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ober

What level of programmer are you?

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Personally, I consider myself intermediate.  The languages I've tackled in my time as a programmer are either not "hardcore" or I haven't had to touch their advanced options.  In the professional world, I've used Java, VB, a little C and enough Perl to be dangerous.  And then there's the web scripting languages: PHP, JavaScript, ASP.. and the markup languages... HTML, XML, etc.

I've been around the OOP world with Java and PHP and even VB enough to do what I need.  But I've never extended a class other than playing around and I've only once used things like protected variables a handful of times.  I understand pointers and hashes, but only from an academic point of view.  I used pointers in C back in college, but never really had the need to use one in a professional arena.

I sometimes cringe when people refer to certain programming techniques, partly because I don't understand them or partly because I don't even want to know what is involved in learning them.  Part of this stems from the realization that the amount of knowledge that I don't have is a little overwhelming.

I guess what I'm saying is that I stick to the KISS rule for the most part.  I'd love to have a job where I get into things that push my levels of understanding, but I don't right now and I don't know whether that bothers me or whether I'm OK with it.  I do the side thing with the web development and it's fun.  I just don't think I'm a "hardcore" programmer.

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I think I'm pretty much in the same boat.  I think anyone can be overwhelmed in this field. You certainly have to limit what you even attempt to learn, or you will go crazy.  I think java is a cool language, and I like to write php, which is the only language I really use at all now.  College was great to teach your a foundation, but you need to really take it to the next level yourself.  I think I have a pretty good understanding of Database Design and Administration, but don't think I could do it full time.  I like working as an IT Specialist, knowing enough in each field to get in trouble, and now I would like to learn more about security.  I would definitely say I am intermediate if not a newbie when it comes to programming.

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I would consider myself also in the "intermediate" boat; however, after a recent interview, I think we may all be able to bump up our opinions of ourselves slightly. I was concerned about what I considered to be my lack of knowledge in a couple areas, but apparently, I was more well versed that I had thought based on their responses and the salary range we're discussing. I still believe I'd be intermediate in the programming realm for the same reasons mentioned above: I lack some of the foundational techniques, and I have such a rudimentary knowledge of some of the advanced concepts of OOP; however, I [b]have[/b] done a few extended classes, ober ;) LOL... IMHO, though, that's no judge of knowledge level at all. I just happened to have a project where it was called for. :P

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I grabbed OOP right away when starting java, which was only my second programming course in college.  I actually love it compared to procedural programming, but web scripting is more or less get it working which in my opinion require more procedural programming.  I've recently started building a few different classes that I will no doubt reuse.  But projects change all the time and there aren't that many things that can be used over and over in my opinion. I also like how java used pointers without actually going through the same hassle as C.  I think if more hosts supported it, I would learn jsp with tomcat rather than php. 

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[quote author=jcombs_31 link=topic=123688.msg511590#msg511590 date=1169579194]
I think if more hosts supported it, I would learn jsp with tomcat rather than php. 
[/quote]

Oooh, not I! We have one humongous app here at the university that uses JSP on tomcat, and I have had to learn just enough of it to make myself dangerous. I don't like it [b]at all[/b]. I think it's because I don't have the Java background. Yes, I took one college Java course, and I loved it, but this JSP is a different animal entirely to me. If you like it, more power to you, though! :D

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from my understanding, if you know java then jsp is supposed to be no problem, but I couldn't tell you for sure, because I never sat down to look at it.  PHP seems to be the best option which is most widely supported.  I think I should take the time to learn asp or .net, but I'm lazy and don't really need it now.

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You know, it's really hard for me to judge my level.  You see, on the one hand, I don't even do this stuff professionally (hopefully that will change soon! <crosses fingers>).  But on the other hand, I see time and time again people posting here asking for help on the simplest stuff, because they have some project that needs to be done at their company, and it needs to be done yesterday, omg please heeeeellllp.  And it forces me to wonder how the hell such (respectfully saying) noobs keep getting these jobs, and whether I am really a lot farther along than I like to think of myself.

I adopt the KISS attitude.  I only know the basics of OOP because I honestly haven't been in a situation where it was really necessary.  like jcombs said: serverside scripting is more of a procedural style than oop style.  But.. maybe my opinions on that mark me as a non-professional. Who knows.

I've never built some ecommerce site, shopping cart, etc.. do I think I have the skills to do it? I think so.  I mean, when I sit down and think about all that's involved in it, no "hmm..how would i do this?" questions immediately pop up in my mind..

