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My ten favourite programming jokes

Peter Hilton
September 20, 2022

My ten favourite programming jokes

Classic programming jokes, and their cultural value

In this talk, Peter will share his favourite programming jokes. Some of them are even funny. What’s more, Peter is going to explain them all properly, which is probably why he doesn’t get invited to parties. In the middle of serious explanations and actually-funny variations of standard jokes, attendees will discover the serious side to programmer humour. Attendees will cringe at old jokes, laugh at new ones, and learn about how programming jokes form a critical part of our shared cultural identity.

Peter Hilton

September 20, 2022
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  1. @PeterHilton
    http://hilton.org.uk/
    My ten favourite


    programming jokes

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  2. ⚠ WARNING


    Not everyone has heard
    all of these jokes before.


    Be nice. Be welcoming.
    2
    @PeterHilton •

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  3. xkcd.com/1053

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  4. 1.
    Lightbulb jokes

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  5. @PeterHilton •
    How many programmers does it
    take to change a lightbulb?


    None. It’s a hardware problem.
    5

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  6. @PeterHilton •
    How many Prolog programmers does it
    take to change a lightbulb?


    false.
    6

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  7. 2.
    10 kinds of people

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  8. @PeterHilton •
    There are 10 kinds of people in the world.


    Those who understand binary,

    and those who don’t.
    8

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  9. @PeterHilton •
    There are 10 kinds of people in the world.


    Those who understand binary,

    those who don’t


    and those who weren’t expecting

    a base 3 joke
    9

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  10. @PeterHilton •
    11111111: ‘Hey, are you feeling okay?’


    11111011: ‘I’m feeling a bit o
    ff
    .’




    Cassidy @cassidoo
    10

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  11. 3.
    You have a problem

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  12. @PeterHilton •
    You have a problem, and you think you can
    solve it using regular expressions.


    Now you have two problems.
    12

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  13. @PeterHilton •
    You have a problem, and you think you can
    solve it using object-relational mapping.


    Now you have n+1 problems.
    13

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  14. @PeterHilton •
    The doctor looked at

    the computer and said,


    ‘I’m sorry, it’s terminal.’



    Jen Gentleman @JenMsft
    14

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  15. 4.
    Ghandi on Java

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  16. @PeterHilton •
    What do you think of object-oriented
    programming in Java?


    I think it would be a good idea.



    Peter Hilton
    16

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  17. @PeterHilton •
    Knock knock!


    Who’s there?


    Java!
    17

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  18. @PeterHilton •
    Java is a DSL

    for turning


    XML into

    stack traces
    18

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  19. @PeterHilton •
    C combines


    the power of assembler with


    the readability of assembler
    19

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  20. @PeterHilton •
    What’s yellow and dangerous?


    *((int
    *
    )rand()) = 0
    x
    ffff00;
    20

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  21. 5.
    The infinite monkey
    theorem

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  22. @PeterHilton •
    If you put a million monkeys at a million
    keyboards, one of them will eventually
    write a Java program.


    The rest of them will write Perl programs.
    22

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  23. @PeterHilton •
    A QA engineer walks into a bar.


    Orders a beer.


    Orders 0 beers. Orders 999999999 beers.


    Orders a lizard. Orders −1 beers.


    Orders a sfdeljknesv.
    24

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  24. @PeterHilton •
    First real customer walks in and

    asks where the bathroom is.


    The bar bursts into
    fl
    ames,

    killing everyone.


    @brenankeller
    25

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  25. 7.
    Computer games

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  26. @PeterHilton •
    Programmers love computer games
    because they get to experience
    performing a task from start to
    fi
    nish
    without the requirements changing
    27

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  27. 8.
    Enterprise software

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  28. @PeterHilton •
    There are exactly

    two kinds of

    user interface:


    Word and Excel
    29

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  29. @PeterHilton •
    She’s a 10 but

    Excel thinks

    she’s October



    sophie @netcapgirl
    30

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  30. @PeterHilton •
    If MS-DOS was so good,


    where is MS-TRES?




    Ashi Windsor @NotHayashi
    31

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  31. 9.
    Two hard problems

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  32. @PeterHilton •
    There are only two hard things in
    computer science:


    cache invalidation and

    naming things.


    Phil Karlton
    33

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  33. @PeterHilton •
    There are two hard problems in
    computer science:


    cache invalidation, naming things,


    and o
    ff
    -by-one errors


    Leon Bambrick @secretGeek
    34

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  34. @PeterHilton •
    There are only two hard problems in
    distributed systems:


    2. Exactly-once delivery


    1. Guaranteed order of messages


    2. Exactly-once delivery


    @MathiasVerraes
    35

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  35. @PeterHilton •
    There’s two hard problems

    in computer science:


    we only have one joke

    and it’s not funny


    Phillip Bowden @pbowden
    36

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  36. 10.
    Programming puns

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  37. @PeterHilton •
    Why can’t journalists
    fi
    nd out
    why development projects fail?


    Because the programmers
    refuse to comment.
    38

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  38. @PeterHilton •
    I visited the opticians after I started
    seeing printers, keyboards and mice

    out the corner of my eye.


    She said it was just peripheral vision.


    @ChrisOldwood
    39

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  39. @PeterHilton •
    In distributed systems you’re

    screwed if you don’t have caches but

    if you do, you’ll screw them up.


    This is known as a cache-22.


    @PeterSeibel
    40

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  40. @PeterHilton •
    I had an argument with a coworker

    about what variable names

    we should use in for loops


    i won


    Lou Creemers @lovelacecoding
    41

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  41. Jokes explained

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  42. @PeterHilton •
    ‘you can look at the Web as
    consisting of two basic
    forms of knowledge: the
    database and the joke’


    David Weinberger,


    Small Pieces Loosely Joined
    43

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  43. The punchline
    There aren’t really very many programming jokes


    The best ones are usually variations on a standard joke


    Each technology has a standard joke everyone should know


    Standard jokes are class competence checks


    We can choose between gatekeeping and welcoming each
    new community member by celebrating their first time
    44
    @PeterHilton •

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  44. @PeterHilton •
    The hardest problem in computer science

    is not being an opinionated jerk about
    everything


    45

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  45. @PeterHilton
    http://hilton.org.uk/
    http://hilton.org.uk/presentations/jokes
    The importance of programming jokes:


    https://hilton.org.uk/blog/domain-jokes.html

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