Real Software Engineers don't read dumps
- Real software engineers don't read dumps. They never generate them, and on
the rare occasions that they come across them, they are vaguely amused.
- Real software engineers don't comment their code. The identifiers are so
mnemonic they don't have to.
- Real software engineers don't write applications programs, they implement
algorithms. If someone has an application that the algorithm might help
with, that's nice. Don't ask them to write the user interface, though.
- Real software engineers eat quiche.
- If it doesn't have recursive function calls, real software engineers don't
program in it. Real software engineers don't program in assembler. They
become queasy at the very thought.
- Real software engineers don't debug programs, they verify correctness.
This process doesn't necessarily involve executing anything on a computer,
except perhaps a Correctness Verification Aid package.
- Real software engineers like C's structured constructs, but they are
suspicious of it because they have heard that it lets you get "close to the
- Real software engineers play tennis. In general, they don't like any sport
that involves getting hot and sweaty and gross when out of range of a
shower. (Thus mountain climbing is Right Out.) They will occasionally wear
their tennis togs to work, but only on very sunny days.
- Real software engineers admire PASCAL for its discipline and Spartan purity,
but they find it difficult to actually program in. They don't tell this to
their friends, because they are afraid it means that they are somehow
- Real software engineers work from 9 to 5, because that is the way the job is
described in the formal spec. Working late would feel like using an
undocumented external procedure.
- Real software engineers write in languages that have not actually been
implemented for any machine, and for which only the formal spec (in BNF) is
available. This keeps them from having to take any machine dependencies
into account. Machine dependencies make real software engineers very
- Real software engineers don't write in ADA, because the standards
bodies have not quite decided on a formal spec yet.
- Real software engineers like writing their own compilers, preferably in
PROLOG (they also like writing them in unimplemented languages, but it turns
out to be difficult to actually RUN these).
- Real software engineers regret the existence of COBOL, FORTRAN and BASIC.
PL/1 is getting there, but it is not nearly disciplined enough; far too much
built in function.
- Real software engineers aren't too happy about the existence of users,
either. Users always seem to have the wrong idea about what the
implementation and verification of algorithms is all about.
- Real software engineers don't like the idea of some inexplicable and greasy
hardware several aisles away that may stop working at any moment. They have
a great distrust of hardware people, and wish that systems could be virtual
at ALL levels. They would like personal computers (you know no one's going
to trip over something and kill your DFA in mid-transit), except that they
need 8 megabytes to run their Correctness Verification Aid packages.
- Real software engineers think better while playing WFF 'N' PROOF.
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