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Real Programmers

Real Programmers

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Back in the good old days...

- the Golden Era of computers, it was easy to separate the men from the boys (sometimes called Real Men and "Quiche Eaters" in the literature).
During this period, the Real Men were the ones that understood computer programming, and the Quiche Eaters were the ones that didn't.
A real computer programmer said things like

fgets(inbuf,BUFSIZE,inf)
 and
 if (i%2==0)
(they actually talked in capital letters sometimes), and the rest of the world said things like "computers are too complicated for me" and "I can't relate to computers -- they're so impersonal."

But, as usual, times change.
We are faced today with a world in which little old ladies can get computerized television remote controls, 12 year old kids can blow Real Men out of the water playing Sony Play Stations and X-Boxes, and anyone can buy and even understand their very own Personal Computer.
The Real Programmer is in danger of becoming extinct, of being replaced by business-school students with Windows running drag and drop programming languages like Visual Basic!
Some companies don't even understand the difference between some network-weenie with a Microsoft or Cisco certification and a real programmer.

There is a clear need to point out the differences between the typical business-school Visual Basic user or network-weenie and a Real Programmer. Understanding these differences will give these kids something to aspire to -- a role model, a Father Figure.
It will also help employers of Real Programmers to realize why it would be a mistake to replace the Real Programmers on their staff with 12 year script kiddies (at a considerable salary savings).

Moreover, they might keep the network kiddies out of sight and out of the real programmerís machines.

The same goes for those self-proclaimed Hackers running warez websites...
mere code kittens who end up running cable with an A+ certification. Real programmers hack out eloquent solutions, not email scripts.

Real Programmers Today

Real Programmers at Play

Real Programmers Natural Habitat

Listings of all programs the Real Programmer has ever worked on, piled in roughly chronological order on every flat surface in the office. Some half-dozen or so partly filled cups of cold coffee. Occasionally, there will be cigarette butts floating in the coffee. In some cases, the cups will contain Diet Pepsi.

Strewn about the floor are several wrappers for peanut butter filled cheese bars (the type that are made stale at the bakery so they can't get any worse while waiting in the vending machine). Hiding in the top left-hand drawer of the desk is a stash of double stuff Oreos for special occasions. Underneath the Oreos is a flow-charting template, left there by the previous occupant of the office.

(Real Programmers write programs, not documentation. Leave that to the maintainence people.)

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