Computer programming is the process of creating computer software. Use this tag if you have any questions relating to this area.

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Does the average software developer not own (or has never read) a book on software development?

The book 'Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams' by Timothy Lister and Tom DeMarco makes an unreferenced claim that: "The average software developer, for example, doesn't own a single book ...
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1k views

Has any programmer ever been paid per line of code?

There have been some claims that some software developers were paid per line of code written: Bill Gates was paid per line of code I heard that Microsoft has a tradition of needlessly long and ...
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96 views

Is it true that the best programmer in the office is 30 times faster than the worst programmer in the office? [duplicate]

I was once told by a professor at a prestigious university (paraphrase): In the average software development workplace, the best programmer is 30 times faster than the worst programmer. So if ...
35
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3k views

Were the Space Shuttle's computers incapable of handling end-of-year roll-overs?

There is a claim circulating on Facebook that space shuttles couldn't fly near the end of the year because its onboard computers could not handle a year turnover. Searching for the claim, I found ...
29
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689 views

Does pair programming improve the correctness of software?

Some advocates of pair programming suggest that two software engineers working on a single feature together - at the same desk, at the same computer - will create software that is more correct - that ...
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2answers
2k views

Is Obama the first President of the US to write a computer program?

According to a recent Wired article, US President Barack Obama was the first president to write code: President Barack Obama told the world that everyone should learn how to code. And now he’s ...
13
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0answers
433 views

Do mechanical keyboards improve accuracy?

A famous mechanical keyboard site claims that: Many mechanical keyboard fans rave at the loud, clicky sound they produce when using one of these keyboards. As mentioned above, the mechanical ...
34
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2answers
943 views

Do functional programming languages offer significant advantages?

Many functional language advocates make a few surprising assertions about them: functional languages code is significantly less buggy than otherwise functional languages code is significantly faster ...
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1answer
5k views

Has Phil Karlton ever said “There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things”?

Several references to the quote "There are only two hard things in Computer Science: cache invalidation and naming things" can be found, such as Martin Fowler's blog and others. I'm unable to find ...
23
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1answer
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Does healthcare.gov contain 500 million lines of code?

I just saw an infographic comparing the size of various programs in lines of code, the largest one of those being the healthcare.gov site at 500 million lines of code. The source they used seems to be ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Does Emacs cause “Emacs pinky”?

From http://ergoemacs.org/emacs/emacs_pinky.html: Emacs makes frequent use of the Control key. On a conventional keyboard, the Control Key is at the lower left corner of the keyboard, usually not ...
36
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1answer
11k views

Do professional software developers write an average of 10 lines of code per day?

In the classic 1975 software project management book, The Mythical Man Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Fred Brooks states that, no matter the programming language chosen, a professional ...
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1answer
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Do programming aptitude tests provide a reliable measurement of skills?

Universities and companies conduct, administer, or provide programmer aptitude tests. A number of people have expressed both skepticism as well as agreement that they may be useful with the hiring ...
38
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2answers
5k views

Has a programmer ever embezzled money by shaving fractions of a cent from many bank transactions?

There's a popular story that describes a programmer having altered a program at a bank so it diverted fractions of a cent from every transaction to another account (or some variation like multiple ...
11
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1answer
558 views

Was Alan Bradley named after Alan Kay?

Alan Bradley is a character in the 1982 film Tron, the software developer who wrote Tron, a security program and the eponymous protagonist of the film. Alan Kay, on the other hand, is a pioneer of ...
30
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1answer
1k views

Do programmers who learn to type faster become better programmers?

CodingHorror: So if you want to become a great programmer, start by becoming a great typist. [...] When you're a fast, efficient typist, you spend less time between thinking that thought and ...
4
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1answer
287 views

Is XML one of the most widely-used formats for sharing structured information?

W3C claims that XML is one of the most widely-used formats for sharing structured information today Does anyone know if there is any corroborating evidence (studies, reviews, etc.) for this ...
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437 views

Is this “adoption of best practices” anecdote true?

I've been forwarded this by a colleague: There’s a great story of a manager of a Coca-cola plant who’s numbers were far better than his peers. When asked what his “secret” was, he said simply that ...
15
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1answer
917 views

Does using headphones to drown out ambient noise reduce the quality of work?

There has been some fierce discussion about this subject in blogosphere and on Programmers.SE. It all started with Joel Spolsky's claim: [...] putting on headphones to drown out the ambient noise ...
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2k views

Are there reliable metrics for measuring the productivity of a programmer?

This is really a followup question to Is programming in Python faster than in C, C++ or Java? that I also posted on programmers.SE. The first comment seem to challenge the very idea that programmer ...
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1answer
1k views

Is programming in Python faster than in C, C++ or Java?

There's a widespread belief among programmers that the more dynamic and loosely typed the language, the more productive the programmer will be in it. Guido van Rossum wrote about programming ...