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If I wanted to write a program to show off my programming skills for employers then upload it to github, what type of techniques/methods would they be looking for?(r/cscareerquestions)
Right, hopefully I can give you some advice: I left college at 18 and went straight into a web-development job. Several things helped me, most of which I had to learn over time:
1) ASK FOR HELP. It is so easy to try and fix a problem by yourself without getting outside help, because you don’t want to appear lacking in knowledge or because you want to prove you can do it yourself. Those are short-turn solutions. In a months time, people won’t remember that you had to ask three times a week how to do something; they’ll remember whether you shipped a working product or not. Obviously this is something that you need to gauge based on your own situation/ability – as a general rule of thumb, if 80% of your question can be answered in the first page of google results, then you should try and do it yourself, but if it’s something you have no idea, just ask.
3) THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE CODING. Stuff that requires a senior developer to re-write once you’ve finished is a waste of everybodies time. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be expected to write perfect code; such a thing arguably doesn’t exist, but you can make sure that the way you write makes it easy to change later.
4) TO BEGIN WITH, COMMENT THINGS. As a general rule of thumb, it is better to not need coments at all than to spam them. However, if this is your first time writing commercial code, then I would suggest that adding just a few one-line comments, next to non-trivial bits of code, will help anyone who is looking over your work as well as you when you inevitably come back to your code.
5) CONSIDER CONTEXT. No project exists in a void. Likewise, no project exists without a deadline. Don’t fall into the trap of getting hung-up on the first hurdle, and thus end up neglecting the rest of whatever you have to do. It just places unnecessary stress on you. If this does happen, TELL SOMEONE. If it’s your first time in that situation the natural reaction is to think “I can fix this, no-one needs to know I fucked up”, but that line of thought ultimately helps nobody, least of all you. Your colleagues don’t want you to fail, they want to have working code. Remember that.
I’d also suggest several other things:
- practice your google-fu
- practice your ability to concentrate on work without getting distracted by the internet
- learn your IDE back to front
- if you haven’t already read up on source-control systems
- follow the ever-living shit out of all general tutorials for the languages you’ll be using.
EDIT: Get good programming books, and read them. I’d highly recommend “The Pragmatic Programmer“, and there’s a great Stack Overflow thread on other books to read.