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Possible Duplicates:
What skills do you think are essential to becoming a jedi programmer?
What fundamental skills are needed for programming?

What tasks should all programmers be able to do in order to call themselves semi-proficient in a language / platform?

I'm talking about concrete examples eg. File IO, threading, GUI etc etc.

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You may be interested in the Programmer Competency Matrix. This lists various programming (and software engineering) tasks by (a) subject area, and (b) competency level.

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Avoid doing as much repeated work as possible. We're lazy and proud of it!

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Document their code well.

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Write self-documenting, intuitive code.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-documenting

MORE: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?SelfDocumentingCode

AND: Write tests!

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Provide estimates of time and effort that are within an order of magnitude of being correct. And that's not just snark; part of being proficient means having a reasonably good idea of how much work is required to accomplish a specific task.

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Here's the most important I can think of right off the top of my head, there's probably heaps more:

  • Be able to analyze existing code and diagnose issues
  • Be able to look at an application design and expose design flaws
  • Be able to assist with finding solutions for known bugs
  • Be able to think abstractly
  • Be able to understand n-tier abstraction
  • Be able to query a database using some flavour of SQL (T-SQL, PL*SQL for example)
  • Be able to read/write files from the disk
  • Be able to understand and handle caching systems
  • Be able to write simple command line utilities
  • Be able to write basic GUI applications and understand event driven models
  • Be able to recurse through the file structure on disk and open/close/read files
  • Be able to understand and interpret algorithms
  • Be able to design algorithms
  • Be able to understand current programming techniques
  • Be able to data model
  • Have as critical an eye for your own work as you do for everyone elses
  • Get past your ego and work for the good of the project and your team
  • Have an open mind, your idea may not always be the best idea
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Probably have a sense of humour and not take themselves too seriously would work well for a team environment.

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A developer should know how to debug in the platform he/she use.

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In an employer's eyes, whatever tasks are required for the job.

In an employee's eyes, whatever tasks are required for their job + tasks they are interested in/curious about/want to progress in.

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  • Able to use google to find examples or existing code. (Software is probably the industry with the most inventors of the same things.)
  • know Stackoverflow! :-)
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  • Know that saying "this code is terrible... who wrote it, it's the worst code I've ever seen" is not constructive feedback;
  • Realize that everyone makes mistakes;
  • Realize that the client doesn't always know what they want;
  • Be open to change (requirements, technologies, etc); and
  • Realize that we all write bad code from time to time.
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Swapping the content of two variables without using a third variable :)

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I would not say using a specific library (GUI, threading, File IO) is a good measure of language proficiency. A web developer may never have written a desktop GUI, but that says nothing of their proficiency in the language.

I'd say being proficient in a language means you can reasonably quickly find a solution to a small, but complex problem; that is, you should know what the language can and cannot do, and work through the problem within these constraints and exploit the language's capabilities. For example, if using a closure would provide an elegant solution to a problem in Javascript, and the guy is not using them, they probably don't know Javascript very well. Similarly, if they're using methods as getters/setters (get*/set*) in Python, where using an attribute explicitly or using property() (or @property) makes more sense, then they probably don't know Python very well.