Thursday, 28 April 2016

Stand-Up and Deliver

At the ACCU Conference last year I gave a five minute lightning talk titled “The Daily Stand-Up”, which was a short comedy routine of one-liners around programming/IT/science related topics. This year I was back again, but this time I had more material so could take the opportunity to do more than one lightning talk (they have three slots – one per evening).

In the the subsequent year I’ve used my Agile on the Beach and Equal Experts Christmas party “performances” as an excuse to trawl all 14 thousand of my tweets looking for material. After separating the wheat from the chaff (or rather the needles from the haystack) I unearthed plenty enough for two sets.

It also felt as though the name “The Daily Stand-Up” had been done now and that I should try and organise the material into separate themes which I ended up doing on the way down to this year’s Pipeline conference. As a result I came up with two new titles and grouped the material appropriately, along with creating a holding slide with a suitably pithy picture.

Here then are my two sets (61 one-liners in total) for the ACCU 2016 Conference lightning talks – “Continuous Delivery” and “Becoming a Bitter Programmer” [1].

Continuous Delivery

“I visited the opticians the other day after I started seeing printers, keyboards and mice out the corner of my eye. She said it’s okay, it’s just peripheral vision.”

“We recently needed to break into my bosses account so I thought I’d try a dictionary attack – I just kept hitting the system administrator over the head with a large copy of the OED until he let me in.”

“My wife and I have been together for twenty-five years so I thought I ought to get her a token ring. Turns out you can only get 100BASE-TX these days.”

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

“I once listened to an audio book about structs that only contained values of primitive types. It was a POD cast.”

“When Sherlock Holmes talks about a ‘three pipe problem’, does he mean one that requires grep, awk, sed and sort?”

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

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

“I know it’s all the rage these days but I reckon the writing’s on the wall for Kanban.”

“The last time I put my phone into airplane mode it promptly assumed the crash position.”

“When I turned thirty-five I blew a whole load of cash on a monster gaming rig. I think I was suffering from a half-life crisis.”

“When creating a diagram of a micro-services architecture I never know where to draw the line.”

“If we want to adopt an agile release train, does that mean we need to start using Ruby on Rails?”

“The problem with the technical debt metaphor is that in the end everyone begins to lose interest.”

“If you send data using the Kermit protocol is the transmission speed measured in ribbits per second?”

“How do you change the CMOS battery in a virtual machine?”

“For Christmas my wife bought me some jigsaws of famous British computer scientists. When she asked how I was getting on, I replied that it was Turing complete.”

“When working from home I like to get my kids involved in my coding. I call it Au Pair Programming.”

“My son was being hassled by his school friends to share his music collection via BitTorrent. I said he shouldn’t give in to peer-to-peer pressure.”

“Our local pub has started selling a new draught beer called Git. The only way to get served is to make a pull request.”

“When they collected their Turing Award I recognised Diffie on the left and Hellman on the right, but who was the man in the middle?”

“I decided it was about time I upgraded to fibre, so I’ve started eating All Bran for breakfast.”

“If you’re looking to purchase some recreational drugs do you first consult Trip Advisor?”

“Should a microphone type be mutable?”

“When software developers work at New Scotland Yard do they have to use a special branch?”

“I recently visited the dentist and he told me I had a scaling problem. I said that’s a problem as I don’t have room for any more teeth.”

“We recently had a poll for the best escape character. I picked Steve McQueen’s Hicks.”

“I’m never quite sure, is it Heisenbergs uncertainty principle?”

“I was utterly convinced that I had found the answer to my SSL problem. In fact I thought it was a dead cert.”

“When writing software for estate agents, should you use property based testing?”

“The other day I struggled to upload a picture of Marcel Marceau. Every time I tried the server returned the error: 415 unsupported mime type.”

“Probably the hardest problem in computer science is dealing with nans. They always seem to want you to come round and fix their computer.“

Becoming a Bitter Programmer

“Is a cross functional team just a bunch of grumpy Lisp programmers?”

“I’ve given up playing poker with functional programmers, they just spend all their time folding.”

“My company recently adopted mob programming. They hired a bunch of beefy guys to stand around with baseball bats to make sure you did an 80 hour week.”

“Some people are like the char type in C++, they seem to get promoted for no apparent reason.”

“Is it any wonder modern programmers are obese when they depend so heavily on syntactic sugar?”

“The product owner asked me why all our Cucumber tests only covered the happy paths. I told him they’re rose tinted specs.”

“Every time I try and generate a digital signature I just make a hash of it.”

“C++ comes with complexity guarantees – if you use C++ it’s guaranteed to be complex.”

“Some people say C# & Java programmers overuse reflection, but given the quality of their code I’d say they’re not reflecting enough.”

“Talking of C# & Java, is it just me or are they harder to distinguish these days than The Munsters and The Addams Family?”

“Our team isn’t very good at this agile stuff – our successes are just stories and our failures are all epics.”

“Anyone who says you shouldn’t use synchronisation objects is just being racist.”

“Whenever I find a static in multi-threaded code it makes my hair stand on end.”

“If you don’t keep your promises, how will you know what the future holds?”

“Our zero tolerance approach to floating-point comparison errors didn’t work out quite as we’d hoped.”

“If technical debt is the result of poor quality code, does that make bad programmers loan sharks?”

“Don’t bother upgrading your database, the SQL is never as good as the original.”

“I blame Facebook for the declining quality of SQL code, young programmers are obsessed with likes.”

“My current system has five-nines reliability - it usually works about 45% of the time.”

“Our DR approach is less active/passive and more passive/aggressive. When anything fails we just sit around loudly tutting until someone goes and fixes it.”

“The company said it was moving all our hardware to EC2. It turned out they’d bought a dingy office in London near the Bank of England.”

“Some people just don’t know when to stop bashing Windows.”

“When I found out my new job was effectively working with legacy code I started spitting Feathers!”

“I reckon my team has taken a hypocritic oath – the comments say one thing but the code does something completely different.”

“You can always tell when you’ve got a Christmas or birthday present from an enterprise software developer – there is an excessive amount of wrapping.”

“C# supports impure methods and mutable types, but doesn’t support tail recursion or currying. Does that make it a dysfunctional programming language?”

“Finding the square root of a negative number is just not natural.”

“My team is using homeopathic unit testing. They write one test and dilute it with a thousand lines of production code.”

“The Wildlife Trust has declared our codebase a conservation area on account of the number of bugs.”

[1] The latter title was inspired by the recent book from the compere of the ACCU Conference lightning talks – Pete Goodliffe – which is called Becoming a Better Programmer.

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