Personal break Boss?

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Tuesday, May 15. 2007 in Programming

Between what I do for fun and what I do for work, I deal with a lot of different languages and frameworks. I find myself switching gears quite often, sometimes several times a day, from one programming environment to another. So it should come as no surprise that even though I consider myself "proficient" using all these variants, I have not committed to memory all the different library/class/method calls, parameters lists, etc. So I find myself occasionally pulling out a "pocket reference" (or man page) as needed to refresh my recall. Yet, from what I hear about the normal working practices in several companies (including large companies as well as those that really should know better) as well as standard interview "techniques" this classifies me as a low grade moron. Sure, I guess if you use just one language and just one framework then yeah, I guess, you should know them down cold. But who is so specialized nowadays? And how does simply rote memory tests mean anything regarding how well you design and implement code? Of course, one rationale for such "characterization" is that it increases productivity; that having designers/programmers/coders "constantly" needing to look stuff up (assuming, of course, their IDE doesn't do this for them anyway) wastes time. Well, it's certainly been my experience that programming is not just simply typing. You spend time thinking things through, designing things in your head, with others, testing and refining, profiling and reworking. These hardcopy lookups are hardly in any way an impact on schedule. If you don't understand that, you aren't running a software development house; you're running a sweatshop. And Boy! I bet the quality of that code leaves much to be desired.

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