Typical Daily Schedule of a Developer

9:00 A.M. Eat breakfast in cubicle/office

9:30 A.M. Attend the daily Scrum meeting

9:31 A.M. Immediately zone out after stating my progress report and fantasize about a fight between a ninja and a pirate for the remaining duration

10:00 A.M. Be visited by fellow developer Steve, who tells you how fellow developer Bob doesn’t have a clue about his job

10:30 A.M. Check out latest source code and begin reviewing the code introduced by the junior developers

10:45 A.M. Weep

10:50 A.M. Fix the mistakes of your junior developers

11:30 A.M. Be visited by fellow developer Bob, who tells you how fellow developer Steve is an imbecile

12:00 P.M. Prepare to eat lunch when a production issue suddenly strikes

12:30 P.M. Attempt to fix the production issue while hungry and in panic, resulting in only more unfolding disasters

2:00 P.M. Eat lunch finally and bitterly

3:00 P.M. Go to meeting about upcoming project A

3:10 P.M. Project manager Mark interrupts the meeting to talk about his new project B and to point out that project A has many flaws

3:20 P.M. Everyone argues at the meeting and threatens to murder each others’ families

3:50 P.M. The meeting is postponed until the next day

4:00 P.M. Finally start to write some code for your own project

5:00 P.M. Your boss asks you to come into his office for a conference call

5:15 P.M. Your boss has a conversation with you, asking if there any obstacles that are delaying your portion of the current project

6:00 P.M. Leave work

7:00 P.M. Prepare to eat a warm dinner when another production issue forces you to remotely log into your system from home

8:30 P.M. Eat a cold dinner between clenched teeth

Peter Bolton is the author of Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story and has also been known to be a grumpy bastard on occasion.

Condo Chronicles: It’s Time to Rumble

“Is this where we’re supposed to meet?!?”

I knew that it was…but that didn’t stop me from posing the question out loud, as a polite way to insinuate that everyone else should hurry the fuck up and get here. I didn’t want me and my wife to be the only ones in this dimly-lit, cool cave. After all, if we were suddenly ambushed by surreptitious ninjas, we’d need more numbers to even the odds. Of course, the chances of being assaulted by a gang of ninjas was pretty close to nil, especially within a Jersey parking garage that faced Manhattan. But hey…stranger things have been known to happen…

“Stop being so impatient! You’re gonna make the both of us irritable.”

Even though I saw her viewpoint, I didn’t say anything in response…mainly since I didn’t want my wife to have the satisfaction of being right. Like any other couple who’s spent more than 5 years together, every disagreement naturally takes on the form of a contest of wills; it’s just the way of things. Standing on the rim of a large pool of light, we continued our vigil. I feel like I’m Bob Woodward waiting for Deep Throat…but with a less noble cause. I kept my eyes trained forward on the doors, while Rhonda kept us abreast of the general news in the world via her phone. In the midst of describing yet another annoying comment on Facebook, she paused her story when we both clearly heard a sound from the shadows in front of us.

She dropped the phone to her side and looked at me. “What was that?”

I squinted at the surrounding darkness. “I think that someone else is here.”

As the figure moved closer towards us, more details about our newcomer could be made out. He was tall with dark hair, and he moved with a certain amount of confidence. Within a few feet of the pool’s rim, I could make out a police uniform.

As a greeting, I yelled out my inquiry. “You’re here for the meeting, too?”

He stopped directly across from us, with just the bottom half of his face was illuminated. Only the tips of his shoes were brave enough to venture out from the shadows. “Yep,” he replies. “I guess that I’m in the right place. Where’s everybody else?”

“They should be here soon,” replied Rhonda quickly.

I gave him a nod and a salute. “Officer O’Bannon, right? Good to know that we’ve got the town’s best police captain on our side. Maybe I could get you to help us with a few parking tickets…?”

“I don’t see why not,” he replied. “What’s a few parking tickets between friends?”

My icebreaker did its magic, and we all chuckled a bit as we waited for the remainder of our plenary gathering. After a few more minutes, other people took their places in the light’s circle, and we soon had the full circumference occupied by various sorts of people. In total, there were somewhere around a few dozen people in the garage now.

