[UPHPU] Java and Frameworks (was: MVC)

Daniel C. dcrookston at gmail.com
Tue Nov 16 13:40:10 MST 2004

Having a lack of knowledge does not make you unintelligent or
incurious.  I think that being insatiably curious and being
intelligent, in that order, are things that make someone a good
programmer.  Having ADD, Asperger's syndrome, and bipolar depression
seem to help too.  (I'm only half joking.)

A quick question - are you asking about developing good programming
style, or gaining more technical expertise?  The things I list below
will help for both, but it'd be nice to know which you're asking

This [1] is a decent page to get started with.  It's a bit long, some
people emphatically disagree with or hate ESR, but he *is* widely
recognized.  (Be warned that his ego is approximately the size of
Manhattan.)  I personally love the Unix koans [2]

Another good, possibly better, page titled Teach Yourself Programming
in Ten Years[3].  Definitely shorter, both on words and on ego.

If you're past both of those (I don't know anyone who is, but maybe
you're a genius and don't know it) then there's always The Art of
Computer Programming[4], which comes in several volumes.  If you've
read those, then you need to send Bill Gates your resume.  He's got a
very well-paying job for you.

If you didn't mind ESR, you might want to check out The Art of Unix
Programming[5].  I'm liking it.

Cormen also wrote a good book on algorithms [6]

SICP [7], also called The Wizard Book, is a classic.

There's also Design Patterns, also known as The Gang of Four[8].

I'm sending this mail as much so I have a reading list for myself as
for helping you out, btw ;-)

Some people on irc suggested www.citeseer.com [9] as a good source for
papers, which are reportedly more helpful than books in some (most?)
cases.  Finally, if you're super geeky, the Dictionary of Algorithms
and Data Structures [10] is interesting reading.

I personally think that having a group of people you can turn to with
questions about style, bugs, technical problems, etc. is as important
as anything else when it comes to learning to program.  Scratch that,
I'd say it's *the* most important thing, after having the curiosity
and intelligence.  You clearly have the intelligence.  Is the UPHPU a
good community?  (That's an honest question.  I don't participate
much, except for the occasional flame or bit of pedantry, so if you
say no it sucks you won't hurt *my* feelings.  You might even get me
to contribute the few sensible thoughts I occasionally have.)  If the
mailing list is too slow, connect to irc.freenode.net and join the
#php channel.  They can be childish in there, so be warned.  If it's a
generic programming question, the folks in #utah will probably be
willing to help, and you might even talk the #perl folks into lending
a hand.  (The Perl channel is really quite a bit nicer, in my
experience, than the PHP channel.)

Now I have a question for *you*.  Why do I always write so much?  Do I
lack the ability to be succinct?  Is there a part of your brain, the
Succintness Lobe, that's underdeveloped in me?  Whatever.  I hope at
least some of this was moderately helpful.  If not, at least there's a
list of reading material that most people agree is valuable.  Someday
you'll need to teach me your sysadmin skills.  Seriously.


[1] http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html
[2] http://www.catb.org/~esr//writings/unix-koans/
[3] http://www.norvig.com/21-days.html
[4] http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/taocp.html
[5] http://www.faqs.org/docs/artu/
[6] http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=8570
[7] http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/ (see the Full Text link)
[8] http://hillside.net/patterns/DPBook/DPBook.html
[9] http://www.citeseer.com (here for consistency)
[10] http://www.nist.gov/dads/

On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 11:38:17 -0700, Lonnie Olson <fungus at aros.net> wrote:

> I really enjoy reading these programmers skill vs. language vs. na na
> na arguments, but  what I would like to hear more about is help for
> mediocre programmers.
> I am a sysadmin, which often means mediocre programmer, at least it
> does in this case.  Programming is not priority one with me, but I
> would like to improve my programming skills.  What resources can I look
> into to improve my programming skills?  I am talking general stuff,
> like design patterns, MVC, etc.  I already got the language specific
> stuff down pat.  Any books, articles, online journals, etc i should
> read?
> Maybe someone would like to present at a future meeting or at least a
> short article about the most annoying traits of mediocre programmers,
> how it should be done, and where to find more information.
> --lonnie
> Mediocre Programmer
> Killer SysAdmin

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