Subj: Programmer Jokes
(Includes 10 jokes and articles, 07879n,1,cf,md1v,1)
Computer Bug from
Also see COMPUTERS3 - 'Jesus
And Satan Have Programming Contest'
NERD file - 'Nerd Letters From Camp'
FROG file - 'Talking Frog And The Programmer'
OTHER-PEOPLE - 'The Writer - An Automaton' - Video
Subj: How To Hire A Programmer
by Kevin D. Weeks
From: Ossama's Laugh on 5/23/98
Forget about competency tests,
previous work history,
personality profiles like the MBTI, reference-checking,
and follow-up interviews. After years of rigorous and
admittedly maverick research, I've identified five key
characteristics you can use to quickly assess the fit-
ness of a programmer candidate. I humbly submit that
if you follow my advice and check for these attributes,
you'll shorten your hiring cycle and simultaneously
increase your success rate.
The best programmers prefer cats
as pets. I've canvassed
hundreds of programmers on the subject of preferred pets,
and despite the odd ferret-lover (and believe me, ferret-
lovers are odd), time after time cats turn out to be the
non-human companion of choice. Think about it; it makes
perfect sense because programmers are human cats. Cats
are night animals, as are programmers. Cats are indepen-
dent, like programmers. Cats prefer to be left alone
except when they want attention, and so do programmers.
Cats are notoriously elegant animals and... uhm, well...
programmers love elegant code. What's more, software
guru Meilir Page-Jones has likened managing programmers
to herding cats.
Turning to the next characteristic,
programmers have a
highly developed sense of the absurd. And if you think
about it, this makes no sense at all. I don't know why
so many programmers can quote The Hitchhiker's Guide to
the Galaxy or know the entire Naughty Hungarian Phrase
Book skit, but they do. The next time you interview a
programmer candidate throw a "You're all individuals"
at him and see what he says.
Perhaps a sense of the absurd
matters because so much
of what developers put up with is absurd - absurd
schedules, absurd requirements, absurd hours. Treating
the absurdities of the average development process with
humor makes developers' jobs much easier.
Developers are usually science-fiction
programmers love technology, especially technology that
doesn't yet exist. You're in a business where the only
constant is change, and you need developers who don't
mind a few arrows in their backs. Make sure your
candidate has read Robert Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh
Mistress. And remember, every programmer worth her salt
knows what grok means. Many developers also are musicians,
painters, or photographers. Some will claim this is
because both programming and artistic endeavors require
great creativity. They're wrong. It's because program-
ming is more like painting than engineering. Like
painters, when programmers make mistakes, they just code
right over them.
Then there's the matter of puns.
I've witnessed online
pun-fests that lasted as long as a week, with as many as
30 programmers trying to outdo each other. I've noticed
that some participants are punctilious about staying
with the root word, while others approach them as pun-
tests where misspelling words is permitted. Again, the
predilection makes perfect sense. Programming is about
using language to accomplish something, and programmers
have a highly evolved appreciation of how a language can
be manipulated to specific ends. Puns are ways of both
displaying a mastery of language and honing it.
So there you have it. Look
for developers who love cats,
quote Monty Python, read Heinlein, play guitar, and are
accomplished punsters. If you find all these characteris-
tics in a single individual, hire that person immediately
- confident you're hiring a truly great developer.
VB Tech Journal
Subj: The Programmer's Vacation (DU)
(Also see 'Shepherd Makes A Bet' in COWS-SHEEP)
A hard-working computer programmer
finally took a vacation.
While hiking in the mountains, he came upon a shepherd
tending a flock of sheep. Taking a fancy to the sheep, he
asked the shepherd, "If I can guess how many sheep you have,
can I have one?"
The shepherd thought this request
odd, but, knowing there
was little chance of guessing correctly, agreed.
"You've got 287 sheep," the programmer
said. To the
shepherd's astonishment, it was the correct number.
The shepherd told the man he'd
guessed correctly and to
go ahead and pick out a sheep to take home. But, as soon
as the programmer picked up a small sheep and started to
carry it away, the shepherd said, "Wait a minute. You
have to give me a chance, too. If I can guess what you
do for a living, can I have that sheep back?"
Figuring there was little chance
the shepherd would guess
correctly, the programmer went along, only to be shocked
when the shepherd said, "You're a computer programmer,
"How did you know?" asked the programmer.
