Software Development Maladies (humor)

3 minute read

I got a couple of emails WRT my comments on NIHS (from another fun post), and thought I’d share a few others I’ve heard of.


Ok, keep in mind this is supposed to be developer humor – hopefully no one will take it any other way 😉


I.A.R. (I am Always Right) – This malady usually turns up with developers that are defending a practice they believe to be correct but refuse to discuss other arguments. While curable, more severe contractions also lead to YAW.


Y.A.W. (You are Always Wrong) – A common affliction that forces the person to believe that anyone else’s opinion is always wrong. The patient will likely also be suffering from IAR. Contractions of both IAR and YAW almost invariably lead to AAA.


A.A.A. (Argue About Anything) – Common symptoms: never completely agree with anything anyone else says. Example, “The sky is blue” reply: “the sky only appears blue due to the way the sun is refracted through the molecules in the air”. While technically correct, symptoms of IAR and YAW are quite apparent.


N.I.H.S. (Not Invented Here Syndrome) – A terminal disease for software development projects. The inability to use software developed by anyone else is the most common symptom. Unqualified statements such as, “I’ll write my own because their solution sucks.” are usually the first tell-tale signs. It is important to note that there can be false positives, occasionaly there are situations where business critical software must be re-invented and re-written.


P.I.E. (Platform Independence Everywhere) – Although curable, this infection tends to have the developer write code that can be ported to anything/anywhere even though the primary system is already selected. Symptoms include the inability to use features that are specific to any particular platform even though those features can lead to better application performance. This is infection is usually accompanied by NIHS, example unqualified statement: “I’ll write my own platform independent version because their solution sucks, and who knows we may eventually port it back to an Atari 2600 — and we’ll be ready!”. False positives can be found, there are occasionally cases where it makes sense to plan for other system architectures.


C.A.N.A.L. (Code ANAL) – More like a flue; this malady can rapidly infect entire development teams. Statements such as, “Curly braces should go …” with check-in mail are clear clues to an infection. Persons infected will check-out entire source libraries to perform janitorial services on the code base forcing full unit retests and full recompilation of all sources for the sole purpose of ‘readability’.


A.B.M. (Anything But Microsoft) – Curable, but only with large doses of reality. Most obvious indicator: documents written by persons infected will always refer to Microsoft as ‘M$’. System administrators can check proxy servers for requests to a site known as Slash Dot topic 109 (M$) where infected persons can get their daily ‘fix’. Severe cases will lead to complete BS (see below).


B.S. (Bill Syndrome) also known as W.N.B.B – Pronounced ‘Wanna Be’ -(WaNt To Be Bill) – Terminal, no known cure. An advanced form of ABM. Primarily affects executives at software companies to constantly expouse F.U.D. about Microsoft.


Heard of others? Let me know and I’ll add to the list 🙂

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