Category Archives: Commentary

Real Programmers Don’t Eat Quiche

Thinking more about programmers’ lack of understanding about how computers work and their inability to program in C, that I alluded to previously, makes me say to myself “Real Programmers Use C” or “Real Programmers Don’t Use Interpreted Languages”.

I hear of no calls for C, while there are lots of call for the inefficient, interpreted languages—PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, and Python—which drive most of the “web”. These languages insulate programmers from having to know too much about how computer hardware works. Because of this, programmers never develop the innate sensitivity to computer performance. This results in our needing increasingly powerful computers to do, essentially, the same amount of work (the amount of useful work done is not proportional to increasing computing hardware performance).

Real Programmers Don’t Eat Quiche

Way back before the web was programmable, like it is today, there were a list of “facts” defining real programmers:


Variations of this list were passed around via company mail (snail mail, mail-kart, and pre-“email”). Posters of this list hung on the office walls of developers who considered themselves “real programmers.”

This, of course, was triggered by the 1982 book, “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche.” An essay appeared in Datamation magazine, “Real Programmers Don’t Use Pascal,” extrapolating on the geek version of this list (it isn’t clear whether the lists spawned the essay or vice versa).

Movie Review: Need for Speed Movie

Need for speed movie posterSometimes movies are exactly what you’d expect of them; when it’s a bad movie, that can actually be okay, so long as it has some redeeming features. If you were teenage male car-nut, the Need for Speed movie (leveraging the popularity and theme of the namesake video game by EA), then you would appreciate seeing rarefied super-cars on the big-screen. If you wanted something more than an action-packed, car-crash filled, movie with a typical American anti-hero hero story; then you should spend two hours of your time doing or watching something else.

Aaron Paul walked in front of the NfS cameras the day after wrapping shooting of the Breaking Bad TV series that made him famous. Though he trades his hoodie of the TV show for a leather jacket, not much was asked of the actor for the new character—hopefully we will see if he has a broader range of acting skills in future roles. The brooding anti-hero character has proven popular since James Dean‘s character in Rebel Without a Cause and is used to cliché-effect in NfS; well-done in a predictable fashion.

Since the cars were as much a star of the movie as the actors—bigger, actually—it is worth noting that this is a car-porn movie. They picked some of the most notable, to car-enthusiasts, examples of super-cars to represent. And, by “represent,” I mean faked… these cars were no more real than porn stars in the other movie genre. But they were well done, being one of the few unique aspects of the movie. However, they all get smashed up, which doesn’t show much respect for the reason which they’d chosen them in the first place—I guess that is typical of porn-stars.

Nothing about the story is based in any kind of reality. The actions of the characters barely makes any sense. But if you can fill in the story gaps with cliché assumptions and appreciate seeing super-car porn at speed, then your two hours won’t be completely wasted.

Offered: C Programmer for Hire

C Programmer for Hire There are some projects that are best done in C. Do you have a project requirement best served by C but cannot find anyone who can write bug-free C code? A majority of programmers have difficulty manipulating data at the bits and bytes level and have little sensitivity for the performance impact of their code. Reduce risk and unpredictability in C code-quality. Hire me! @wrlee.

It’s been a while since I have seen a call for C programmers. I’ve been interviewing a lot of web programmers lately. Few of them can program in C. One word of interview-advice… if you don’t have a reasonable ability to program in C, do not offer to solve programming problems in C; there are simple mistakes that tip me to the fact that you have never written a working C program—and reveal that you do not really understand how a computer works. Use pseudo-code and focus on the problem at hand and you’ll be further ahead.

Personal Project List

I have more personal projects in mind than I have taken the time to start. Too many Internet distractions, TV distractions, and general malaise. When my tweet (above) landed on my Facebook timeline, my friends were compelled to respond; which motivated me to, at least, write this list down (the first step to success—well steps 3 and 5 according to “How to Plan for a Successful Future“). Continue reading Personal Project List