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Funniest IT Related Boasts You've Heard? 490

Posted by Cliff
from the humorous-distraction-from-american-politics dept.
Karma asks: "The other day I saw a Slashdot comment which read, '[Projects] don't start getting interesting until you are dealing with Staff Years to develop them. Anything under that and you can actually keep the full design in your head'. An immodest boast, but not too funny. This made me wonder, in the macho worlds of IT and developers, what are the funniest and silliest boasts or bragging claims you've made, or heard? Tell us how they came back to haunt the overconfident."
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Funniest IT Related Boasts You've Heard?

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  • My Roommate (Score:5, Funny)

    by NotoriousQ (457789) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:21AM (#10696678) Homepage
    Yeah, I can write a raytracer in a single day. /He did. It was a looooong day.
  • Debug? Me? (Score:5, Funny)

    by drkich (305460) <dkichline@gmail.AUDENcom minus poet> on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:25AM (#10696707) Homepage
    We have a person at our work place that once boasted that he did not have to debug his programs, they just worked. And he was completely serious. Of course what we did not tell him, but we should have, is that we found a bug in his program.
    • by hoggoth (414195) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:54AM (#10696928) Journal
      He was right. HE didn't have to debug his programs. He had you for that.

    • by Brandybuck (704397) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @03:18AM (#10697716) Homepage Journal
      One manager at my work boasted that his group's code didn't have any bugs in it. Whenever a bug was assigned to his group, he would reassign it elsewhere. Seriously! When challenged on it he would get very insulted.

      Then one day a bug he reassigned got fixed. The root cause was code that the manager had written back in that distant two week period when he actually touched code. Rather than tell him who wrote it, the other managers talked about the "really lame" coding error. We he got all righteous about the bug as well, they told him he wrote it.
    • Re:Debug? Me? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hey! (33014)
      It's easier than you might think to fall into this kind of trap. If you are strong at writing expressions and flow of control type statements, you may have a much lower defect rate for things like 'off by one' than many programmers. This can lead to an illusion of invincibility.

      The problem is that so many bugs come from the interfaces between different program modules and (worse yet) systems.
  • Not quite (Score:5, Funny)

    by Otter (3800) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:31AM (#10696757) Journal
    Does Eric Raymond's famous "Reflections On Sudden Wealth" essay after the VA Linux IPO count as a boast? I certainly got a few laughs out of the aftermath.

    Not quite a boast but -- a low-level admin at my wife's old workplace sent out this (paraphrased) email:

    "I'm leaving this job to start my own network consulting firm. I'm feeling a lot of emotions right now, and here's a song that really captures them."

    And he attaches a 5 meg MP3 file and sends it to hundreds of people, completely sinking their mail server.

  • Heh (Score:5, Funny)

    by itwerx (165526) <itwerx@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:32AM (#10696765) Homepage
    Best one I've heard was from a newly-minted and very pro-MS CIO who claimed (right after Win2K first came out) that Active Directory was a much better solution for their company network (thousands of employees and dozens of offices) than the existing Novell Netware/NDS.
    They went through half a dozen consulting firms before firing the CIO and everyone else involved in the project...
  • by secondsun (195377) <secondsun@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:37AM (#10696808) Journal
    The Campus network services at a Jr. College I went to a few years ago: "Yes we do know our ass from a router."

    This of course was after a quick nmap found everything running telnet. Which was also running without a password. Turn dhcp off on a few of those babies and somone has to work a Looonng night.
  • by tantalic (194548) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:38AM (#10696811)
    "640K ought to be enough for anybody"

    Of course there are disputes as to whether this was actually said or not, or the context...but certainly one of the funniest and most famous tech boasts.

  • by jazman_777 (44742) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:39AM (#10696822) Homepage
    "Good code is self-documenting."
  • (Yeah, I know.. he didn't really say it. It's funny. Laugh.)
  • "I started using Gentoo on the desktop and now I've rolled it out as a production server using some great technologies: ReiserFS, RAID-5, Gentoo patched kernel, Samba ... you name it."
  • by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:51AM (#10696909)
    heard once per interview
  • by cuteseal (794590) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:52AM (#10696915) Homepage
    Oldie but a goodie:

    Top 12 Things A Klingon Programmer Would Say

    12. Specifications are for the weak and timid!

    11. This machine is a piece of GAGH! I need dual processors if I am to do battle with this code!

    10. You cannot really appreciate Dilbert unless you've read it in the original Klingon.

    9. Indentation?! -- I will show you how to indent when I indent your skull!

    8. What is this talk of 'release'? Klingons do not make software 'releases'. Our software 'escapes' leaving a bloody trail of designers and quality assurance people in its wake.