I directed a whisper to my side. “You talked to any of these people, yet?”

“No, not really. A few words here and there…but all in all, not much.”

I took a quick look around. “Some of these guys seem like weirdos…but I guess that we’ll just have to make do with the given situation.”

“Stop being so pessimistic,” chided Rhonda. “I bet that everything will work out. Wait…there are some people missing. Who’s not here?”

“Hmmm…I think that the Sikh guy isn’t here yet. And I don’t see the other cop, either.”

“Well,” shrugged Rhonda, “maybe they’ll show up later.”

People politely talked with each other about the weather, and the general murmur continued in the room for several more minutes before a booming voice could be heard from the front of the garage. “Hello, ladies and gentlemen! I’m so glad that so many of you could make it to our meeting! God bless all of you.”

All the heads of our shadowy council turned to look at the figure who approached with a slow, confident pace. As the light removed the darkness covering him, we could see an older gentlemen in a modest suit with expensive shoes walking towards us, and he sported a slight grin under his thin moustache. The expression on his face matched his gait: calm and measured. When he was only a few feet away, he ground his spent cigarette on the back of a small black case and put the butt within its confines.

“I didn’t know that Mr. Vitalona was a smoker,” remarked Rhonda in a low voice.

I shook my head. “Neither did I. He must have some sort of technique for disguising the smell. Tricky devil.”

Mr .Vitalona took his place at the side of Officer O’Bannon with a friendly pat on the back. After they quickly shook hands, Mr. Vitalona turned to face the group that encircled them. “Isn’t it funny to see good and evil shaking hands, everyone? Only in New Jersey! As most of you already know, I am Mr. Vitalona, but since we’re all friends here, I insist that you call me Raymond. Also, I’m standing next to my long-time friend and colleague Richard O’Bannon, but we insist that you call him Richie. Right, Richie? In any case, we’ve got a lot to get done here tonight. So, let’s start now and finally get down to business.”

Peter Bolton is the author of Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story and has also been known to be a grumpy, muttering bastard on occasion.

How to Be the Ultimate Hipster Programmer

  1. Write your code on an archaic typewriter before you scan the pages into actual code files.
  2. Develop an algorithm that will autopilot your steam-powered, brass drone.
  3. Be super exclusive and only drink old, unopened bottles of Mountain Dew Red.
  4. Adorn your cubicle with sultry pictures of a young Grace Hopper.
  5. Now that the company is going out of business, purchase your own RadioShack store and live there with the remaining inventory.

Peter Bolton is the author of Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story and has also been known to be a grumpy bastard on occasion.

Other Poor Business Phrases

Recently, CEO Marissa Mayer engaged in a discussion with reporters and analysts about Yahoo’s last business quarter, and when asked about the company’s layoffs, she referred to management’s choices as a “remix” of her company. Obviously, some marketing guru/moron probably encouraged her to use terminology that actually did more damage than good. Here are a few other potential mistakes that she and her peers might want to avoid in the near future:

  1. Construct a valid argument about the chosen technical direction for the company, rather than simply stating “YOLO”.
  2. Avoid referring to anyone who doubts your company’s potential competitiveness as simply “wacked out on flakka”.
  3. Do not announce that you’re about “to drop” your next earnings report within the next week.
  4. Refrain from announcing your CFO on conference calls as “your bottom bitch”.
  5. If you sell or purge a division within the company, “cause they didn’t have mad swag” will not be a sufficient explanation for your actions.

Peter Bolton is the author of Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story and has also been known to be a grumpy bastard on occasion.

