Thursday, 3 December 2015

More | Stand-Up

2015-12-01 20.28.55

The consultancy that I’m currently working through (Equal Experts, aka EE) had a Christmas Party the other night at a swanky bar in London. They had already got a band lined up (The Git Clones) which comprised of various EE associates and so I thought it might be a good opportunity once again to try my hand at a little stand-up comedy.

Given the nature of the company – software development – the audience seemed to be a perfect fit. Being a Christmas party I knew there would be plenty of +1’s in the crowd too so I thought I’d better break them in gently. That said, I also felt it was the responsibility of any +1’s to pay more attention to what their partners had been telling them if didn’t want to feel left out…

Sadly the sound system appeared to be heavily optimised for the bass player in the band and so those of us who only spoke were inaudible to the majority of the audience. The knock-on effect of this for me was that all I could hear at the front was the chatter from those who carried on talking (and rightly so). This gave me the appearance that most people weren’t that engaged and so I skipped over the more “hard-core” stuff later on [1]. It wasn’t until I got off the stage that I discovered how little most people could hear.

Fortunately the response was very positive from those that did know what was going on which is good to know. Hence for those of you that thought the mime artist up on stage before the band was pretty rubbish, this was what you should have heard:

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

“I’ve decided it’s time to upgrade to fibre so I’ve started eating All Bran for breakfast.”

“The last time I was at the dentist they told me I had a scaling problem. I said ‘that’s awkward as I don’t have room for any more teeth’.”

“During my mid-thirties I blew a whole load of cash on a top-of-the-range gaming rig. I think I was suffering from a Half-Life crisis.”

“My wife and I have been together for 25 years so I thought I ought to get her a token ring. It turns out you can only get 100-BASE-TX these days.”

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

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

“I forgot my password the other day so I tried a dictionary attack. I just kept hitting the administrator over the head with it until he told me what it was.”

“Are electronic cigarettes just vapourware?”

“I spent an hour the other night trying to upload a picture of Marcel Marceau, but the server kept responding with ‘415 unsupported mime type’.”

“When you’re looking to score some new hallucinogenic drugs do you first consult Trip Advisor?”

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

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

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

“If you want to adopt ‘agile release trains’ do you have to use Ruby on Rails?”

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

“One company I worked at used mob programming. The hired a bunch of henchman to stand around with baseball bats to ensure everyone did an 80 hour week.”

“I asked one company at an interview if they used spikes. They said ‘yes, your head goes on one if you don’t deliver on time’. ”

“The other day the head of QA asked my why all our automated tests only cover the happy path. I told him they were ‘rose tinted specs’.”

“When working from home I like to get my kids to help out with the coding. I call it ‘au pair programming’.”

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

“The problem with the technical debt financial metaphor is that in the end everyone loses interest.”

“I once tried out some numerical recipes that involved currying functions, but all I got was a nan.”

“Is it any wonder that modern programmers are obese when they’re addicted to syntactic sugar.”

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

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

“They say that Java and C# programmers overuse reflection. Given the quality of their code I’d say they aren’t reflecting enough.”

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

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

“I heard they were setting up a spin-off of EE to specialise in JavaScript work. It’s going to be called Equal, Equal, Equal Experts.”

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

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

“Our DR strategy is less active/passive and more passive/aggressive. When the system goes down we just sit around tutting loudly until someone fixes it.”

“Most systems I work on have ‘fives nines’ reliability. They’re usually available about 45% of the time.”

“I blame Facebook for the quality of SQL that young programmers produce. They’re obsessed with ‘likes’.”

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

“The hardest problem in computer science is dealing with nans. They’re always ringing you up and asking you to fix their machine for them.”

[1] If you’re intrigued to know what the more “programmer oriented” stuff was you look at the set for my first ever “gig” at the ACCU 2015 Conference.

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