    7. Klingon function calls do not have 'parameters' -- they have 'arguments' -- and they ALWAYS WIN THEM.

    6. Debugging? Klingons do not debug. Our software does not coddle the weak.

    5. I have challenged the entire quality assurance team to a Bat-Leth contest. They will not concern us again.

    4. A TRUE Klingon Warrior does not comment his code!

    3. By filing this SPR you have challenged the honor of my family. Prepare to die!

    2. You question the worthiness of my code? I should kill you where you stand!

    1. Our users will know fear and cower before our software. Ship it! Ship it, and let them flee like the dogs they are!

  • TPS reports (Score:5, Funny)

    by St. Arbirix (218306) <matthew,townsend&gmail,com> on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:54AM (#10696929) Homepage Journal
    I've never missed a cover sheet on my TPS reports!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:58AM (#10696956)
    Thats a good one.
  • by jebiester (589234) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @01:11AM (#10697030)
    The funniest boast I ever heard was a guy at a computer game shop. I was looking at the games and this guy started talking to me. After chatting about games for a bit, he started telling me about how he had obtained the full Windows 2000 source code, made some changes, and compiled a special version that played his games better.
    • by karnal (22275) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @02:11AM (#10697368)
      That sounds similar to something my friends heard at our local computer shop.

      They were there, looking at the not-so-bargain basement prices (back when computer shows were all the rage, these guys didn't have squat on pricing...) and overheard a conversation:

      Customer: So is this video card pretty decent? It's kind of expensive...

      Sales Droid: Oh yea, that's the best one out there. That card doesn't work using triangles - it works on THE PIXEL level.

      Customer: Ahhh.

      Friends: Let's get out of here....
      • by Spy Hunter (317220) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @06:26AM (#10698414) Journal
        The guys at Best Buy are worse. They'll just spout off nonsense about anything if you ask them, trying to steer you toward the "premium" crap. Last time they tried to sell me the gold-plated USB cables, because "they give you better quality printouts from your printer." I wonder, do they get fed all that BS from the managers or do they make it up themselves?
        • Best Buy BS (Score:3, Funny)

          by green pizza (159161)
          The guys at Best Buy are worse. They'll just spout off nonsense
          The best example of this was when Best Buy was selling the original blue iMac. I thought I had heard it all until I overheard a sales goon tell a potential customer, "Bill Gates had a virus on his network, the only way he could remove it was by adding an iMac".

          Wow.
  • by firebeaker (52242) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @01:18AM (#10697070) Homepage
    15 years Java experience... when Java's not that old. I've seen a number of cases like those on resumes, using technology for longer than it was around for.

    In the case of Java, no, they weren't working for Sun while it was being developed.

    • I have seen worse in job adverts. They were advertising for 5+ years in technologies that had (at that time) been around 3 less than 3 years.

      I think it was a case, though, of the boss asking the copywriter / secretary to chuck in the default advert with XYZ skill set. Oh well, they were rather embaressed when I rang up and pointed this out ;)

    • Ah, but then maybe he was responding to one of those Job ads that is asking for 15+ years in Java experience!

      They are more common then you think, unfortunately.
    • by crazyphilman (609923) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @02:29AM (#10697471) Journal
      Yeah, my old boss used to give me resumes to vet. I used to see stuff like "ten years .Net experience!" At first I was shocked, but then I got out my red pen and started annotating. I'd use very descriptive terms: "Bullshit", "He's lying, it hasn't existed that long", "Does this company even exist?" and so forth. Nobody cared. They ignored my comments, hired the low bid, and never asked me to look at resumes again.

      Since then I've realized that at some companies, resumes really ARE expected to be fiction, and they select the fiction they enjoy the most.

      • by 4of12 (97621) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @10:07AM (#10699349) Homepage Journal

        Since then I've realized that at some companies, resumes really ARE expected to be fiction, and they select the fiction they enjoy the most.

        You should get (Score: 6, Insightful) for that comment as today, November 2, 2004, millions of American voters go to the polls and select a candidate for the topmost job in the land based on exactly that same criterion.

  • Must have at least 5 years expirence.
  • by dynamic_cast (250615) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @01:56AM (#10697272) Homepage
    I see that on resumes all the time. So I put them in front of a white board and ask them to show me the code to add an item to a singly linked list, using the language of their choice.

