I'm a software developer with experience in Java, Python and front end technologies. It would be more appropriate to call me a generalist than a full stack developer. Ask Me Anything!

Kavitha Karunakaran
Jul 17, 2017

During my stint in various companies like Hewlett Packard, Deloitte and Bosch, I got hands-on experience in Java, Python, HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript. Please go ahead and ask me questions on these topics. I would be glad to answer them for you.


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What piece of software are you waiting for someone to create? Something you feel will start a new era in programming/software?

Jul 16, 9:42AM EDT0

HTML5 is the computer language used to build websites, is it good for other things?

Jul 15, 4:30PM EDT0

HTML5 is a newer version of HyperText Markup Language. It is intended to be understood by a browser. As you said, it is majorly used for building websites. But some tools like Doxygen for instance generates API documentation in form of HTML which can be published over the web for consumers of interfaces to code to interface.

Jul 17, 11:02AM EDT0

Is there some connection between what you've worked on at each of the various companies you've worked for?

Jul 15, 1:47PM EDT0

Yes. My work in all those companies were predominantly in Java. Apart from Java, I had worked in other technologies while working on different projects.

Jul 16, 2:56PM EDT0

What project did you like more?

Jul 17, 2:18PM EDT0

Did you always want to be a programmer or did you just kind of fall into it?

Jul 15, 9:25AM EDT0

I always wanted to be a programmer. Computer Science was my passion. 

Jul 16, 3:10PM EDT0

From school time? At what age did you get your first computer?

Jul 17, 2:49PM EDT0

Which computer language do you prefer to work in?

Jul 14, 2:28PM EDT0

Java and Python

Jul 16, 3:09PM EDT0

Are there any advantages and disadvantages of using them?

Jul 17, 2:40PM EDT0

Do you end up having to work late, or on weekends, because someone else screwed something up?

Jul 14, 12:53AM EDT0

There were instances when I had to be online late night but that was to attend meetings because I was mostly working in global teams. I had to stretch a bit over weekends towards end of release for projects but that was done only when it was absolutely necessary.

Jul 16, 3:09PM EDT0

What time do you wirk more effectively: in the morning or at noon?

Jul 17, 2:42PM EDT0

Did you learn to write in all of these different computer languages in college? If not, where did you learn?

Jul 12, 2:15AM EDT0

No. Majority of them were learnt on the job. Coursera and youtube have very good tutorials that I used to learn.

Jul 16, 3:13PM EDT0

Oh, thanks. You gave me idea, where to look tutorials.

Jul 17, 2:02PM EDT0

I've never heard of Python, what is it and what is it good for?

Jul 11, 8:20PM EDT0

Python is a programming language that supports multiple paradigms. It is an interpreted language, which means that the code is executed line by line by the interpreter. It is a simple yet powerful language.

Python has been there since late 1980s but has evolved a lot. Python 3 is the flavour that is widely used for Game development, scripting, web applications, network applications etc. There are frameworks like Django that are built on top of Python. Sites like Quora, Google, etc have parts of their features written in Python.

Jul 17, 11:18AM EDT0

Thank you very much

Jul 17, 2:43PM EDT0

How hard is it to keep up with the newest and latest computer languages?

Jul 11, 1:13PM EDT0

It is really hard. I've worked on many languages and had to learn some because my job demanded so. In my experience, I would advice to select one language as your primary choice in which you gain expertise and have an idea of how the other languages work. It is really hard to be jack of all trades when it comes to programming languages.

Learning newest  and latest computer languages can be hard. But sky has no limit, my friend.

Jul 17, 12:13AM EDT0

Of course, you're right. 

Jul 17, 2:35PM EDT0

Thanks to E-mail and texting, there's not really any reason a programmer needs to go “Into the office.” So do you ever get to work from home/telecommute?

Jul 11, 4:00AM EDT0

Yes. My previous companies had given WFH options to me but those were done on need basis. There are also companies that provide 100% remote work options. 

Jul 17, 12:16AM EDT0

Have you ever worked at office?

Jul 17, 3:16PM EDT0

Why do we need different computer languages? Are they good for different things?

Jul 11, 12:41AM EDT0

Choice of language for programming depends on which layer of technology stack you are working on. 

If you are working on a firmware for instance, it will be mostly C/C++ work at the system level.

If you are working on a web based project, you would be using html, css, javascript and some framework developed on top of javascript. This code will run predominantly at client side. The business logic layer where core functionalities are handled at server side would be programmed in a different language such as Java or C#.

Jul 17, 12:23AM EDT0

What are the differences in the various computer languages?

Jul 10, 10:08PM EDT0

This is a really a question at a very high level. 

To make it short, I should say programming languages differ in terms of semantics, use cases, syntax and way they are compiled or interpreted. 

Jul 17, 11:29AM EDT0

Do you enjoy programming? Do you work on designing software outside of work for your own pleasure/benefit?

Jul 10, 9:06PM EDT0

Yes I enjoy programming. But I have not taken it as a hobby. My interests when it comes to hobbies have nothing to do with programming. However, if I come across something that is new and seemingly intriguing with respect to software development, I usually give it a try.

Jul 17, 12:26AM EDT0

Good luck!

Jul 17, 2:37PM EDT0

If you were offered, would you take a job with one of the big companies, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, for less money or would you stay with a smaller company for more money?

Jul 10, 8:59PM EDT0

Well, I would be deciding on after weighing the learning possibilities of the job at the small company and the big company. Money is not always the sole criteria to decide on a career switch.

Jul 17, 11:04AM EDT0

That's the point. I can also  add that the career prospects are important. 

Jul 17, 3:00PM EDT0

I know HP. What kind of companies is Deloitte and Bosch?

