July 13, 2004

Famous Last Words

by peterb

If you're a software developer for long enough, you'll hear certain things throughout your career that almost never, ever, ever turn out to be true. Here's a partial list of some of the more popular lies and simply wrong things you'll hear.

  • "Every bug fixed will have a unit test demonstrating that it is fixed."
  • "All APIs will have complete and accurate documentation."
  • "We always write a complete spec before beginning the implementation."
  • "The feature set is frozen now."
  • "100% backward compatible!"
  • "We have included time for writing tests and debugging on the schedule."
  • "If the code you're working on has some completely minor and unimportant detail that I personally disagree with, everything will completely break and the world will end."
  • "Remember that time six months ago when I said it would break the world if you did it your way and you gave in and did it my way? We just got a bug from a customer, and it turns out we should have done it your way in the first place. Can you rewrite it that way by Friday? Thanks!"
  • "Yes, I tested that code, which doesn't compile, before I submitted it."
  • "Purify is too expensive."
  • "This error is an unlikely corner case, so we don't have to handle it."

....any others? Add yours below. It's also worth mentioning the following somewhat related topbot lists: worst commenting practices, new Windows API features, and the ever-popular (and accurate!) all software sucks list.

Posted by peterb at July 13, 2004 07:25 PM | Bookmark This

// FIX: this currently seems to work, but we should eventually revisit it

Posted by greg at July 13, 2004 07:35 PM

This is the last slip we're taking to our schedule

Posted by Jonathan Hardwick at July 13, 2004 11:24 PM

"This is _the_ critical time". Don't worry, there will always be another "the critical time".

Posted by belka at July 13, 2004 11:41 PM

I think it's more like "See, if we'd just LISTENED TO ME and provided unit tests for everything, by gum we wouldn't have any of these bugs!"

Posted by Eric Tilton at July 13, 2004 11:57 PM

"Works on my machine!"

(Scattered around Pittsburgh, several of my former QA managers just twitched violently for no discernible reason.)

Posted by Christina Schulman at July 14, 2004 12:39 AM

If it compiles without errors, it'll Just Work.

Posted by Eric Tilton at July 14, 2004 12:52 AM

"I've determined that this bug should be assigned to your component, mostly because that means it won't be assigned to _my_ component."

Posted by peterb at July 14, 2004 02:39 PM

I know its not my bug.

Posted by Tripp at July 30, 2004 04:12 PM

% cvs upd
P foo.pl
U foo.pl~
U #foo.pl#
U .#foo.pl
U foo.pl.log
U foo.pl.log2
U foo.pl.out

Posted by Jon at August 3, 2004 07:34 PM

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