I will say that I'm a noob when it comes to mysql though.  Or else, the likes of barand and fenway are exceptions, and way above the average mark.  I guess what i'm saying is my evaluation of my own sql skills are based on their skills, and that is why I feel like a noob at sql. 

I know enough js to "get by." I can shake an angry fist at perl now, and something might happen.  I only know the very very basics of css. I can make things colored or make a box around something, etc.. my main problem is the whole parent/child relationship thing and sorting all that inheritence stuff out.  And then there's the cross-browser compatibility monkey-wrench that makes me want to not even try to learn css.

But anyways.. I am starting to get the overall feeling that in the end, everything out there is more or less the same, be it an entire site, or some component of the site, and what it all boils down to is how you present the site, and how clever you are at presenting the relevant info on the site, so maybe that's a mark of me not being so noobish.

I guess in the end, as I said in the beginning, I really don't know where I stand.  I see a lot of people that I could obviously rank way below me, but I also see a lot of people I could obviously rank way above me. 

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I should also add that I think one of my goals is to become a DBA someday.  I've done a lot of work with databases and I like that kind of work.  I won't say I'm an expert at that either yet though.  I know database design and normalization and all of that and I'm pretty good with SQL, but I only know a handful of things about pure optomization and indexing and such.

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I consider myself to be a beginner with PHP.  I know syntax (more or less), but the actual computer [i]science[/i] part of things is lagging behind.  I'm a much better procedural programmer than OO programmer, but I'd love to get fluent with the OO side of things (beyond, of course, knowing how to construct classes and instantiate objects), but some of the patterns I've read are a bit baffling (example: is there any real difference between the factory method of generating objects and the abstract factory method?).

I'm basically useless on the MySQL side of things.  The syntax is a bit..clunky, which has been slowing me down.  I can use phpMyAdmin, though. ;)

I'm okay with newbie JavaScript, but I really haven't found a place to use it.  The bulk of what I can do can be replaced by either CSS (yay mouseovers) or PHP (for not having to deal with the client/server variable passing mess).

I'm pretty good with CSS.  Positioning still screws me up from time to time, as well as the cross-browser issues (a lot of which fall into the positioning category).  It took me forever to get comfortable with doing more than changing a font's attributes, though.  They never taught us the box model in my university's web development class, so I basically had a CSS epiphany when I learned it.

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Very much a novice here. I like to hack away on a few different projects at a time, but nothing too serious. Sure, I know my way around PHP, but web dev is definitely not what I want to do. I haven't built a site with php in so long I really can't remember. The last thing I did (in php) was a [i]point of sales system[/i] over an intranet. That got me allot more interested in systems administration and development and led me to Python.

There are a few languages I know, but in reality its a case of knowing enough to get by and not much else. PHP is probably the language I know the best, but its also the language I use the least. I actually post more php on these boards than I would write in a week otherwise.

I've read several books on OOP, but yeah, as most have said, I've never really felt the need to get right into it.

I'll tell you one thing that makes me think I'm a novice. I have a real hard time reading other peoples code. If its not formated how [i]I[/i] like I struggle. This sucks because Id'e really like to get involved with a larger project. But yeah... I'm working on it.

Anyway... I'm rambling. My point? I don't really know what I want to do. I think this is because I wouldn't consider myself a programmer as much as a systems admin, though I'm not really sure I'm even any good at that yet. I've had some success freelance web developing but hated it. I'm currently studying to sit the CompTIA Linux+ exam which [i]may[/i] get my foot in the door as a Linux admin. Id'e like to master Python, Bash and eventually C, but yeah.... I guess I'm happy hacking away.

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I find it interesting to hear from those of you so far because of the difference on outlook and goals for your coding. Where ober and thorpe have expressed interest in the DBA and Sys Admin areas respectively, yet you both are in my group of some of the most insightful members of the forum in your coding standards and approach to problem solving. On the other hand, I'm glad to hear C_V is interested in the web dev side of things, as am I. I also have a healthy respect for jcombs_31 when I see a reply, but I haven't had enough exposure to his code yet to have gotten a mental image of where he's headed. I covet every opportunity I have to learn the nuances of coding, and I relish the actual rush I get when I'm able to take a large problem and write some lines of code to fix it. I don't know if I'll ever move beyond the desire to have my hands in the code. I admire you guys that have the know-how and desire to get into other areas, but it still amazes me that some of those I have in my book as some of the best coding minds on the forums are actually looking at other realms for their careers.

