Monday, 7 September 2015

Stand-Up on the Beach

aotb-stand-up-lBack in April I performed a stand-up comedy routine as a lightning talk on an unsuspecting audience at the ACCU Conference (see my previous blog post The Daily Stand-Up). At this year's Agile on the Beach I got to have another go at it, but not as a lightning talk, this time it was going to form part of the pre-conference evening event (aka “pasty night”).

Whereas the ACCU conference is almost entirely about software craftsmanship, Agile on the Beach has mostly other streams covering all aspects of the software development process. As such I needed to come up with a different routine that catered for a much wider audience. Given its nature I swapped out many of the programming specific puns and replaced them with something (hopefully) more appropriate, i.e. more process related. Also there was a bonus track on continuous delivery this year so that meant I could throw in some relevant content there too.

Once again it seemed to go down pretty well, by which I mean the audience groaned appropriately :o). So for those of you unfortunate enough to have missed it, here is the set:

“Was the Tower of Pisa built using lean manufacturing?”

“Agile methods might be all the rage these days but I reckon the writing’s on the wall for Kanban.”

“Are cross-functional teams just a bunch of grumpy LISP programmers?”

“Some say Scrum’s sprint goals are necessary for motivation, but Kanban is also about cracking the WIP.”

“If you want to adopt Agile Release Trains do your developers need to use Ruby on Rails?”

“The last census had a box labelled ‘Religion’, so I put ‘TDD’.”

“When I’m working from home I like to get the kids involved in my coding; I call this ‘au pair programming’.”

“My team’s not really got the hang of this agile stuff – our successes are just stories and our fails are all epics.”

“If you have too many information radiators do you get scrumburnt?”

“The other day the product owner asked me why all our acceptance tests only covered happy paths. I said they’re rose tinted specs.”

“Agile’s a lot older than many people think – Dick Turpin was doing stand-up and deliver years ago.”

“If poor quality code results in technical debt, does that make bad programmers loan sharks?”

“Some say C# and Java programmers overuse reflection, but given the quality of their code I’d say they aren’t reflecting enough.”

“Is it me or are C# and Java so similar these days they’re harder to tell apart than The Munsters and The Adams Family?”

“Our system has five-nines reliability, it’s usually working about 45% of the time.”

“When working for New Scotland Yard do developers have to work on a special branch?”

“I really dig software archaeology.”

“As a baby I was brought up on Farley’s, and I’m bringing my children up on Farley’s too – at bedtime I read them a chapter from Continuous Delivery.”

“Are modern developers obese because they rely so heavily on syntactic sugar?”

“Is the removal of a dependency injection framework from a codebase known as ‘spring cleaning‘?”

“If you think keeping up with the Kardashians is hard, try JavaScript frameworks.”

“When it comes to drawing diagrams of micro-service architectures, I never know where to draw the line.”

“The other day I went to the dentist and he told me I had a scaling problem. I said that’s awkward as I’ve no room for any more teeth.”

“Our DR strategy is not so much active/passive as passive/aggressive – when it fails we sit around and tut loudly until someone fixes it.”

“Don’t upgrade your database as the SQL is never as good as the original.”

“I blame Facebook for the quality of modern SQL – young developers are so obsessed with LIKEs.”

“When Sherlock Holmes talks of a three-pipe problem does he mean it needs grep, sed, awk and sort?”

“I don’t understand why the police are profiling criminals – surely they shouldn’t be helping them to commit crimes more efficiently?”

“C++ has complexity guarantees – if you write C++, it’s guaranteed to be complex.”

“Some people are like ‘chars’ in C, they get promoted for no apparent reason.”

“Would our codebase be healthier if we only used natural numbers?”

“One of the hardest problems in computer science is dealing with nans – they always want you to fix their machines.”

“In my thirties I blew loads of cash on a monster gaming rig, I think I was suffering from a Half-Life crisis.”

“I forgot my password the other day so I tried a dictionary attack – I just kept hitting the administrator over the head with a copy of the OED until he let me in.”

“My wife and I have been together for many years so I thought I’d get a token ring, but it seems you can only get Gigabit Ethernet these days.”

“My son was being hassled at school to share his music on the internet with BitTorrent. I told him not to give in to peer-to-peer pressure.”

“When flying here I had to put my phone into airplane mode, at which point it assumed the crash position.”

“Are electronic cigarettes just vapourware?”

“I spent all day trying to upload a picture of Marcel Marceau but the server kept responding with ‘415 Unsupported Mime Type’.”

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