Programmers as a species:
If you sing in the shower, try To Code The Impossible Code or "When I find my code in tons of trouble ..."
And there's the Programmer's Drinking Song:
99 little bugs in the code,
99 bugs in the code,
Fix one bug, compile it again,
100 little bugs in the code.
(go to start if bugs>0)
The programming process:
[C+- is a] subject-oriented language (SOL). Each C+- class instance, known as a subject, holds hidden members, known as prejudices, agendas or undeclared preferences, which are impervious to outside messages; as well as public members, known as boasts or claims.
Real life horror stories:
From CyberCheeze comes:
In 1984 I had the misfortune to write some COBOL as a student. The language is extremely chatty, and I attempted the following story which I believe to be syntactically correct COBOL:
IF RICHUNCLE IS LESS THAN COOPERATIVE THEN SET HIM TO WORK IN COALMINE ELSE MOVE HIM TO SOUTH OF FRANCE ADD WINE WOMEN SONG GIVING CORONARY PERFORM FUNERAL
For those of the Unix persuasion:
1. The art of debugging a blank sheet of paper (or, in these days of on-line editing, the art of debugging an empty file). "Bloody instructions which, being taught, return to plague their inventor" ("Macbeth", Act 1, Scene 7) 2. A pastime similar to banging one's head against a wall, but with fewer opportunities for reward. 3. The most fun you can have with your clothes on. 4. The least fun you can have with your clothes off.
-- The entry on 'programming' in the Jargon File
"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
"Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining."
-- Jeff Raskin, interviewed in Doctor Dobb's Journal
"Throughout my career, I’ve experienced scores of languages firsthand. Like any person, each language took on a distinct personality. Java was like having a rich lawyer as a brother. He was fun when he was younger, but now he’s a black hole that sucks away all the joy in a 100-mile radius."
-- Bruce Tate, "Seven Languages in Seven Weeks: A Pragmatic Guide to Learning Programming Languages" [Chapter 2, p. 25]
From "The Practice of Programming" by Brian W Kernighan & Rob Pike:
Another effective [debugging] technique is to explain your code to someone else. This will often cause you to explain the bug to yourself. Sometimes it takes no more than a few sentences, followed by an embarrassed "Never mind. I see what's wrong. Sorry to bother you." This works remarkbly well; you can even use non-programmers as listeners. One university computer center kept a teddy bear near the help desk. Students with mysterious bugs were required to explain them to the bear before they could speak to a human counselor.
Considered Commentary on Relational Databases
Fred: "Too many tables, Mozart!"
Raf: "Too right, they just need one big one!"
... More alt.sysadmin.recovery quotes in Microsoft Forlorn and Computing Quotes
Some definitions pilfered from http://luc.aleaume.free.fr/new_site/site_fortune/html/definitions.html:
program, n.: A magic spell cast over a computer allowing it to turn one's input into error messages. tr.v. To engage in a pastime similar to banging one's head against a wall, but with fewer opportunities for reward.
Real World, The, n.: 1. In programming, those institutions at which programming may be used in the same sentence as FORTRAN, COBOL, RPG, IBM, etc. 2. To programmers, the location of non-programmers and activities not related to programming. 3. A universe in which the standard dress is shirt and tie and in which a person's working hours are defined as 9 to 5. 4. Anywhere outside a university. "Poor fellow, he's left MIT and gone into the real world." Used pejoratively by those not in residence there. In conversation, talking of someone who has entered the real world is not unlike talking about a deceased person.
Flon's Law: There is not now, and never will be, a language in which it is the least bit difficult to write bad programs.
On the subject of C program indentation: "In My Egotistical Opinion, most people's C programs should be indented six feet downward and covered with dirt." -- Blair P. Houghton
standards, n.: The principles we use to reject other people's code.
university, n.: Like a software house, except the software's free, and it's usable, and it works, and if it breaks they'll quickly tell you how to fix it, and ...
VMS, n.: The world's foremost multi-user adventure game.
The problem with engineers is that they tend to cheat in order to
The problem with mathematicians is that they tend to work on toy problems in order to get results.
The problem with program verifiers is that they tend to cheat at toy problems in order to get results.