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How much a programmer know?

Well, while the alternative solutions are easily avaialble, the programmer tries to put his week-end hours to fit the missing part of the puzzle in the project.. (Custom control objects).  Too much time spent in coding and not looking alternative just beccause programmer has the knowledge for the coding and he want to hack it.

Is it waste of management's and programmer's time and efficiency? What is the solution. Should programmers be trained in general to see what the market offers which can aid the management or is this something done by management already before giving job to programmer?

This matters especially for the person with combined duties of analyst , developer,programmer etc..

artist
Sunday, June 01, 2003

My own feeling is this:  Give the programmer a credit card to buy those tools with, and shut your pie hole.

Or.

Get out of business, if you can't let the programmer do it him/herself.

Brian R.
Sunday, June 01, 2003

This is the difference between experienced and inexperienced programmers inexperienced ones always think everything but their code is a cheap hack

Daniel Shchyokin
Sunday, June 01, 2003

I manage a team of programmers, and I'm a programmer myself (and also the owner of the company :)).

When I start a project, I first write a specification.

During the research for this specification, I also spend significant time to see what libraries / components / controls exist which can help us cut development time.

Sometimes I test the components I find, sometimes I don't and leave the testing to the programmers.

So, my specifications already contains things like: for this part, use this component.

We always use the components first (trial versions), and only if the component is actually good and works well in our project, we buy it.

I have also used pirated versions of components for testing, but we ALWAYS buy the one we use.

The point is: a component may seem excellent on the web site of it's creators, but when you actually use it, you can discover that it's unusable for the current project.

John Romab
Sunday, June 01, 2003

There's a good section on using third party tools in Steve McConnell's "Rapid Development".

Recently, I have been hacking a third party's DLL order to reverse engineer its API. This is because the documentation isn't available until you buy the full version, but we won't buy the full version until we can evaluate that the API will do what we want! Sort of chicken and egg, really.

Better Than Being Unemployed...
Monday, June 02, 2003

Carving your own custom control to achieve your own well specified behaviour is often quicker and cheaper to achieve than buying in a control that involves its own slew of compromises.

But not always.

Simon Lucy
Monday, June 02, 2003

There's an interesting perspective here:

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000007.html

Ged Byrne
Monday, June 02, 2003

"Sort of chicken and egg, really"

BTBE, did you try contacting the company or individual who wrote this third party's DLL? Seems to me like you might be wasting a lot of time and money if you haven't done this yet.

One Programmer's Opinion
Monday, June 02, 2003

I did, and they said they would not provide any documentation until we had purchased the library.

Better Than Being Unemployed...
Monday, June 02, 2003

That's pretty amusing...  Once you've hacked their API, you'll probably understand it better than any documentation will provide, and probably have enough experience that you can write your own.

Nat Ersoz
Monday, June 02, 2003

They're pretty blunt with replies. I'm not too happy about their attitude. I'm looking for alternatives at the moment because I don't want to gamble on their tech support being like that if we spot a glitch.

Better Than Being Unemployed...
Monday, June 02, 2003

What DLL/product etc? (If its not incriminating). Actually, it probably is. DMCA and all that.

Better: What kind of API are you looking for?

Justin
Monday, June 02, 2003

Hey, this sounds like a great topic for a new thread: "the douchiest component vendors that you've ever dealt with".

For my money, this would be a small company that marketed a certain graphics conversion package that my client used a few years ago. A one man show. The guy that ran this company was also tech support. He was the software equivalent of Seinfeld's "soup nazi". You'd call to ask how something worked (using the published tech support line, natch) and he would interrupt you in mid sentence constantly and tell you that you were doing things wrong. His was the kind of personality that you wouldn't mind punching out.

Given the superb social skills rampant in programming, I would expect that there are a LOT more like this guy. :-)

Bored Bystander
Monday, June 02, 2003

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