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What's "real development"?

Just out of curiosity, I'd like to know how different folks define "real development" and "hardcore coder".

What's your primary dev language? Secondary? And how long have you been using it?

If you're feeling a little shy, go ahead and send me a message off the blog.


Real development:
When you have full command of a programming language and can use it effectively to create scalable, reusable solutions to problems.

Hard-Core Coder:
Someone who codes a lot. "Code" is a relative term so thhis person is not necessarily a programmer (i.e. XML code, HTML code).

Primary Dev Language: ActionScript2 (2 yrs)
Secondary Language(s): PHP / CFML (7 yrs)

Well that line has definately blurred as of late. Before I used to view real development much the way Mike does, and a hard-core coder as someone who lived and breathed C/C++/Assembly/etc - more on the engineering side of things.

However, more and more people are 'coding' as part of their daily lives. These people may or may not be considered 'real coders' - but they are producing (and often contributing to) real projects.

So, I guess for me it would be the following:

Real Development is a usable, released project.

Hard-Core Coder is someone who has a reasonable command of a given language and can perform real development.

This of course varies greatly, but I wouldn't say that someone with a good idea hacking around in Python for six weeks couldn't create something insanely useful. Of course, more experience will usually yield a better end product.

Primary Dev Language(s): ActionScript1/2, Lingo, JavaScript
Seconday Dev Language(s): PHP/Python/Java

For me I don't draw a line between "real development" or "hardcore coder". I see things more along the lines of coding and software engineering (coding and programming used interchangeably).

Coding is the act of just writing code to do something.

Software engineering on the other hand is explicitly using a more defined process that adheres to best practices during development (i.e. Design Docs, UML, Design Patterns, Frameworks, etc).

For me language doesn’t matter, it’s all semantics. However, I do see a delineation between programming language’s generation.


Opps, hit send too soon. =)

Primary Dev Language: ActionScript2
Secondary Language(s): C#.NET, JScript.NET, C++

Real Development - someone who is told what to do by clients or a boss

Hardcore Coder - codes for kicks, doesn't need to check the reference manual all the time
Primary Lang: ActionScript
Secondary: PHP

w00t Kevin!


I think Bryan hit it on the head for "real development." Basically, if you are programming something for an end result - even contributing in some small manner (say, writing simple methods or setting up templates), you could be considered involved in real development.

I think hardcore coder is a misnomer. The most likely description is going to be someone who came out of a Computer Science curriculum and can pretty much develop or implement something that the average programmer cannot. That's not to say that a self-taught programmer could not accomplish the same thing ... it's just not as likely.

Erik touched on that a little bit. Primarily, those who are actual software engineers would be considered hardcore coders. So, that's why I call it a misnomer.

It all depends on your frame of reference. I guess that anyone who was on the now defunct Flashcoders list would be considered hardcore compared to those on the Flash Newbie list. :)

Primary Languages: AS2, Python, C
Secondary: C++, Objective-C

It's hard to argue that software engineers are hardcore coders, but what about those guys who live and breathe xhtml + css? Or what about the Office macro junkies who can do things in Excel or Word that make your head spin? Or guys that use MEL or Maxscript to bring armies of orcs to life?

Personally, I think the term hardcore is somewhat variant depending on the task at hand as Jon mentioned. I tend to like Kevin's comment on the hardcore group not having to constantly refer to the manual.

Perhaps being hardcore is more a mastery of a specific language, environment or api to a point where the rules are second-nature and a developer working at this level remains in the 'flow' for longer periods of time.

Not taking anything away from engineers - but I do think you can be a hardcore coder without having a comp sci background. Especially as more people are having to script/program as part of their everyday lives. It's more a matter of context.

Hear hear Bryan. Well said.

I'm chiming in to mention that my post about Flashcoders was incorrect. I guess it's up and running again! I've been checking the chattyfig.figleaf site for the last month and just today, voila, I was able to get in and didn't get the fun Apache start page. Who knows what happened.