Predictions for the Second Season of Silicon Valley

With the arrival of the second season of Silicon Valley, I have used my prescient powers to see into the future. My mind has captured the following events that will surely unfold in the next episodes:

  1. Under the direction of Ellen Pao, Reddit will become the major investor of Pied Piper and promise funds with no attachments, as long as the entire team promises to undergo surgery in order to become women.
  2. A Japanese researcher will discover the jerk-off equations on the whiteboard from Season 1, and he will ask Piep Piper to assist him with creating the most efficient “happy ending” robot in the entire world.
  3. Richard Stallman will attempt to convince Richard that he should open source Pied Piper’s compression algorithm, and when Richard refuses to do so, Stallman and his army of chubby ninjas will chase and harass Richard throughout the remainder of the season.
  4. As part of a PR campaign for the company, Erlich must attend a CodeNow session for minority students, where he will create politically incorrect code samples and will gain the respect of his students by participating in a rap battle.
  5. A heated argument over design at Pied Piper will lead to an escalating progression of pranks between Gilfoyle and Chugtai, which will end with a swatting that accidentally deports Gilfoyle from the country.

Peter Bolton is the author of Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story and has also been known to be a grumpy bastard on occasion.

Other Tax Deductions for Developers

  • For C++ developers: Cite the number of rubber ducks that are destroyed in frustration.
  • For Java developers: Claim your processes as hungry dependents that drain you of resources.
  • For PHP developers: Submit the total number of used boxes of tissues (for the endless tears as victims of other developers’ taunts).
  • For JavaScript developers: Claim your two week vacation to the beach as a medical expense, since it was the only remedy for the insanity from debugging your latest project.
  • For C# developers: If you’ve even spent one moment or penny with the developer program for the Windows App Store, declare that value as a capital loss of your soul.

Peter Bolton is the author of Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story and has also been known to be a grumpy bastard on occasion.

Ways for Developers to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

  1. Wear a shirt with only “#00FF7F” on the front and back. Tip: It’s an unstated rule that if someone pinches you while you are wearing green, you have every right to Qaddafi or karate chop the other person.
  2. Create your own pot of gold by filling a small bucket full of Nacho Doritos. Then, put a green hat on your RC car and reward the bucket to any work colleague who can catch your car. (If your work situation is like mine, they’ll all probably die of a heart attack before they get within three meters of the car.)
  3. In order to spur the right amount of violence, ensure that everyone in the office is horribly drunk before you issue ‘git remote rm’ to any and all branches.
  4. Use a shamrock with school children to explain the Holy Trinity: Linus Torvalds, Linux, and init. (If a systemd advocate is nearby and overhears you, be prepared for combat.)
  5. Buy a Guinness for that one developer who rarely showers and has a propensity for smelling like cabbage.

Peter Bolton is the author of Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story and has also been known to be a grumpy bastard on occasion.

The Function Name Hall of Shame: Round Seven

  1. // Where? Why are you asking me?
    private string AppendWhere(string ColName, int Index);
  2. // If you’re going to pass back a boolean through an ‘out’ parameter instead
    // of having the function simply return it, then you should indeed get
    // another job…and it should not be coding
    private void GetNextJob(out bool IsActive);
  3. // I think that there’s some confusion here between ‘validate’ and ‘analyze’
    public bool AnalyzeData(string);
  4. // No, you go ahead and do that without me. As for me, I’m going to keep
    // my appetite intact.
    const FILE* OpenDataSores(string);
  5. // You’re right, we needed that function. Good call.
    string CreateTruncateSql(string Table)
    { return “TRUNCATE TABLE ” + sTable; }

Peter Bolton is the author of Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story and has also been known to be a grumpy bastard on occasion.

The Function Name Hall of Shame: Round Six

  1. // I prefer shaken, not bubble sorted
    const ABC_ERR_CD AbcParser::Gen007xRecords(…);
  2. // You’re more right than you know – this whole project is loco
    const ABC_ERR_CD AbcParser::AppendLocoSubjects(…);
  3. // Now, the implementation does check to ensure all digits are
    // greater than zero…but still, between the questionable grammar and the
    // name itself, that’s truly legendary stuff
    bool AbcParser::IsAllDigit(int);
  4. // Just get a Brazilian at the salon and get it over with
    const string TrimSpillover(string);
  5. // Sometimes the jokes write themselves
    bool AbcParser::DropDump(fileHandle, string);

Peter Bolton is the author of Blowing the Bridge: A Software Story and has also been known to be a grumpy bastard on occasion.