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Can you talk the programming techno talk?

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If you go onto the SE/SO site it's amazing and quite off-putting some of the answers. The level of knowledge and terminology some people know is quite amazing. 

 

Maybe that just comes with knowledge and practice but I don't think I could reach that level or convey that level I should say. 

 

 

(editor's note: SE/SO refers to "Stack Exchange" and "Stack Overflow")

Edited by swiftcoder

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As with most things, knowing the terminology comes with time. You most likely don't know it because you never used it before and don't need it (yet) and sometimes you already know it, but you simply didn't know the right terminology or used the wrong one.

 

I think we've all been there and the best thing you can probably do is to read the context, figure out what they're on about in general and try to imagine what it might be. Google is also still your best friend, so searching for the meaning of something is always a good idea to put things more into perspective. If you still don't get it, ask yourself if you really need to and move on if not and keep on doing your thing. At some point, you will get there!

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Humm and.. what SE/SO means?

 

 

It is impolite to use abbreviations without introducing them. Some of the people reading your thread might not think immediately of what "the SE/SO site" means. I guess you are talking about "Stack Exchange" and "Stack Overflow". So instead of saving yourself a few keystrokes you could save others some confusion.

Álvaro had it right.

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90% of being successful in the tech industry is being able to convey deeply technical concepts to non-technical people (i.e. without jargon). Managers, executives, QA (quality assurance), UX (user experience)... none of these people are engineers, nor necessarily well-versed in whatever it is you do on a daily basis.

 

I'd worry less about picking up the jargon than about being about to convey engineering concepts in plain english. And, you know, Google is really good at looking up acronyms.

 

No no.  You have it all backwards.  90% of being successful in the tech industry is flaunting your superiority over all other co-workers by making sure none of them have a clue what you're talking about.  Then, when you're finally let go for not being a team player, you can take comfort in the fact that it was really all their fault for being unable to understand you. </jest>

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Just because a person knows the terminology though, doesn't mean they are good at programming. I know a few programmers who have done it for years and don't use the terminology that much. SE/SO are great sites, but if you remove the terminology, the benefit of the site(s) is the help they give for your questions.

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Unfortunately, speaking the techno talk does matter. Many companies have a hiring practice where any member of the team interviewing can reject any candidate for any reason. I failed to get a job as a result of failing to know various definitions in one such interview. I could explain the concepts, but the interviewer insisted I provide names instead of explanations of the concepts. I only got to find out he was the sole objection because the guy that conducted my phone interview earlier apparently had enough pull to get a different manager to just create a position for me. After I started, the people that interviewed me told me what happened. I'm pretty sure I've failed other interviews for the same reason, especially one with Microsoft during college, but I can't be 100% sure.

 

I still suck at definitions and techno babble, and probably always will. Fortunately, it seems the companies with the most interesting jobs and the best people to work with care a lot more about concepts than specifics. They'd rather you know how to explain a concept than recite a definition. They'd rather you know how to learn any random API quickly than that you already know the exact one they're using this week.

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Well a company requiring it doesn't mean it matters. If that was the case, a BSc in CS would matter and make it so that most of us who program without ever going to college would be out of luck. This is what Bjarne Stroustrup told me in a email when I was talking terminology and seeking his advice last month.

 

 

 

Don't get distracted, confused, or intimidated by fancy wording.
Edited by BHXSpecter

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A good example of this is Jon Skeet, the often-sung superstar of SO.


It is for this, that while his skill in undeniable, if he ever walked into my office for an interview I'd walk him back out as that level of solo heroism has no place in enterprise development.

Wow. You sounded just like him right there.

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90% of being successful in the tech industry is being able to convey deeply technical concepts to non-technical people (i.e. without jargon). Managers, executives, QA (quality assurance), UX (user experience)... none of these people are engineers, nor necessarily well-versed in whatever it is you do on a daily basis.



I'd worry less about picking up the jargon than about being about to convey engineering concepts in plain english. And, you know, Google is really good at looking up acronyms.

 

 

Which is why I am being kept away from my keyboard today whilst I do a presentation to senior management :(.

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SE/SO is where highly intelligent programmers go to get back at all the kids who bullied them in school.  If you happen upon SE/SO to find an answer to a question, or look up some other bit of material you'll probably miss this point.  Those that frequent it regularly though, have probably seen the divide in almost elementary school-level antics and drama that swirl within the moderators and top users. 

 

It is of no misunderstanding that the SE/SO veterans are good at what they do and highly intelligent, however most are condescending in their answers, as some even to the point of harassing or insulting - for this, while I browse SE/SO, I very rarely ever post - to avoid some sex-deprived DBA for laughing at me because I didn't use the word tuple instead of trying to describe an unordered set. 

 

A good example of this is Jon Skeet, the often-sung superstar of SO.  He knows his shit, I enjoy the books and blogs that he's written, he's very precise with his answers and his knowledge of C# is probably unmatched.  However, he's a complete dick.  Time and time again I've viewed him giving answers on SO that were, for-lack-of-a-better-word, cruel.  It is for this, that while his skill in undeniable, if he ever walked into my office for an interview I'd walk him back out as that level of solo heroism has no place in enterprise development. 

 

You find this a lot on SE/SO, and if you plan to play with the big-dogs I'd suggest learning the academia portion of computer science just as much as the applied portion - that and a bit of Shakespearean satire.

 

I've sincerely never experienced anything but friendliness on stack overflow, yet I often see comments like this. Maybe I'm doing it wrong.

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Great post Servant. Sometimes I feel that way on this site, because usually I want to tune in to topics above me. But I quickly get lost. I was so lost on stackoverflow. haha. 

 

Yes, the responses on this site are adapted to the poster's questions, not assuming the person knows more than they either say they know, or imply they know. 

 

It is the jargon that gets me. The prerequisite knowledge. 

Edited by Tutorial Doctor

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90% of being successful in the tech industry is being able to convey deeply technical concepts to non-technical people (i.e. without jargon). Managers, executives, QA (quality assurance), UX (user experience)... none of these people are engineers, nor necessarily well-versed in whatever it is you do on a daily basis.
 
I'd worry less about picking up the jargon than about being about to convey engineering concepts in plain english. And, you know, Google is really good at looking up acronyms.


I don't know ... I'd try to learn the terminology of the problem domain and the solution domain ... and how they are connected, just to be sure. That is the way I'd think about the general issue.

It helps if you want to be a go-to guy and seem important ...

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I don't know ... I'd try to learn the terminology of the problem domain and the solution domain ... and how they are connected, just to be sure. That is the way I'd think about the general issue.

It helps if you want to be a go-to guy and seem important ...

I can see where that is beneficial, but I can also see where that could be bad. If you are the go-to guy and seem important, but then state something wrong it could affect your credibility as the go-to guy. Would you trust a doctor if they kept goofing the terminology up? So if you are going to learn the terminology, put tons of effort into it as you don't want to be lost or come across as lost.

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