A day in the life of a programmer

Programming or 3lite H4xor

 hack hacking GIF

Finally we’re at what I do on a daily basis. I wish it was exciting as the sketch above. As I stated before I’m a junior/mid level developer working for Vista Entertainment. If programming is

Programming

Programming is that art of crafting literature for a computer to read and think “Okay this idiot wants me to add 2+2.” That’s if a computer could judge.

A better example is to think of programming as box of infinite Lego blocks. But you only have pieces that are rectangular and are blue or red. To build a program you have to piece together the Lego in a certain shape like a triangle. That triangle will then fit into larger more complex shape and that binds together with other programs.

Of course the binds aren’t simple. There will be bugs and loose joins which could cripple your program or others.

 

How I program

I like to think of programming as logic puzzles I have to solve. I’ve always been a big fan of logic puzzles. I’m never good at them but I love seeing a puzzle/riddle get solved. My main weapon in programming is C#. I’m currently more focused on pushing my ASP.Net skills further.

Why? Because I love developing a solution which covers multiple forms of technology. I like the concept of developing C# back-end to handle core logic, HTML, CSS and JavaScript to cover front-end, presentation and basic user logic. Every time I’m working on this, there are always different ways to tackle the problem.

So let’s get into the how I do this. Normally there’s a pre-planning phase where anyone involved in the project will discuss the requirements. Once that’s decided I’d normally dig around the existing code to see if I can borrow some ideas on how to do this. From there I slowly piece together a set of code that does the task. The next step is to write unit tests to help test code coverage and make sure if anyone else touches the code they don’t break it for existing functionality. Once that’s done, the next phase would be to hand everything over to testers so they can brutalise your code and smash it till they think it’s tough enough to out into the deep dark world of production.

Problem solving

Quite a lot of my time is spent fixing existing issues. As per the above image this is pretty much the process I have to through. I look at some code. Figure out how it works. Work out how it even worked. Blame the previous developer. Question my life choices that led me to this. Find out that its a simple config change and its fixed. Now repeat Ad infinitum.

Of course every day isn’t like this. But these are normally the most memorable periods of a programmer’s life. These stories also make memorable events to recite to others. My favourite is the customer is entering the wrong email address and they tell us they can’t login. I spend couple hours trying to investigate what’s wrong (I had the customer ID). Only to realise the customer was using the wrong email address the whole time.

Media portrayal

This stereotype has always been strong in media for many years. One common re-occurring theme is the elite hacker. Now in many movies and TV shows, the hacker is portrayed as a younger person who can easily hack into anything just by quickly typing a few commands into a PC. The word “hacker: has lost its original definition. With common media usage, it’s used in negative light to describe someone that’s using their programming ability to do evil. The original meaning of hacker stood for a programmer with good ability of finding a way to solve the issue.

Let’s also take a look what the media thinks a programmer is. It’s rare for the common media to cover advances in programming. But when they do the common stereotype of a nerd or geek is portrayed. This nerd/geek image is commonly a weak, scrawny person with glasses whose only skill is programming. There have been way too many shows and movies where you see a bad portrayal of a programmer. For instance, somehow a programmer can save the world by hacking this nuke. Seems straight forward right? HAH. It seems like within 2 minutes this programmer easily hacked a government grade nuke which was designed by top level programmers and easily just turned it around to go elsewhere. The media’s portrayal of anything technology related is riddled with misinformation. It’s clearly seen when you compare an article from a general media outlet versus a tech blog or such.

A simple Google search with the terms ‘media portrayal of programmers’ results in the top few results talking about its negativity and impact on the industry. There are mentions of how the software industry won’t look as appealing to other people. But it’s slowly changing. The industry is widening up and the stereotype is slowly disappearing.

help me they have my family hostage

 

One thought on “A day in the life of a programmer

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.