Things to make you go hmmm …. (laugh then think!)

February 2, 2009 – 5:34 pm

“Many a true word is spoken in jest” is a phrase that has echoed down the centuries from Chaucer, through Jonathan Swift and George Bernard Shaw and into the modern word. While Chaucer would have claimed that programming was witchcraft his immortal words are certainly as true today as they were in the 14th century.

This post is about a few things we’ve found that have made us laugh, and then think.

To begin with: The 21 Laws of Computer Programming. These laws aren’t hilarious, they will raise a smile or a small chuckle but after that they will  definitely make you think.

Some of my favourites: Law 8 is just true and having worked in the computer games industry I’ve been there and done that. Laws 11 and 15 are all about planning, or the lack there of and Law 21 is exactly why you should use your own code (otherwise known as Dogfooding)

Next in line: 10 programming proverbs. Imagine if Moses had come down off the mountain from a meeting with a particularly geeky, and humorous, God then these might have been inscribed on some tablets which would have then been ground up and placed in a big gold box for a man in brown hat to find.

But I digress.

The ten proverbs are about the way we write code and the dark side of coding that promises an easy path to power but that will ultimately corrupt you. Introduces the ‘bus factor’ (the number of programmers who, if involved in a nasty accident with a bus, would cause the project to fail) which in my current project has a worryingly high value of 2.

Last but not least: The 6 stages of debugging (originally from this blog but the original post has been lost). A short but painfully accurate list of the stages every coder must go through before a bug can be considered squashed. Definitely one to make you laugh then think, I have this above my desk as a constant reminder.

Bonus: This has nothing to do with coding but has got something to do with science. Sort of. Enjoy.

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