    1 out of 15 pass. It's pathetic.

    Can you pass this test? Post a link to your resume, we are hiring in the East Bay, California. C#.

    • by Farq Fenderson (135583) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @02:22AM (#10697433) Homepage
      > Can you pass this test?

      Yes. But:

      > C#.

      You can't pay me enough.
    • (cons item l)

      Does that count? ;-)
    • void insertnode(Node *first, int x, int y)
      {
      int z = 0;
      Node *start = first;

      while(z next;
      z++;

      }

      Node *addnode = (Node *)malloc(sizeof(Node));
      addnode->next = first->next;
      addnode->x = x;

      first->next = addnode;

      while(start->next != 0)
      {
      printf("X = %d\n", start->x);
      start = start->next;
      }
      }

      Copied and pasted from some program I made for my C101 class last year, I'd take the job and show you my resume, but I'm jus
    • I actually just visited an interview few months ago. I haven't been seriously programming in 2 years but still felt confident about my skills. Then, it came time to demostrate some simple things. Well, not the _simple_ but the ones someone should know who boasts 5+ years C and C++ experience:

      What is the most efficient way to check single linked list for self reference (pointing to a previous item)
      Hmm, I know this one... *Takes copious amounts of time to invent an ugly way*

      Define a function pointer
      Well,

    • by tsm_sf (545316) * on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @05:35AM (#10698250) Journal
      push (@linky, "item");
      print "=p";

      "I'm serious, dammit!"

      000100 IDENTIFICATION DIVISION.
      000200 PROGRAM-ID. SeriousSinglyLinky.
      000300 AUTHOR. Some Sad Bastard.
      000400
      000500 ENVIRONMENT DIVISION.
      000600
      000700 CONFIGURATION SECTION.

      ok, that joke stopped being fun pretty quickly...
  • It's obvious: I'm a gamer, and I use Linux on the desktop. Saw some clown on the web claiming that crap.
  • by jerde (23294) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @02:12AM (#10697376) Journal
    I overheard a salesdroid touting that their support line offered 24/7 support, Monday-Friday 8am to 8pm.

  • My uptime is.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @02:18AM (#10697404) Homepage Journal
    I often hear Linux & Unix admins talking about their tremendous uptime. I regard these people as a little unwise and arrogant, more concerned with meaningless bragging numbers instead of focusing on the stability of the system.

    Lately, I inherited [1] a surviving dotcom [2] with 20 unix computers. The

    Of course, 2 months after the previous Unix admin quits, power goes out on a couple power strips at the AT&T Datacenter [3] and I need to restart the computers.

    The OS comes up fine, but the init scripts for the Apache, Java App server, and misc. servers were all hosed, and I had to investigate each one and restart all of the important services on all machines. This turned a 5 minute downtime into a 2 hour downtime... AT 3 IN THE FUCKING MORNING!

    Screw your uptime, test your startup scripts. Distaster recovery is more important.

    [1] I was hired, then the parent company laid a bunch of people off. Fuck me!

    [2] Not surviving any more! Fuck me!

    [3] Top of the line reliability, yeah right.
    • Re:My uptime is.... (Score:3, Informative)

      by oo_waratah (699830)
      You can restart the service and still keep your uptime and provide the testing you require. However it is true that a complete down and up would be good to do when everyone is prepared to sort out the mess and the least impact on your business. Warm swaps would be a good idea if it is that critical.
  • by heliocentric (74613) * on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @02:20AM (#10697414) Homepage Journal
    Higher up boss was complaining why the project wasn't being done the wau he just suddenly came up with.

    Low-level boss, who had fought to do it that way for months and was shot down by this higher up boss only to do it the current way, says, "I can't beging to think about doing it the right way until I finish doing it the wrong way... poorly."
  • Just trust me it will work.

    Well most of the time I am right anyway :-)
  • by Banner (17158) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @02:44AM (#10697561) Journal
    2) We don't need to test it!
    3) Requirements? What are those?
    4) We're a level 5 organization!
    5) We'll save money using window's Outlook
    6) Extreme Programming
    7) Cleanroom.
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @03:03AM (#10697659) Homepage Journal
    I guy who just took an SQL intro class blurted out in the middle of a meeting, "Can't you take your system and rewrite it all in [just] SQL so that it is only a few lines?"

    And then another time someone claimed that they could make something 1/2 the original code size by rewriting it in Lisp. I gave them a code example to try it on, but they made some vague excuses and changed the subject.

