Saturday, March 23, 2013

Awkward Programmer Talk

There are words that are used in the world of computer programming that, in a different context, have different meanings. As such, I've thought of how a programmer could have a discussion over the phone around strangers, like at a bus stop, and how that conversation would have the strangers thinking very different things. This would be best as a candid video, so if anyone wants to make it, feel free!

A man sits at a bus stop with three other people. His phone rings, and the strangers can only hear the man's side of the conversation.

"What do you mean the children are...misbehaving?"
"Have you tried issuing any commands?"
"Well if they're not listening then they must be orphans."
"Well just kill them, then."
"Yeah, we won't loose anything important. We can start over and see if the next set of children will listen."
"All right, see you soon honey. Bye."

Same scene, different conversation:

"Well it's okay if some of the slaves aren't working. I mean, that's the point of having a bunch of slaves."
"NONE of them are working? Is the master doing anything? They were working last night."
"You know what, I bet they were overloaded. Well, we're not at whip yet, so I'll try to take care of it when I get there."
"Oh wait, that's right! Our client is coming to see our work, and it won't look good if the slaves aren't working."
"Well just kill them then. Yeah, kill them all. The new batch of slaves should work for at least a few hours. That's plenty of time for the client to see things working."
"All right, I'll see you in a bit. Bye."

Children: In data structures, a child is a node that is linked to the parent. There's also child processes and child threads.

Orphan: If the parent has lost its connection to a child, then the child is called an orphan and can't be reached by the program.

Kill: Kill, as in end or stop the execution of a program or process.

Master/Slave: A form of communication, where the master is a single process that communicates with several other processes, or slaves. This can be used as a form of redundancy, as several slaves can be working on the same thing, and if one slave crashes then the system can keep going because it still has the other slaves.

Whip: This is actually WIP, or Work In Process, but it's pronounced the same as whip. At work we use a kanban board that has WIP limits, or in other words, a limit on how many things we can work on at once.

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