Friday, August 09, 2013

Real Programmers Don't Eat Quiche

Back in the dark ages (i.e. before the ubiquity of the Interwebs), there was no easy way to electronically share cat photos with funny captions, grumpy cat photos with funny captions, videos of cats doing funny things.  And, shockingly, there was no Dilbert (although there were pointy-haired bosses in abundance).  So office drones shared bits of teh funny via photocopied bits of cartoons, jokes, etc.  No, I'm not kidding you, actual used-to-be-trees paper was used to lighten the oppressive gloom of a 6'x8' cube.  (Now that I think about it, maybe the fact that we don't have all that paper pinned to cube walls is what makes corporate facilities convinced that office workers now need much less space than that.)

My favorite of these bits of humor can be found below - it started circulated the IT departments of large corporations during my last year at IBM and I still resonate with the total inside-jokiness of it.  It's one of those you-had-to-be-there things, back with we system programmers were maybe not respected but we were damn well feared.  The advent of the PC in offices that same year totally destroyed the mystique, so this bit of prose marks the end of an era, one that some of us lament daily.

Real Programmers Don't Eat Quiche

Real Programmers don't eat quiche. They like twinkies, coke and palate-scorching Szechwan food.

Real Programmers don't write applications programs. They program right down on the bare metal. Applications programming is for the dullards who can't do systems programming.

Real Programmers don't write specs. Users should be grateful for whatever they get:  They are lucky to get any programs at all.

Real Programmers don't comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand and harder to modify.

Real Programmers don't document. Documentation is for simpletons who can't read listings or the object code from the dump.

Real Programmers don't draw flowcharts. Flowcharts are the illiterate's form of documentation. Cavemen drew flowcharts; look at how much good it did for them.

Real Programmers don't read manuals. Reliance on a reference manual is the hallmark of the novice and the coward.

Real Programmers don't write in RPG. RPG is for gum-chewing dimwits who maintain ancient payroll programs.

Real Programmers don't write in COBOL. COBOL is for COmmon Business-Oriented Laymen who can't run a business, much less write a real program.

Real Programmers don't write in FORTRAN.  FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who wear white socks. They get excited over finite state analysis and nuclear reactor simulation.

Real Programmers don't write in PL/1. PL/1 is for insecure anal-retentives who can't choose between COBOL and FORTRAN.

Real Programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmer writes in BASIC after reaching puberty.

Real Programmers don't write in APL, unless the whole program can be written on one line.

Real Programmers don't write in LISP. Only idiots' programs contain more parenthesis than actual code.

Real Programmers don't write in PASCAL, BLISS, ADA, or any of those other sissy computer science languages. Strong typing is the crutch for people with weak minds.

Real Programmers' programs never work right the first time. But if you throw them on the machine they can be patched into working order in only a few 30-hour debugging sessions.

Real Programmers never work 9 to 5. If any Real Programmers are around at 9:00 am, its because they were up all night.

Real Programmers don't play tennis, or any other sport which requires a change of clothes. Mountain Climbing is acceptable. Real Programmers wear climbing boots to work in case a mountain should suddenly spring up in the middle of the machine room.

Real Programmers disdain structured programming. Structured programming is for compulsive neurotics who were permanently toilet trained. They wear neckties and carefully line up sharp pencils on an otherwise clear desk.

Real Programmers don't like the team programming concept. Unless, of course they are the chief programmer.

Real Programmers never write memos on paper. They send memos via computer mail networks.

Real Programmers have no use for managers. Managers are a necessary evil. They exist only to deal with personnel bozos, bean counters, senior planners, and other mental defectives.

Real Programmers scorn floating point arithmetic. The decimal point was invented for pansy bedwetters who are unable to "think big."

Real Programmers don't drive clapped-out Mavericks. They prefer BMW's, Lincolns, or pick up trucks with floor shifts.  Fast motorcycles are highly regarded.

Real Programmers don't believe in schedules.
    Planners make up schedules.
    Managers "firm up" schedules.
    Frightened coders strive to meet schedules.
    Real Programmers ignore schedules.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine sells it, they eat it. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.

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