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How can you spot that you are working with Software Developers?

Published 2 August 2006 10:27 am

Using our coffee machine earlier I couldn’t help but notice that rather than the rather primitive interface saying “milk” it now says “milky milky”. Some unknown person(?) has taken the trouble to understand the bizarre interface and work out how to reprogram it…

Now there are a whole load of jokes about elephants along similar lines of which there are an alarming number (e.g. But I’ve not heard many observations about what happens when you get beyond a certain concentration of software developers.

I’d be interested in knowing whether anybody else has spotted any other symptoms.


5 Responses to “How can you spot that you are working with Software Developers?”

  1. Bart Read says:

    Unknown person? Nah, it was Richard Mitchell, although I will admit to originally thinking that it was due to the machine’s makers being fans of “The Mary Whitehouse Experience”.

  2. Phil Factor says:

    To commemorate the occasion I have written a few lines of verse

    The programmer went to the kitchen unseen
    and quietly reprogrammed the coffee machine.
    It used to say ‘MILK’ on the LED screen
    instead, ‘MILKY MILKY’s now to be seen.
    It might have been worse, maybe something obscene.
    He was seen to depart looking smug but scerene
    having clearly achieved every programmers dream

  3. Dan J Archer says:

    I find it more entertaining working with non-software-developers. My theory, which may be a little contraversial, is that there’s something about a sufficient concentration of developers which appears to put the fear of God into people with more conventional office jobs, and their only retort is to box software developers into a category which can be made the subject of fun, in order that they feel less threatened. After all, why are these overpaid, pseudo-intellectual slackers loafing around the building? Surely they can’t be that useful, or do anything that clever? Hypothetically, if they were, then perhaps my job is less valuable…

    Now admittedly there are some extreme cases of software developer who lead the rest of us to be tarnished with certain labels. Personally I find that the best developers I’ve met – the brightest stars, the cleares thinkers and my favourite colleagues – are fully rounded human beings who have lives outside software. It’s just a job, like any other.

    “You are not your job. You are not how much you have in the bank. You are not the contents of your wallet. You are not your khakis. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.”

  4. Andrew Clarke says:

    I rather like to hear myself, as a software developer, described as a beautiful and unique snowflake. The trouble is that when you pack snowflakes together, you generally get a lot of snowballs.

  5. Alek Kirstein says:

    btw, “Milky Milky” is a slur against the invasion of Venus and forced mining of the white-gold-fluid. (in case you didn’t know)

    I am also a software developer, but I don’t advertise that except to people who know nothing at all about computers. Otherwise I only reference the developer side of myself when needing to discuss my insatiable tendencies towards laziness, over-thinking the simple, and living in a dream world – oh yea, and star trek. My developer friends will agree completely once they return from the xbox convention on Mars and slip back into human shape from the quad-dimensional-plasma-light-energy-forms they are naturally.

    >”beautiful and unique snowflake” – That beats all! I’m still laughing…

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