Lord Palmerston on Programming - Excercises

Pre-reading excercises

  1. What does the phrase “a good programmer” mean to you?
  2. What abilities/skills should a good programmer have?
  3. Api or library? Which is more important?
  4. Give some examples of the main programming areas.
  5. Which programming languages are important now?

Comprehension questions

  1. What is a “programming world”?
    • A programming area like windows api, networking, multimedia, games, etc.
  2. Which IT areas is the author proficient in?
    • Windows and web programming
  3. According to the article, what is the 90/10 rule?
    • You can learn 90% of what you use day by day with a week of learning. But the other 10% might take you a couple of years of catching up. Or the second version: 90% of programming skills is the knowledge of different Api’s; 10% is the languages
  4. Why was the Java GUI system not very popular?
    • Because the Sun company didn’t put the proper “taste” in it; it isn’t as native as Windows controls because ultimately it was not compatible with native Windows facilities. The explanation is in the paragraph beginning: ‘Java attempted this ...‘.
  5. What should every good programming team include?
    • There should be at least one very experienced programmer.

Further exercises

Match the languages to the technologies.

Possible topics for discussion

  1. How do you see the future of programming?
  2. What kind of programming experience is most important in the job market?

Possible difficulties

Joel’s blog is a well-known source of articles about programming and programming culture. It is certainly worth reading, as are his books.