The shepherd said, "Put down
the dog and we'll talk about
Subj: Programmer & Engineer Bet On Plane (S260b, DU)
From: thebartend on 1/23/2002
(See 'Two Airplane Passengers Talk' in SHIT file)
A Programmer and an Engineer
are sitting next to each other
on a long flight from LA to NY. The Programmer leans over
to the Engineer and asks if he would like to play a fun game.
The Engineer just wants to take a nap, so he politely
declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.
The Programmer persists and explains
that the game is real
easy and a lotta fun. He explains "I ask you a question,
and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5. Then you
ask me a question, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pay
you $5." Again, the Engineer politely declines and tries to
get to sleep.
The Programmer, now somewhat
agitated, says, "OK, if you do
not know the answer you pay me $5, and if I don't know the
answer, I'll pay you $50!" This catches the Engineer's
attention, and he sees no end to this torment unless he
plays, so he agrees to the game.
The Programmer asks the first
question. "What's the distance
from the earth to the moon?" The Engineer doesn't say a
word, but reaches into his wallet, pulls out a five dollar
bill and hands it to the Programmer.
Now, it's the Engineer's turn.
He asks the Programmer "What
goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down on four?"
The Programmer looks up at him with a puzzled look. He
takes out his laptop computer and searches all of his
references. He taps into the Airphone with his modem and
searches the net and the Library of Congress. Frustrated,
he sends e-mail to his co-workers -- all to no avail.
After about an hour, he wakes
the Engineer and hands him
$50. The Engineer politely takes the $50 and turns away to
try to get back to sleep. The Programmer, more than a
little miffed, shakes the Engineer and asks "Well, so what
is the answer?" Without a word, the Engineer reaches into
his wallet, hands the Programmer $5, and turns away to get
back to sleep.
Subj: Software & Hardware Engineers And Manager's Car Stops
From: Internet Humor Archive (DU)
(Also see 'Three Computer People Have A Car Problem' - COMPUTERS3
and see 'Car Stops For Three Engineers' in ENGINEER3)
A software engineer, hardware
engineer and department manager
were on their way to a meeting in Switzerland. They were
driving down a steep mountain road when suddenly the brakes
failed. The car careened out of control, bouncing off guard
rails until it miraculously ground to a scraping halt along
the mountainside. The occupants of the car were unhurt, but
they had a problem. They were stuck halfway down the mountain
in a car with no brakes, and the weather was getting bad.
"I know" said the hardware engineer.
"I've got my Swiss army
knife with me. I can strip down the car's braking system,
isolate the fault, fix it, and we'll be on our way."
"No," said the manager. " Let's
schedule some meetings,
propose a Vision Statement, formulate a Mission Statement,
define Achievable Goals, and through a process of Continuous
Improvement, find a solution to the Critical Problems and
we'll be on our way."
"Wait," said the software engineer.
"Before we do anything,
shouldn't we push the car back to the top of the mountain
and see if it happens again?"
Subj: Short Programmer Jokes
Quiz-Programmer Or Serial Killer
From: Don.Hatch on 9/26/2003
and From: darrellvip on 6/15/08 (S347d, S595)
Subj: Computer Programmer's Credo #73: (S234, S642a)
From: trashlaughs on 7/24/2001
Documentation is like sex:
When it is good, it is VERY good;
and when it's bad, it's still
better than nothing at all.
From: humorlist-digest V1 #201 on 97-09-19
Programming today is a race between software engineers
striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs,
and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better
idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
-- Rich Cook
From: Daemonic Funnies Page on 12/1/97
The most important thing in the programming language is
the name. A language will not succeed without a good
name. I have recently invented a very good name and now
I am looking for a suitable language.
-- D. E. Knuth, 1967
From: pns on 11/25/2001 (S276c, DU)
"Programming is like sex. One mistake and you have to
support it for the rest of your life." -- Michael Sinz
From: LABLaughs.com on 10/4/2002 (S296b,
There are two ways of constructing a software design;
one way is to make it so simple that there are obviously
no deficiencies, and the other way is to make it so
complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies. The
first method is far more difficult.
-- C. A. R. Hoare
From: LABLaughs.com on 10/23/2002 (S299b,
C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot; C++ makes
it harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg.
-- Bjarne Stroustrup