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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

  2. ⚠ WARNING Not everyone has heard all of these jokes

    before. Be nice. Be welcoming. 2 @PeterHilton •
  3. xkcd.com/1053

  4. 1. Lightbulb jokes

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

    a lightbulb? None. It’s a hardware problem. 5
  6. @PeterHilton • How many Prolog programmers does it take to

    change a lightbulb? false. 6
  7. 2. 10 kinds of people

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

    world. Those who understand binary, 
 and those who don’t. 8
  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
  10. @PeterHilton • 11111111: ‘Hey, are you feeling okay?’ 11111011: ‘I’m

    feeling a bit o ff .’ 
 Cassidy @cassidoo 10
  11. 3. You have a problem

  12. @PeterHilton • You have a problem, and you think you

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

    can solve it using object-relational mapping. Now you have n+1 problems. 13
  14. @PeterHilton • The doctor looked at 
 the computer and

    said, ‘I’m sorry, it’s terminal.’ 
 Jen Gentleman @JenMsft 14
  15. 4. Ghandi on Java

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

    Java? I think it would be a good idea. 
 Peter Hilton 16
  17. @PeterHilton • Knock knock! Who’s there? Java! 17

  18. @PeterHilton • Java is a DSL 
 for turning XML

 stack traces 18
  19. @PeterHilton • C combines the power of assembler with the

    readability of assembler 19
  20. @PeterHilton • What’s yellow and dangerous? *((int * )rand()) =

    0 x ffff00; 20
  21. 5. The infinite monkey theorem

  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
  23. 6. Bar jokes

  24. @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
  25. @PeterHilton • First real customer walks in and 

    where the bathroom is. The bar bursts into fl ames, 
 killing everyone. 
 @brenankeller 25
  26. 7. Computer games

  27. @PeterHilton • Programmers love computer games because they get to

    experience performing a task from start to fi nish without the requirements changing 27
  28. 8. Enterprise software

  29. @PeterHilton • There are exactly 
 two kinds of 

    user interface: Word and Excel 29
  30. @PeterHilton • She’s a 10 but 
 Excel thinks 

    she’s October 
 sophie @netcapgirl 30
  31. @PeterHilton • If MS-DOS was so good, where is MS-TRES?

 Ashi Windsor @NotHayashi 31
  32. 9. Two hard problems

  33. @PeterHilton • There are only two hard things in computer

    science: cache invalidation and 
 naming things. 
 Phil Karlton 33
  34. @PeterHilton • There are two hard problems in computer science:

    cache invalidation, naming things, and o ff -by-one errors 
 Leon Bambrick @secretGeek 34
  35. @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
  36. @PeterHilton • There’s two hard problems 
 in computer science:

    we only have one joke 
 and it’s not funny 
 Phillip Bowden @pbowden 36
  37. 10. Programming puns

  38. @PeterHilton • Why can’t journalists fi nd out why development

    projects fail? Because the programmers refuse to comment. 38
  39. @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
  40. @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
  41. @PeterHilton • I had an argument with a coworker 

    about what variable names 
 we should use in for loops i won 
 Lou Creemers @lovelacecoding 41
  42. Jokes explained

  43. @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
  44. 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 •
  45. @PeterHilton • The hardest problem in computer science 

    not being an opinionated jerk about everything 45
  46. @PeterHilton http://hilton.org.uk/ http://hilton.org.uk/presentations/jokes The importance of programming jokes: https://hilton.org.uk/blog/domain-jokes.html