part 3 in an ongoing series of developer stereotypes...
for some reason that is so fucking completely beyond me, programmers all over the world are ridiculously proud of and have an almost erotic obsession with what they would call "their programming language of choice." As a matter of fact, there are some developers out there that are so fucking gung-ho about their language that they become one of the most dreaded programmer stereotypes of all time...the feared and ignorant Language Snob. trust me... these close-minded cocksuckers are probably numero uno when it comes to making trouble (aside from the Open Source Zealot, of course)...
actually, i'll be honest. i have no fucking clue where these people come from. something tells me though that as soon as the 1st programming language was born, the first moronic diabolical Language Snob was born very shortly thereafter. What on earth could make somebody so obsessed with a programming language that they are literally willing to mutilate and kill for it? i can only imagine the bizarre childhood that these absolute weirdos must have gone through where a pavlovian response of an intense, raging hard-on is induced just by the mere mention of the letter C (or the letters V and B for that matter). it's like they're the meatheads of software development and are always on a fucking constant roid-rage. personally, i can think of many other things that would give myself a raging hard-on (like boobs for instance), but that's just me.
As far as developer stereotypes go, these insolent bastards are probably the most visible of them all. (at least in my experience...your milage may vary.) This is usually due to the rampant steaming diarrhea that is vomited forth from that stenchful abyss they call their mouths...constantly. i mean these guys are fucking implacable! they are absolutely relentless in excreting the bullshit that is the "virtue of my programming language." there is no place, time or person that is safe from all this nonsense...
let take a look at some of the more interesting Language Snob scenarios:
the book store ambush
how many times has this happend to you (or maybe it just happens to me because i'm such a goddamn asshole magnet)...you're in the book store checking out the books on programming languages, and as soon as you pick up a promising title on language x... WHAM!!! some imbecile starts approaching you (who you could've sworn was not even there a second ago) and without any further introduction, says something along the lines of, "why would you want to check out that shit for?? you should do yourself a favor and check out this language instead!!"
what the hell is that?? how the fuck do i even begin to answer a question like this? obviously since i'm a developer my communication skills are sorely limited to begin with, in addition there is the fact that i have problems talking to complete fucking nincompoops, AND i just love having my time being completely fucking wasted on morons such as yourself. right, the last thing i want to do during the day is have a fucking competely inane, pointless argument with a 18-25 year old, trenchcoat wearing, acne-ridden, mildly overweight, greasy haired virgin like yourself. however, let me think of some possible responses:
- a good swift kick in the ass
direct and simple. sometimes that's the only way to combat such pure fucking idiocy. it also has the element of surprise. the last thing that anybody would be expecting from a software geek (especially in a book store) is an ultra violent, deadly, ninja like beating that would be considered borderline psychotic. despite all these advantages though, it is a little too flashy for a nonchalant guy like myself. i have also found that it attracts way too much attention from onlookers as well. it also has the serious side effect that if you work yourself into a wild enough frenzy, an innocent bystander or too might get caught in the horrific crossfire.
- ignore (which is also basically the same as the abort and retry responses)
i have a fondness for this approach because i'm lazy and this response requires the least expenditure of effort. it also carries with it the extra bonus of really pissing off the moron that approached you in the first place. with the exception of the fact that it does not produce the instantaneous feeling of smug satisfaction and is not quite visually spectacular as the method above, it generally is the most often used.
- tell him your moronic BlunderMan boss is making you buy it for him
oh, wait...nevermind. this response is a disaster because you'll probably get some sort of response like, "yeah dude!!...like i totally know what you mean, man!" thereby inducing more garbage from this guy as opposed to just shutting him the hell up.
there are plenty of other responses as well but i don't want to go on forever, so i'll leave some of the others as exercises for the reader to discover on his own. please feel free to be creative as possible...interpretive dancing, ethnic music, chrome kitchen appliances, and marital aids are all things you should feel free to incorporate...
the language war
you knew i couldn't get through this without mentioning the Language Snob's weapon of choice, right? where else but in a language war can you see adult and children alike act like completely moronic, cocksucking, fools? man, i love following these things. talk about something to brighten your day! anyway, they usually start off because wankmaster x has decided to publish, post, or yammer something derogatory about language y, thereby insulting and causing much loss of manliness from development community z, who write code in nothing but the aforementioned language. now obviously this ridiculous geek/dork/wank challenge cannot go unanswered. inevitably there is somebody who is either insecure enough, sick and tired of being bullied, or is just plain stupid enough to respond to this shit (that was said with the express intention of starting just this kind of shit in the first place). before you know it, every fucking dork on the planet now feels the duty, obligation, or whatever to defend their language. YEEHAW!!...let the fireworks begin!! it's great...and every language has their stock statements of choice that usually follow these well known patterns:
"well i use my language because it's soooooo much more productive!
