Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Lies Programmers Tell Themselves 452

itwbennett writes "Everybody lies to themselves now and again in both their personal lives ('my bathroom scale probably needs to be recalibrated') and professional lives ('this code doesn't need commenting'). ITworld has compiled some of the common lies programmers tell themselves. Here are a few examples: 'This bug won't take long to fix.' 'No one could possibly fail to understand my simple user interface.' 'Code is self documenting.' 'My homebrew framework will be nimble, lightweight, debugged, and easy to use.' 'I know this is dirty code, I will rewrite it later.' 'It's just one line... it won't break anything.' '"It works on my machine.' 'I don't need version control.' 'It's written in ____, so it'll be easy to ____.' What would you add to this list?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Lies Programmers Tell Themselves

Comments Filter:
  • Lame (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2014 @01:21PM (#46484499)

    Most of these are obvious and well understood.

    Some (slightly less obvious) ones:
    - Something must be wrong with this library (that is used successfully by everyone else)
    - Theoretically two threads could try to change that variable at the same time, but it’ll never actually happen
    - Just about anything starting with "no one will ever"
    - Anyone who wants to use this class will look at the code / documentation and see that they can't actually use it in that (usually intuitive) manner.

    Also can we please stop posting articles from itworld. They are all the same: tiny bits of content split over a ridiculous number of pages to maximize ad revenue.

    Seriously, this is like 1990s levels of ad spamming. First you have the full window click through ad, then you have ads on every 10 word slide, a click through in the middle of the slides, and then just for good measure the last slide isn’t a content slide but yet another ad!

    I feel like I need 10 levels of toolbars and bonzo-buddy running in the background to really appreciate the experience of this site.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2014 @01:30PM (#46484635)

    A conditional with a false premise is always true.

    "If the code is done, then I will document it." is always true.

  • by SwashbucklingCowboy ( 727629 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @01:35PM (#46484709)

    I'm behind a firewall

  • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Friday March 14, 2014 @01:38PM (#46484751)

    Gentoo is a kind of (species of) penguin, just as Gentoo Linux is a kind of (distribution of) Linux.

  • look at 'bluetooth' (Score:3, Interesting)

    by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @01:48PM (#46484879) Journal

    it's still just as confusing & alienating

    Look at Bluetooth's name origin...***technically*** you can see what they were thinking but that doesn't make it any less confusing:

    The word "Bluetooth" is an anglicized version of the Scandinavian Blåtand/Blåtann, (Old Norse blátnn) the epithet of the tenth-century king Harald Bluetooth who united dissonant Danish tribes into a single kingdom, according to legend, introducing Christianity as well. The idea of this name was proposed in 1997 by Jim Kardach who developed a system that would allow mobile phones to communicate with computers. At the time of this proposal he was reading Frans Gunnar Bengtsson's historical novel The Long Ships about Vikings and king Harald Bluetooth.[7][8] The implication is that Bluetooth does the same with communications protocols, uniting them into one universal standard

    via wiki

    It's just too much...

    I know that every "wacky abstract name" probably has **some** kind of funny quirky story...that doesn't make it a useful name

  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @01:59PM (#46485003)

    Management says that this patch of 60-hour weeks is just a fluke and once everything is back on track it won't happen again.

  • by js_sebastian ( 946118 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @02:36PM (#46485433)
    I think you have the wrong xkcd [] BTW, this one is on the door to my office.
  • Re:Hofstadter's Law (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @03:01PM (#46485759) Homepage Journal

    It works both ways -- everyone else believing that lie is the only way I ever get anything done!
    "Oh, I'm not allowed to build this trivial-but-handy data-driven web app in a day? I have to write a spec so I.T. can spend 6 months totally overbuilding it (and implementing it badly and no one will be happy with the result)? OK then... Well, it's very code-driven... I can actually make a working prototype and take screenshots faster than I could build a wireframe. Let me just whip up a quick prototype and let a couple people use it so we can make sure that my idea matches what they want, and then if they like it, I'll write up something that you can give to I.T."
    ... Years later, mine is still in use. And working just fine, thankyouverymuch, with nary a hiccup. And yet I still have to keep doing this trick, even after I point out my past successes. Luckily, they keep falling for it. I feel like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter