Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Morons and Assholes - Mark Pilgrim on Specs

http://diveintomark.org/archives/2004/08/16/specs

(Where the Moron/Asshole axis fits into Tom Coates' Pirate/Ninja Dwarf/Elf chart, I'm not sure - http://www.plasticbag.org/archives/2004/03/from_pirate_dwarves_to_ninja_elves.shtml )

Tom (a programmer)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

An informal Myers-Briggs typology??

Two great links, thanks!

lumberjack
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Of course this begs the question which developers write specs.: Morons or assholes?
Morons probably write specs about usefull stuff they have done that works, and through popular request, want to make more accessible to other developers. The first spec attempt is probably full of vaguaries and loopholes, as the moron is targetting the "good understander". Either he'll get tired of the assholes pestering and the cluelessnes of some other morons, and just drop out being involved, or he'll stay on and the spec will gradually get better and better while retaining some vision.
Assholes write specs because, well, they're assholes and like pestering other people, bathing in selfproclaimed superiority. Their natural habitat is a modern standards committee, preferably aroud some technology that has not proved itself in any way in the real world (lift a few rocks at http://www.w3c.org/ and see they crawling "en masse"). They get rabiate about "non comformance" and "mandatory compliance", since the things they are "standardizing" are often unproven academic wanking excersizes.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Love the Pirate/Ninja Dwarf/Elf chart. Someone should do a JoS map like that.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Morlocks and Eloi might be a more apt metaphor.  Dwarves and elves?  Sheesh.

Jon Dinlea
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

"Morons and assholes"?

It's a very good conceptual model of programmer motivations.

It also attaches value judgements and insults to certain professional types. Anyone who does a bad job is personally denigrated.

I like it! :-)

Bored Bystander
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

For the ninja-pirate elf-dwarf model, moron-asshole is the z-axis (3rd dimension). 
I am probably a moron pirate elf.

devinmoore.com
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Why does every blogger write an article that always distills people or processors down into 2, 3 or 4 groups?  Real life isn't like that.  I don't know why anyone bothers to read these stupid articles by ignorant people.

Mike
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

There are two kinds of people: the ones that generalize, and the ones that don't. :-)

Bored Bystander
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I am a moron with sociapathic tendencies.

Actually most good programmers that I've worked for attempt to read the spec, don't understand it and then develop something that's close.
Then, when they get push back that the app doesn't meet the spec they turn into assholes for a couple of hours and then get with the program.

Miles Archer
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

"Why does every blogger write an article that always distills people or processors down into 2, 3 or 4 groups? "

To be fair he made each dimension a range, so someone is 80% ninja/40% dwarf, for instance. I found it rather humorous myself.

Dennis Forbes
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

"To be fair he made each dimension a range, so someone is 80% ninja/40% dwarf, for instance. I found it rather humorous myself."

And what about Pilgrim?

Mike
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

We like to distill down to a few groups because it's:
1) funny
2) convenient to remember
3) human nature to blatantly overgeneralize when categorizing things

i.e. can you give the full classification of humans,cats, etc. (kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus species (had to memorize the order of all that in school)) without looking it up? It's tough!

devinmoore.com
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Call me an asshole.  I'll take that as the compliment I'm sure the author intended it to be.

A spec with holes is no spec at all.  But, there is nothing wrong with fixing the spec. But don't sit there and tell the world that the specification doesn't need changed, when indeed it does because its frigging broken.

How many times has an engineer been given the task "fix it but don't change anything".  A dose of contradicting pain which only an ignoramus could create.

Finally, why the hell is someone other than an engineer writing specs?  Lookey here Mister PM: I like anchovies on my pizza.  Veggie is my second choice. Don't forget that.

hoser
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Ok, so it's early in the morning and I'm in need of caffine but are those links supposed to be funny?

Those are yet another reason why blogs written by Mr Nobodies are a complete waste of fricken time.

:-P

TheGeezer
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

It's true that there are precisely two types of people in the world but so far the correct distinction has not been made. Let me clear things up - there are people who have sex with 17 year old horses, and there are people who don't have sex with 17 year old horses. You're either in one group or the other.

Divider not a Uniter
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

There are two kinds of people: those who divide people into groups and those who don't.

Alex
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary and those who don't.

fool for python
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

there are 10 kinds of people: those who are sick of the 'there are 10 kinds of people' joke, and those who are not.  And then EIGHT OTHER TYPES, making a total of TEN TYPES.

pds
Thursday, August 19, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home