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Dev Jokes Demystified
Like any industry, web development has its inside jokes. When you’re first starting out, it can feel alienating when the punchline sails over your head. On the flip side, figuring out why the joke is funny — in most cases, by gaining an understanding of the common assumption on which it relies — can actually help you learn more about coding. Below, I’ll shed some light on the most common dev jokes you’ll encounter by explaining the underlying assumptions they’re based on.
HTML is not a programming language. For a language to be considered a programming language, it has to run a program — that is, it has to be dynamic and make something happen. HTML is static: what you see is what you get. HTML is also typically the first type of code newbie programmers are exposed to because it’s the most basic, so if you’re proud of your knowledge/skill with HTML, you must be a newbie.
Programmers don’t sleep and have no lives. This one is pretty self-explanatory. Because programmers can work from pretty much anywhere pretty much any time, they often do.
Sudo. Sudo stands for Super User Do, and it’s used in the command line/terminal as a way to run a program or command with the permission of another user. Typically, that would be the Super User, with the highest level of security permissions. You know when your mom says your full name and then orders you to do something? It’s like that.
Devs love dark themes. The most basic reason developers appreciate a good dark theme is because it’s easier on the eyes. Especially when you stare at a computer all day every day, it’s important to give your eyes relief any way you can. Some devs also claim that the darker themes help them focus. For me personally, dark themes help to put me in that coding mindset. When I’m writing copy, I’m typically using Word or Google Docs – that is, a white background with dark type. When I’m coding, the dark theme is a visual signal to my brain that it’s time to switch gears.
Clients are unreasonable. This goes hand-in-hand with every Tom, Dick, and Harry has an idea for an app. Non-technical people don’t always have a realistic idea of what technical projects entail, and can even devalue a programmer’s work by making assumptions about the ease/simplicity of a project. This can come in the form of a website client asking a developer to make a “simple change” that requires hours or days of effort, or a would-be entrepreneur posting a job ad seeking a developer to build a social media platform for free based on the promise they’ll be paid when the app gains popularity (no really, check your local Craigslist – you’ll find a few).
Still mystified by a developer joke, or have a favorite developer joke? Comment away!
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