The Devil’s Dictionary for Developers

(With apologies to Ambrose Bierce.)

bloat, bloated
One or more lines of someone else’s code that do something I don’t need right now. Used as a reason to write my own code.
collaboration
Other people working on my project. “I believe strongly in collaboration; other people should be helping with my projects.”
fast
The performance of my favored projects. (When benchmarks show otherwise, this explains why the benchmark is skewed, measures the wrong things, or doesn’t matter.)
easy
The work that other people have to do.
good coding style
The code looks and feels just as if I wrote it myself.
hard
The work that I have to do.
practical, pragmatism
Whatever is expedient at the moment, regardless of long-term considerations. “Your use of (good practice X) just isn’t practical in this situation.” (Note especially the appeal to absolutes instead of tradeoffs between options; as an aside: “What is ‘practical’ depends on what you want to practice.”)
quality
The project overall is designed just as if I did it myself.
reuse
Other people using my code. “I believe strongly in reuse; stop writing your own code and use mine.”
slow
The performance of projects other than my favored ones. (When benchmarks show otherwise, this explains why the benchmark is skewed, measures the wrong things, or doesn’t matter.)
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22 thoughts on “The Devil’s Dictionary for Developers

  1. productivity
    The number of statements per minute that a developer can type.

    completed
    The state of a feature for which a developer has written code. Actually trying the feature is not necessary.

  2. Another couple:

    “legacy code” — Code written before I arrived.

    “done” — “Mostly done.” Also, not unit tested, quality tested, or acceptance tested.

    • I love “done” 🙂 I love hearing developers say “the work is done”… the best remedy for this is to immediately request it be shipped to production… “Oh but but but, it hasn’t gone through QA.. and we just need to tidy up this other bit, and we’ve not tried it out on the staging server”… ok so it’s not done then 🙂

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