Monthly Archives: February 2007

Programmers are Lazy Principle (PaLP)

The Programmers are Lazy Principle basically states that programmers do not like to do work. As a consequence, a good programmer will avoid work by creating situations that eliminate the need to repeat work. There are many results that follow from this basic truth. For example, many have noticed that a programmer will spend three days automating a repetitive task that only took him ten minutes to complete per day. Notice though that three days is 1440 work minutes, which is the amount of time that would be spent completing the repetitive task in 144 work days or about 29 work weeks. Assuming the programmer stays at the job for longer than that he will have earned 50 minutes of extra time for each work week following the 29th. That’s 50 minutes a week that could be spent automating some repetitive task, which ultimately would lead to more time.

Why all development will move to the Mac.

Like many of my friends working as software developers I have noticed a significant increase in the number of fellow geeks toting around Apples rather than MS or Linux based machines. Just attend a local nerding event and you’ll see them, happy looking hackers quietly banging away at a Mac. Why are they smiling? After all hacking is a serious business of creativity by force. An act of the strongest will. Only the bravest need enter as many hours will be spent wrestling with the complexities of your machine in order to bring your ideas to fruition. Are they insane? Have they finally lost it after countless hours of struggling with the latest patch to a Linux driver that just will not work with the wireless card that arrived from Amazon late this afternoon? Maybe they paid extra for next day air because they need to replace their failed wireless card now, and get back to work fast, but it turns out that the manufacture stopped using the wizbang 3.05 and changed to the super-cheap 0.95 chip-set six months ago and nobody outside of the developer of the driver knows how it works. Maybe they’ve tried everything they know to try and gone through the instructions of some guy named Phil, served up from a server in North Korea, that claim to solve the problem but alas no wireless. Or maybe they encountered a blue screen on their MS box, or a program that had to be reinstalled and restarted and debugged to get it to work one too many times. What ever it was it must have been bad because they got an Apple. It’s common knowledge Macs are just cool looking toys. Isn’t it? Until about a year and a half ago I wasn’t sure why these geeks were smiling either.

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