from nothing can be such a satisfying experience.

Does doing a professional certification give you more edge?

I don’t think many ‘certifications’ are worth that much. In IT, there are the Microsoft, Oracle,etc… certifications, which have some value. In software development, I don’t think there are many or even any certifications that would have much value. If you mean ‘as opposed to a degree’, then no, certainly not.

Who is the most important software developer in the world, and why?

Jon Skeet is widely recognized as possibly the most knowledgeable software developer in the world. He is #1 on the stackoverflow web site for answering questions. Tens of thousands of other developers are better in their work because of his contributions.

What is currently a hot topic in software development in the academic and commercial world?

I graduated from uni 3 years ago to gain commercial experience, my course was Computer Science (majors Computer Science and Software Engineering). Now I'm planing to come back and do honours in parallel with my work as a IT consultant: .NET (mostly), JavaScript, front-end (some).

What is life like for a corporate software developer?

I am going to disappoint a lot of programmer wannabees, but here goes. Only a tiny, tiny percentage of software developers work for Silicon Valley style companies. I have 20+ years of experience and can probably program at least as well as the people in those companies but I won't even try because their selection process is so extreme that is very good at filtering out people (including people that they would perhaps want).

What are the expectations of a software developer with 10 years of experience?

10 years is an eternity in this profession. That being said, I’m rolling up on year #25 myself (with the last 10 in the same company), so I guess that makes me older than dirt itself.

Is it embarrassing to work as a junior software developer at age 32?

I started at the junior level when I was 30, and I was never uncomfortable working around 20-somethings who were already senior developers. I’ll give you one advice, though. You should be very clear to your co-workers about who you are and what your skills are. When you’re a developer in your 30s, people automatically assume you have deep experience unless they know otherwise. Don’t go around pretending you know things when you really don’t, because you’ll just end up disappointing people, and that could actually be embarrassing.

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