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Programming Techniques  RSS feed

 
Stephen Foy
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How do you learn things like this, someone is given a program to write, how do they know how to write it, say to convert a doc to pdf, how would they know how to do this.

What techniques do people use?
 
Tom Sullivan
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The API, Google and asking questions here generally get the job done for me. Usually when I use Google to find a subject matter, I will find some implementation code on some site which helps a lot.
 
Layne Lund
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I think most of the techniques I use have come from experience which at this point is almost entirely academic. Some of the things in my tool box include using pseudocode or flow charts to describe the execution of a program, APIs and Google to search for existing code an examples that are similar to what I want to do, UML diagrams to illustrate relationships between classes, and some significant theoretical Computer Science background to analyze time complexity, program structure etc. I think it is a good idea to build up a toolbox like this. However, there is no substitution for time and experience.

Layne
[ January 18, 2006: Message edited by: Layne Lund ]
 
Stan James
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Ron Jeffries over at XProgramming.com wrote a neat piece about exploring some APIs he'd never used before, drawing graphics in C#. He started with the simplest possible testable operation he could think of, drew one dot at 0,0 and checked to see if it was there. Then expanded to draw lines, curves, etc. If you're exploring a new API like generating PDF it would be great if your first test program were about 5 lines long. Trying to design everything and writing a thousand lines of code before you run is a very tough way to do things!
 
Layne Lund
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Originally posted by Stan James:
Ron Jeffries over at XProgramming.com ...

Talking about which, Extreme Programming and Agile Programming are techniques that are used in software development. These are typically geared towards teams, but there are some things (such as test-driven development) that can be adapted for an individual working on a smaller project. These are definitely some valuable tools to add to your toolbox as a software developer.

Layne
 
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Stan James:
Ron Jeffries over at XProgramming.com wrote a neat piece about exploring some APIs he'd never used before, drawing graphics in C#.


Which resulted in a nice book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0735619492/

Might be worth a read, even for Java developers.
 
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