How to Recognize a Good Programmer

From Slashdot:

KDan writes to share an article he has written about what some of the key factors in recognizing a good programmer. “It’s not as easy as it sounds. CV experience is only of limited use here, because great programmers don’t always have the ‘official’ experience to demonstrate that they’re great. In fact, a lot of that CV experience can be misleading. Yet there are a number of subtle cues that you can get, even from the CV, to figure out whether someone’s a great programmer.”

So, are you a good programmer? I read the list, and I’d have to say I agree completely with everything he says. To summarize:

  • Passion
  • Self-teaching and love of learning
  • Intelligence
  • Hidden experience
  • Variety of technologies
  • Formal qualifications

So, if you’re a software engineer, how do you rank yourself?

Who’s the real racist?


Broadcaster Kelly Tilghman has apologized. Tiger Woods has accepted it. But the Rev. Al Sharpton says it isn’t good enough.

[Sharpton said] “Lynching is not murder in general. It is not assault in general. It is a specific racial term that this woman should be held accountable for”

Really? Racial? Ok Al… let’s look the word up in a dictionary (you know… the place where words are actually defined).

To inflict punishment upon, especially death, without the forms of law, as when a mob captures and hangs a suspected person.

Hmmm…. that sounds a lot like what Nick Faldo said leading up the Kelly’s comment: “To take Tiger on, well yeah, they should just gang up [emphasis mine] for a while…”

Mr. Sharpton, you are a bigger boob and media whore than I ever thought you were, and are lacking in basic education. It’s like when David Howard was forced out of his job for using the word niggardly because people like you thought it was somehow racist without looking the word up in the dictionary (it means stingy, just in case you think I meant something else. See [[PC Sucks!]].).

Words mean what they mean, not what we think they mean. Kelly Tilghman used a word, in a joking manner, suggesting that the only way the young guns on the PGA tour could compete with [[Tiger]] is to kill him. [[Tiger]] knew it was a joke, Nick Faldo knew is was joke, and everyone listening knew it was a joke. Nobody that heard it made any kind of racial connection, or considered it to be a racist remark. Hell, if I had to guess, I bet [[Tiger]] got a big grin on his face and thought to himself, “that’s right guys, I OWN you.”

I think it’s racist of you, Al, to go looking for racism and to persecute people for no damn reason. Remember the Duke lacrosse case? I still haven’t heard you apologize to those poor (white) kids whose lives you ruined. By this definition of racism:

discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race

you are one of the most racist people around.

Please, Al, don’t go away mad, just go away. You are not needed anymore (if you ever were).