Jul 10, 3:34PM EDT0

Deloitte is basically a consulting firm. It is one of the Big Four companies. Much of the revenue of Deloitte comes from auditing and tax but there is a small section that caters to technology consulting and I was part of it.

Bosch is a German manufacturing company. It is named after its founder Robert Bosch. I was working for Sensor technologies in Bosch.

Jul 16, 3:38PM EDT0

Why did you leave such companies for another one?

Jul 17, 2:51PM EDT0

Do your employer(s) send you to classes to learn new computer languages when needed?

Jul 10, 10:07AM EDT0

As a part of learning and development community at each organization I worked for, I have received classroom trainings to learn new languages.

Jul 16, 3:35PM EDT0

What's your favorite kind of computer to write on?

Jul 10, 1:48AM EDT0

While I was working with HP, I got a chance to work on a Z620 machine. The machine had a great configuration - something like 98GB RAM, four 1TB hard disks. I felt like I was actually working directy on a server instead of a workstation. 

Jul 16, 3:34PM EDT0

What computer language is used for writing apps for smart phones? Do you know that language?

Jul 9, 10:15PM EDT0

BlackBerry used to have applications that were written in Java and C++. Android programming mostly uses Java. Apple uses Swift for development of apps nowadays.

Out of these, I know C++ and Java.

Jul 17, 11:07AM EDT0

If you liked working for the company, why did you leave?

Jul 9, 7:49PM EDT0

How important is it for your job for you to keep up with the newest and latest computer languages?

Jul 9, 6:42PM EDT0

It is not too demanding for my job to learn new languages. But as a programmer who has worked predominantly in Java, staying up to date with the latest versions and features of the language has helped me a lot while at work.

Jul 17, 11:09AM EDT0

How many different people, on average, work on a single program before it's all said and done?

Jul 9, 10:01AM EDT0

Did you mean to ask about a single code or a single application? In my previous experience, I have single handedly coded a feature of one big application. The team size for an application project is determined by a variety of factors before the start of the project. 

Jul 16, 3:28PM EDT0

You mentioned three different companies you've worked for, how long did you spend at each?

Jul 9, 5:44AM EDT0

How long have you been working as a computer programmer?

Jul 9, 3:44AM EDT0

It has been more than 6 years since I started working as a programmer.

Jul 17, 11:19AM EDT0

Do you make good money as a computer programmer?

Jul 9, 3:28AM EDT0

Not too less, not too high. I make enough to live happily. Programming is not the only way to make money. :)

Jul 17, 11:20AM EDT0

What else do you do?

Jul 17, 2:54PM EDT0

Is computer programming still a good job to go in to for a college student?

Jul 9, 1:23AM EDT0

TBH, IT Industry has slowed down and it has lost much of its initial lustre. Now the industry needs more people with niche skills around Big Data, IoT, Analytics etc. 

If you are a passionate programmer with very good basics in Data Structures And Algorithms, Operating System, Computer Networking and DBMS, companies would be more than happy to hire you as a fresher out of college.

Jul 17, 12:09AM EDT0

Which computer language do you find the most challenging?

Jul 8, 10:18PM EDT0

For me, it is C++. Sometimes when my code runs into segmentation faults, it used to be really difficult to find out where it went wrong. Thankfully, there are tools like Valgrind which helps to get a thread dump of test cases and let me know where it is going wrong.

Jul 17, 11:22AM EDT0

Of the companies you've worked for, which one did you like the best?

Jul 8, 9:34PM EDT0

Are there more men than women in programming? If so, why do you think that is?

Jul 8, 5:13PM EDT0

I think there are more men than women in programming. Every year, companies conduct diversity drives to recruit more women to their workforce. 

There are a variety of reasons why women take career break. Some take it due to maternity. Others take it for marriage and relocation. Some others take it for childcare. Because of this, there is always a gap between number of male and female employees in the industry.

Jul 16, 3:24PM EDT0

Have you learned how to program in some of the older computer languages, like Basic and DOS?

Jul 8, 2:56PM EDT0

The first programming language I ever learnt was BASIC. But that was when I was a fifth grader. Over a period of time, some technologies become obsolete. So we need to keep learning to keep ourselves updated.

Jul 16, 3:19PM EDT0

What kind of software do you dream of working on? Games? CAD? UI?

Jul 8, 12:35PM EDT0

Augmented Reality. If I ever get a chance to work on it, I bet it would be a great experience.

Jul 16, 3:17PM EDT0

What is the most difficult thing you have ever been asked to do for your job?

Jul 8, 10:49AM EDT0

If you could learn a new computer language, what would it be and why?

Jul 8, 6:34AM EDT0

I am looking forward to learn Objective C because I've never tried creating mobile applications before. Moreover, I have heard that it is easy to learn. :)

Jul 16, 3:05PM EDT0

My father was a programmer years ago and taught himself something called Visual Basic just by reading a book, have you ever taught yourself a new computer language?

Jul 8, 3:49AM EDT0

Yes. Java and Python were languages which I learnt myself. My course curriculum in university had to do more with C/C++ based programming. Learning Python was especially fun. python.org has a great documentation which is self explainatory. Apart from that, sites like coursera  and udemy have great tutorials to learn new languages.

Jul 16, 3:01PM EDT0

Where should a young programmer go in order to find the best jobs? DC? New York? Silicone Valley?

Jul 8, 2:16AM EDT0

Why do you keep switching companies to work for?

Jul 8, 2:08AM EDT0

Mainly it was for career advancement and for financial betterment. But switching companies had helped me a lot to learn new technologies.

Jul 16, 2:57PM EDT0

Do you think that computer programming jobs are being moved overseas?

Jul 8, 12:25AM EDT0
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