    Somewhat related, the C2 wiki has an interesting "alarm-bell phrases" list to help detect when big claims are about to be stated:

    http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?AlarmBellPhrases
  • cwd oh my (Score:4, Funny)

    by fastduke (694682) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @04:53AM (#10698077) Homepage
    I was told that I had to set up the server to include the cwd in the path so that students didn't have to always type ./a.out

    Later I was asked if I hade done it and the conversation went something like this:

    boss: did you get that done?
    me: Yep, students group is all set up.
    boss: only the students?
    me: Well I figured the staff should know to change their own path.
    • by T-Ranger (10520) <jeffw AT chebucto DOT ns DOT ca> on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:30PM (#10700476) Homepage

      That reminds me of a story my brother tells. He works as a software developer in a branch office; prety much evertone in his office is either a programmer, project manager, tech support of technical sales people. Not all of them geeks, but all heavy computer users.

      The company hired on a new business manager/director of sales (whatever) for this office, good business/sales experience, but not technical sales.

      Weekly meeting:

      Boss: Oh yes. Head office has deployed the intranet. You all must change your homepage to our internal website. Herman (local network admin) is away, but Bob can help you change your homepage if you need assistance.
      Andrew: On the other hand, you are working at a software developement company; if you cant change your home page, you should pack up and go home now.
      Boss: *deer in the headlights look*

      • by Watcher (15643)
        I always love the "the company intranet website must be your home page" policy. They did this at my last company, and it had three, simultanious, results:
        1) Everyone who couldn't change their homepage because of permissions bitched about having the intranet site as their homepage because it was heavy with activex controls and bogged their system down for 30 seconds before they could even look at the company site, let alone get out on the internet (which was locked down heavily with a websense server that w
  • by turgid (580780) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @06:10AM (#10698367) Journal
    itanium will kill the RISC server market.
    itanium was the first mass-market 64-bit processor.
    64-bit is not required on the desktop.
    People are waiting for itanium before they move to 64-bit.
    itanium is the fastest processor in the world.
    itanium is the industry standard 64-bit architecture.
    itanium is an open standard. Other 64-bit processors are proprietary.
    Next year, itanium will be the biggest-selling 64-bit processor.
    Windows NT is more advanced than UNIX.
    Linux can't do everything Windows can.
    Windows NT will kill UNIX.
    Windows is faster than Linux.
    Next year, everyone will be running itanium servers running 64-bit Windows.
    Windows NT is portable.
  • Error Handling? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by big ben bullet (771673) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @06:22AM (#10698405) Homepage
    Me (code reviewing): Were are your error handlers? You didn't write any...

    He: My programs don't have errors. I don't need no error handlers...

    Additional note: He wrote a VB6 app that had to do alot of file access
  • by Chemisor (97276) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @06:41AM (#10698454)
    "If you can do it, it ain't braggin"
  • by BadluckShleprock (654660) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @08:58AM (#10698899) Journal
    I worked for a company that had never even considered doing peer review before an Indian (not the Native American type) was overheard bragging about how for the last two years, he had written all of his variable names in Hindi and that they wouldn't dare fire him now. He was half right. They didn't fire him at that point, but for the next six months, he had to go to daily meetings with his three tiers of bosses to show the work he had done in translating the variable names back to English.

    Problem solved, right? Not really. While he was translating some files to English, he was also busy translating others to Hindi. Right before he was put back on a project, his new "work" had been discovered because, again, he was overheard bragging about how they would never fire him. This time they cut his pay by $20 an hour for the duration of the repairs, locked him out of the version control software to prevent any more damage, and the day after he finished, there was a total peer review of every file he had ever worked on. Once the day long meeting was over, he was asked to stand up in front of everyone and told by the VP of engineering that he was fired.

    The bad thing is that the company still doesn't believe in peer reviews, but it's a good company to work for because it is almost impossible to get fired.
  • by InfinityWpi (175421) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @10:07AM (#10699347)
    "Yeah, they tell me I've got the best response times in the entire company. Probably helps that some of them are negative -- brings down my average."

    No, he didn't invent time travel... he actually got some problems fixed before the helpdesk called him and told him to go over and fix them. So he had dang-near-zero response time on a lot of calls... and yes, some that the central-helpdesk newbies put in as being done before being started, so he had negative times.