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[quote]it still amazes me that some of those I have in my book as some of the best coding minds on the forums are actually looking at other realms for their careers.[/quote]

Its not that I don't want to program, or even be a programmer. Its just that web dev (clients) don't really interest me. Theres plenty of programming and a hell of allot of problem solving to be done in Linux systems admin. And I guess it just interests me alot more.

I have started building my own distro (from scratch) just so i can learn some of the finer in and outs, the more I play with Linux the more I love it.

But yeah, like I said, "Id'e like to master Python, Bash and eventually C", so I guess I'll be pretty busy programming and learning the rest of my life. I do love it.

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Yeah... I'm kind of in that same boat.  I guess my ultimate dream job would be a combination web developer/DBA.  My previous job was close to that but alas, I had to move and now I'm stuck in a less exciting role.  I still enjoy the programming end of things but I really enjoy playing with DBs as well.

Unfortunately, more and more companies are moving to distributed roles where one group takes care of the DBs and another takes care of the programming, etc, etc.  I like to have control over the entire system but I think those types of positions are few and far between.

Yet another reason why I'll probably eventually just work for myself.

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Id'e also like to add that one of my ultimate goals is to become a dev on one of the larger distros. Gentoo hopefully. while obviously this won't be payed work, thats where the moneys at for me.

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Intermediate. Like most, I also lack the computer science background, but curiosities, opportunities, and documentation-reading/google-searching abilities continue to push me along.

It's an interesting conundrum: I want to know the internals of what I'm working with and I realize knowing this enhances efficiency and understanding, and yet processor speeds and disk space continue to grow, and languages continue to reach higher levels; thus, making a lot of ignorance "OK" in our "Get it done now!" kind of world. It's a seesaw of time management for me: read ahead, read behind...

My main areas of concern lately are enhancing my knowledge of MySQL, design, best practices, and interoperability; as well as working towards fully grasping Unicode, UTF-8, and character encodings.

Unix and Perl's[tt] /^Reg(ular )?Exp(?(1)ressions)\z/ [/tt]are still my favorite :)

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Great... yet another board that I'm going to start reading now... :P

I've been programming for the better part of the last 10-15 years, started with C/C++, hated Win32 MFC stuff, then moved almost entirely to Perl for web applications.  Obviously, MySQL came later -- I actually dealt with flat databases before I knew what they were called.  Recently, I've started to extend JavaScript to do my bidding as well.

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So... I think it's safe to say, as we all knew anyway, that fenway's "Super Guru" status is much more appropriate for him than for many of us ;)

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You're tagged as a "Genius" now... so are you saying fenway is beneath you?  ;)

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Beneath me? But look at all those orange stars! ;-)

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[quote author=ober link=topic=123688.msg513943#msg513943 date=1169821493]
You're tagged as a "Genius" now... so are you saying fenway is beneath you?  ;)
[/quote]
No, no, no... not at all...

ober, leave it to you to be able to pull the rug out from under me in a compliment ;) haha. If I had my way, I would never personally choose the title "Genius" for myself.

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That can be arranged *waves hands in force-like gesture* haha!

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[quote author=ober link=topic=123688.msg514022#msg514022 date=1169826008]
That can be arranged *waves hands in force-like gesture* haha!
[/quote]

Your Jedi mind tricks won't work on me :P

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*you will go home and re-think your career in web development and technology in general.  You will then donate half of your money to PHPFreaks and the other half to ober's-daughter-poops-too-much-and-requires-too-many-diapers fund*.

Do it.  Do it. 

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i think it's been mentioned before, but i reckon it's hard to judge your true level. i dont actually consider myself a PHP coder, because my thought process is something that can pretty easily adapt to any language (at least to understand what's going on, if not actually use it myself). i think this is where people who "code" differ - their approach can depend on how easy they can get a job done, not just their knowledge in a particular language.

if i had to answer though, i'd prob say intermediate. there's plenty i know to get a job done, yet so much i dont. the day i turn expert, i'll probably get bored and give up and try something else. i love the whole learning aspect of it.

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I had to rate myself on a scale of 1-5 during a recent interview on my knowledge of PHP, and my response - which seemed to be appropriate based on their reaction - was something like this:

[i]It's really hard to answer that, because what's the definition of a good coder? Is it someone that can figure out a way to solve a problem or the person that knows the manual forward and backward? Based on my lack of training, I'd have to say that my actual [b]knowledge[/b] of the subject is lacking, therefore, I'd probably give myself a 3; however, if we're talking about the ability to solve problems, I'd probably have to bump it up a notch because when I'm given a problem, I'll figure out a way to get it done. It may not be the prettiest solution in the world, but I won't give up until I have something that works.[/i]

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