"well my language gives me so much more power"
"sigh...why can't we all get along and just use my language??"
now...to see how ridiculous all this is, substitute the word "cock" for the word "language" in the bullet points above. what you might not know though is that there are all kinds of wars like this each one with their own themes and flavors. here are some of the ones that have been fairly prominent:
- me against the world
this is the one that c++ programmers all over the world have been and currently continue to fight. despite their best efforts, they are slowly losing this brutal war of attrition. (on both fronts: the c# and java). lisp is fighting this very same kind of war as well.
- the civil war
this is the one between programmers who program in vb.net vs. those who program in c#. despite the fact that they share a common framework, there are morons out there that feel the insecure need to beat each other up and cause other mindless dissension in the ranks.
- jihad, or the holy war
this one is between java programmers and c# programmers. never has there been a more heated debate between to languages (or the morons who develop in them). to see what i mean, just do a search on "c#" in the comp.lang.java.advocacy newsgroup. i can't tell you how much time i have wasted laughing so hard at the shenanigans between these two languages. in case your wondering, the ongoing hootinanny between perl and python belongs here too.
when the c++ empire consolidated, it destroyed smalltalk in two weeks. one day, smalltalk was there being touted like java was a few years ago (as a matter of fact, byte magazine a very long time ago dedicated an entire issue to it), only to die at the c++ onslaught during the 90s.
i should thank all the people who have participated in these flamefests the world over for the countless hours of enjoyment you've given me. unfortunately though, this is just one more trick that the monstrous Language Snob has used time and time again to lure innocent young developers into his den of iniquity and have his way...plus, there are much better things to argue about too, like who was frank zappa's best drummer (if you don't know, it's vinnie colaiuta, period), or just how much heroin did miles davis actually take, or was wiles lucky, or did he really know what he was doing when he proved fermat's last theorem??
don't fall for this bullshit...
if all you have is a hammer...
this is another disastrous, project killing Language Snob trait. this basically translates into complete fucking bumblers using the wrong tool for the wrong job. listen, duechebag...there is a reason why people don't write "line of business applications" in assembler. conversely, there is a just as valid reason why people don't write linux hardware drivers in visual basic. regardless, the Language Snob plows on because he's totally confident in the fact that his language is the only tool to get the job done. maybe it's because i'm lazy, but i just can't understand the absolute masochistic need to write a 1000 line console program when you could write the same moronic fucking thing in about 100 lines of c# or java code ( or even less in visual basic or python). not only that, but it would be easier to debug and maintain as well. i guess those things aren't really high on the Language Snob's list. i mean, who writes code that would want to be easy to debug and maintain?? how do you fucking explain such aberrant fucking behavior? i'm sure i'm not the only developer out there who has seen more than his far share of projects that have had to go through complete rewrites because some fucking Language Snob decided that the implementation MUST be in his language. assuming you understand the advanced, complex, and sophisticated concepts of assignment, selection, and iteration, how fucking hard can it be to add another tool to your tool belt, you lazy fuck? why do you think nobody showed up to fujitsu's building transactional web-applications using object cobol for .net seminars??
there are many other disastrous traits as well that the Language Snob has incorporated into his MO. these are only some of the highlights. these guys are dangerous. especially when they are decision-makers. yeah, i got it...i'll take the objective route, and at the risk of completely fucking derailing the project, i'll recommend we go with MY language!!! wow...wouldn't you love somebody like this on the team??
by the way, there recently was a minor skirmish in the civil war here. (this is a fairly well known vb guy's response to a page about c#. put it this way...that page has to be some of the biggest and purely opportunistic FUD i've ever seen, and i'm a c# guy!).