    Pity the company got hit with fraud charges and I ha... erm, he had to move west...
  • by Tom7 (102298) on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @12:11PM (#10700335) Homepage Journal
    We once got an application from someone who claimed to know "every programming language" on his resume.
  • Easy... (Score:4, Funny)

    by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Tuesday November 02, 2004 @03:41PM (#10702839) Journal
    Slashdot: News for Nerds, Stuff That Matters.
  • by wandazulu (265281) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @02:57PM (#10713905)
    I interviewed a guy back in '96 I think for a VB job. The company that recommended him even flew him out from his current job in Iowa to NJ to talk to us. I was impressed...his resume was 4 pages long and talked about all the technologies he had worked on. One got the impression that this was a VB/SQL Server guru, who would be everything and more that we needed.

    When I met him, he was visibly nervous, and I figured it was just the usual interview stress plus he had just flown in a snowstorm. As we were trying to get out of there ourselves (it turned out to be a *huge* snowstorm), we got down to business, and I asked him a couple of difficult VB questions that would have been winners if he could answer. Well, he couldn't.

    Okay, so ask a few easier questions. Nada. I drop it down to *extremely* easy questions (max value of int in VB3, how to do arrays, etc.). Zip. My partner asked a *very* simple sql question ("how do you update a table?") and he came up blank.

    Now I'm starting to really *read* his resume, instead of skimming it, and I came upon this little gem: He had put into production some huge program written in VB 4 back in 1995 (not a typo, as it also mentioned being 32-bit). I excused myself for a second, got my beta copy of VB 4 dated 1996 and returned. I dropped the disc on the table and said, in effect, that he had lied on his resume, that there was no way he could have done this and here's the proof.

    He was silent and said "Please don't make me go back to Iowa." I then was able to use the famous bartender line of "Well, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here."

    That was the only person I've ever interviewed that had to be escorted out by security.
  • Two simple anecdotes (Score:3, Informative)

    by daem0n1x (748565) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @09:03PM (#10718537)
    Some years ago, my boss had a meeting with a colleague of mine about a new product. In the end he asked him how much time he needed to develop that. The guy answered "two weeks". It took him a year. We still use the "two weeks" joke to refer to never-ending projects.

    Once, I was talking with my boss about how stupid some blue-collar people are when they refuse to use helmets or safety-goggles at work, just to play macho. Then I said a stupid joke about macho IT workers: "True men don't make backups". It was intended to be a joke, but some weeks later we lost our entire codebase because the server disks fried. The server was managed by a different department. The guys that were in charge of nursing it didn't have any backup, in spite of THAT being THEIR job. I think my boss still shivers when he remembers that joke. I'll keep it as a motto, and never trust anyone to backup my work.
  • by MeerCat (5914) on Thursday November 04, 2004 @04:10PM (#10727449) Homepage
    "We've written a client-server database system" was a MS Access application with the MDB file on a network drive - and they couldn't understand why running the app over the WAN didn't work very well.

    "I've done lots of network programming" (meant that the compiler was installed on his PC's hard disk but the source code files were on a shared drive, so everytime he compiled he thought he was doing network programming)

    "When you write data to a socket, TCP/IP guarantees the data will be delivered" (hmmm, and they were going to write a global trading system that's now done over $20 trillion of trades).

    "We've written the most sophisticated database in existence and so you can't see the source because you'd steal our secrets" (turns out they didn't know what indices were, the whole thing had no indices on any table, and the code was crap, oh, and it was Access 2)

    "Our encryption is unbreakable" (data was encoded using the string OVER_THE_TOP_ENCRYPTION which was present as plaintext in the EXE - was later changed to CUSTARDCREAMS, still present as plaintext)

    "The performance test of this software running on a 4-CPU Sun machine on a 100BaseT network was invalidated because we detected a rogue packet on the network (was actually a single UDP broadcast packet of about 800 bytes every 15 minutes) and that was chewing up all the cpu time as the network stack thrashed trying to decide what to do with the data because no program was listening to that port" (that from the networking expert of the consultancy department of a global carrier)

    "The smartest programmer in the world who we were going to lend you to replace 50 of your crap guys - he won't be coming over because he refuses to fly over water and we've just explained that New York is an ocean away from London" (seems he didn't know that)

    "I'm such a great programmer that the code I've written here is unreadable by anyone except me - in fact if you looked at it you'd probably think it's shit code, but in fact it's just that I'm so smart" (erm, well, it was shit, and it didn't work)

    Oh there are loads more, but just typing those in has made me depressed.

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