Want to become a better coder? AMA Technificent Tips About Debugging and how to save yourself days and your sanity!

Arminda Colon
Apr 16, 2018

One thing you learn as a seasoned programmer is that, most of your time can be spent on debugging.  Programs use many layers and when one layer fails, there is a ripple effect.  By understanding how to debug, you can save yourself days and sanity!  My language of choice depends on the project, currently, I'm working with C# and Xamarin.

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What would you say are the pros and cons of cloud systems?
Apr 23, 6:37PM EDT1
What is the last programming book you read?
Apr 23, 5:46PM EDT1
How do you react to people criticizing your code/documents?
Apr 23, 1:49PM EDT1

I don't mind at all.  I take criticism as a compliment or a question that you are unable to properly articulate.  With that being said, I will try and figure out if there is something they said that would help me improve.  I might even as them to give me more details about what they are trying to tell me.  My goal is usually to create what others want and so I want them to be happy.

Apr 23, 2:00PM EDT1
What tools and techniques do you use when reviewing someone else’s code? What's your main focus?
Apr 23, 11:57AM EDT1

I use whatever IDE and tool were used to create the code.  If it's a web-based project I'd use Chrome's web developer to get a glimpse of "what's under the hood".My main focus when reviewing code depends on what the expected outcome is.  If I am tutoring someone, the goal is to make sure they are learning proper techniques.  In that case, I would look for formatting, naming, structure and to make sure they understand how everything is working together.

Apr 23, 1:58PM EDT2
What has been your biggest professional success so far? Why?
Apr 23, 8:25AM EDT1

I'd say the fact that I've been able to work for myself for the last 3 yrs and survive :) It's not easy finding clients, being able to juggle multiple clients and dealing with IDE/software/update bugs that are beyond your control but I've found what works for me and I continue to refine my process.

Last edited @ Apr 23, 1:56PM EDT.
Apr 23, 1:55PM EDT1
What are your favourite tools (operating system, programming/scripting language, text editor) and why do you like them more than others?
Apr 21, 10:44AM EDT1

I'm a huge fan of Visual Studio and Atom.  I use them on a daily basis because I can personalize them for my needs very easily and they have any help features that make coding less of a headache.  I also really love Postman for any type of API related work, again the feature set is rich making life that much easier.

Apr 23, 1:53PM EDT1
If you had few months to learn a new technology, which one would you choose?
Apr 20, 7:57PM EDT1

Definitely 3D modeling / printing :)

Apr 23, 1:51PM EDT1
What are your favourite music bands/performers/composers?
Apr 20, 4:08PM EDT1

I don't have a favorite.  I prefer real hip-hop, music with a message and music from around the world.  Decible, out of Florida, is my favorite producer and you can find out more about him by googling him :)

Apr 20, 6:10PM EDT1
What do you think will be the next big thing in computer programming? X-oriented, Y language, or quantum computers, what?
Apr 20, 2:46PM EDT1

AI on a large scale.  We are seeing AI/VR/AR in a lot of gadgets now and day but in the near feature I believe it will be embedded in or will allow you to "jack in" like the Matrix, where you are the computer.

Apr 20, 6:12PM EDT1
What is your favourite book related to computer programming?
Apr 20, 12:46PM EDT1

I don't use books because they are usually outdated by the time you are reading it.  I do have have a SQL reference book that I've kept forever.  I prefer to use the website/manuals that are continually updated.

Apr 20, 6:07PM EDT1
What do you consider as the ideal work environment?
Apr 20, 1:16AM EDT1

That really depends on the person.  I prefer working at home in my office.  I can turn on the music or a tv shows with that as my background sounds, I will begin to create.  Others need quiet, no distractions.  Also, I need low lighting, fluorescent lights give me a headache.  I also use screen dimmers like flux or night shift for IOS.

Apr 20, 12:04PM EDT1
Does coding require a certain level of creativity or is it all just technical skill?
Apr 19, 3:13PM EDT1

Great question :)It definitely requires some level of creativity.  In essence, you are building objects in virtual space.  If your end result is not engaging enough, it doesn't matter that the code works. 

Apr 19, 3:28PM EDT1
Do you have a blog where you share your tech expertise?
Apr 19, 2:05PM EDT1

I do, I recently created it but have shared quite a bit on there already.  Please feel free to check it out blog.technificentconsulting.com.  In the past, I've shared on Facebook, via technificentConsulting, and on Stackoverflow.

Apr 19, 2:35PM EDT1
Are you a freelancer or do you work for a company?
Apr 19, 8:21AM EDT1

I have been freelancing for the last 3 years through my company Technificent Consulting (technificentConsulting.com).  I work remotely from home and occasionally go to the office of my client when needed. 

Last edited @ Apr 19, 11:21AM EDT.
Apr 19, 11:21AM EDT1
How do you approach high-pressure situations when everything goes wrong?
Apr 19, 1:13AM EDT1

Take a step back and look a the pieces.  Each piece defines the whole, so if you investigate each step thoroughly you're usually able to figure it out.  In my mind, I'm in a game, each challenge represents a level, I just have to keep calm so I can figure it out :)

Apr 19, 11:20AM EDT1
What do you do first when creating something new?
Apr 18, 2:26PM EDT1

I jot down ideas, draw out visuals and use mind maps to allow me to explore different visual representations of my objects and their relationships.

Apr 18, 8:10PM EDT1
How did you decide to be a programmer?
Apr 17, 11:57PM EDT1

Programming choose me.  I am a puzzle lover and love creating, building and playing games.  I wanted to learn how to bring my ideas to life and visible on websites and software.

Apr 18, 8:08PM EDT1

What's the easiest way to break into coding?

Apr 17, 7:05PM EDT1

First, figure out what you want to create and then figure out what platform you want to be able to use it on.

The next step depends on your learning style.  You may require hands-on instruction like a college class/private tutor or you may be able to teach yourself. In any case, after deciding what and where you are in the right place to start watching tutorials, finding examples, reviewing how to's that you can recreate and gain a better overall understanding of how things work together.Create, create, create.  There are a few online IDE's (integrated development environment) that allow you to learn without installing any software so regardless of if you're using a MAC or PC you can "play" and learn.  REPL.it is a great one which gives you access to code in many languages.  Stackoverflow.com is your friend because coding isn't coding without a community!  Good luck!

Last edited @ Apr 17, 7:43PM EDT.
Apr 17, 7:43PM EDT1
What is the longest amount of time you spent debugging a program?
Apr 17, 6:48PM EDT1

First, let me say that I literally LOL at this question because I just went through the longest week of my life!  It was actually 5.5 days and the issue turned out to be various updates to the OS and IDE that were required but did not work well together.  In the end, I had to manually copy files from a newer version then what was actually running on the machine.

Apr 17, 7:34PM EDT1
What is the most challenging programming language for you? Why?
Apr 17, 5:21PM EDT1

I work with many, many languages and IMHO they are all very similar.  The hard part is remebering which rules apply to which langugage.  If I had to choose one, I'd pick one I never coded in before and that would make it a challenge.

Last edited @ Apr 17, 5:29PM EDT.
Apr 17, 5:28PM EDT1
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