How to become a programmer

In the last couple of days I repeated this more than four times, so let me post it here for any future references.

Two points for those who want to become a programmer.  First, there is no lack of information these days. There are numerous tutorials online and books in print.  There are magazines, classes, mailing lists, search engines, and everything and anything you need.  But all that information won’t make you into a programmer.  In order to become one, you have to program.  There is no way around it.  You have to design your programs, write the code, debug it, test it, document it, and maintain it.  And you should also read good code that other people wrote.  There is no lack of open source projects these days – take the most popular ones and you’ll learn a lot.

Secondly, among all those available resources, I can suggest two books and two books only.  If you read and study both of them, you won’t need to read another book about programming your life time.  The first book is “The C programming language” by Kernighan and Ritchie.  This is an all time classic.  The second book is “Programming Perl” by Larry Wall.  This is a piece of modern literature.

Daily bookmarks

I came across a couple of really good programming resources. The first one has an excellent collection of links to websites and articles about designing good user interfaces and improving accessibility. The second one is a great article about commenting source code. It also links to some nice works on the subject.

These were shared bookmarks for user tvset on 2005-08-31.

Quote of the day

Microsoft .WAV RIFF files.
These appear to be very similar to IFF files, but not the same. They are the native sound file format of Windows. (Obviously, Windows was of such incredible importance to the computer industry that it just had to have its own sound file format.) Normally .wav files have all formatting information in their headers, and so do not need any format options specified for an input file. If any are, they will override the file header, and you will be warned to this effect. You had better know what you are doing! Output format options will cause a format conversion, and the .wav will written appropriately. SoX currently can read PCM, ULAW, ALAW, MS ADPCM, and IMA (or DVI) ADPCM. It can write all of these formats including (NEW!) the ADPCM encoding.

© man 1 sox


TeXFinally, after considerable thought, I have chosen, not without the help of others, to use TeX for writing documentation. After two days of using it, I must admit that I enjoy it really much. There are few helpful online resource like TeX User Group, UK List of TeX FAQ, LaTex and BibTeX course notes (with lots of examples). For those who can read and understand Russian, TeX FAQ and TeX section of might be of some help.