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programming drunk

*hic* ...what a bad idea...

Its amazingly easy to do....Partners christmas party so we go and have a good time and now I get back and a client is screaming in pain because they've just found (after 3 months 'testing' time during which they apparently _weren't actually using the bloody program_) that some feature or other is just plain broken and suddenly its desperately urgent that they get it fixed immediately because of some weird series of events (did I mention they've had the damn thing for 3 months for them to test it...)...

gods..Im staring at it all and it reads like greek....then I started and finished in approx 1/2 the time it would usually have taken me.

<g> Ive put the fix in and sent if off and Im wondering what ive missed.....

any other stories?

Friday, December 12, 2003

Well, it's been said that "Drunk, the Russians beat back Napoleon. Drunk, the Russians beat back Hitler." And drunk, the Russians could've beaten back the good ole U.S. of A.?!

Here's hoping we Americans never find out for sure.

Beware the power of my stinky feet!
Friday, December 12, 2003

My freshman year I had a professor who swore that the best way to develop was code drunk, debug sober. :)

Brad Wilson (
Friday, December 12, 2003

I used to work at a very small ISP that was not very professionally run.  The president was in late one night and apparently got quite loaded at the keyboard.  He decided it would be a good idea to secure the systems a little more by changing all the passwords.  Of course, the next morning he frantically realized that he had no clue what his passwords were.  I got an urgent call at home and had to give him my personal password so that he could login as me and reset the passwords.  There was one router in particular that I don't think we EVER figured out the new password...

Friday, December 12, 2003

In my sophomore year of college, I'd had 3 months to work on a project, so naturally I didn't start until 4 days before it was due... unfortunately, I was too stressed out about the project before me to do any real work.

I eventually broke the stress by starting off my code marathon with 12 cheap-o watered down cans of "beer".  I started coding, and 88 hours later (with driving across VA to a fencing competition and back for fun), I finished the project and turned it in, 4 hours early... got an A even. :)

Greg Hurlman
Saturday, December 13, 2003

It's logical, even though I don't drink.  If drinking makes you more introverted, drawn into yourself, then code productivity following that is not a surprise.

Everyone is aware of some incident where they were deep into their tech thoughts, and rather a step out of syn with the normal flow of other people's lives.

I would assume you all have.

Brian R.
Saturday, December 13, 2003

Typing speed is down though, due to the vomit on the keyboard.

Running for cover
Saturday, December 13, 2003

once we (me + collegue) had a deadline on "next morning". the client expected it.

we bought 2 bottles of wine and pipe and started coding. 4 hours later we went home. we didn't give a about the deadline.

next morning i went to the office. all windows was open (pipe and cigarette), 2 bottles on the floor. my boss asked "i see you had a good time, how about the deadline".

"well, oops, we worked so hard, but we wasn't able to finish".

- he didn't fire us ... the project later turned into a relative success.

i was 19 at that time.
however i'm not proud of it right now (i'm 28), but it was fun :)

name not available
Saturday, December 13, 2003

I don't know about programming drunk, but I fixed an amplifier while drunk, at a party.

Except the fact that I had very little control over my fingers, and had to ask someone else to do things for me, it was ok, and the result was good.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

A lot of the great authors attest to a little drink illuminating and providing inspiration.


Saturday, December 13, 2003

No poems can please for long or live that are written by water-drinkers.
--  Horace  BC 65-8

Saturday, December 13, 2003

anybody tried under marihuana or other stuff?

what is the ultimate "tool" to increase this type of productivity? :)

name not available
Saturday, December 13, 2003

No question, speed.

This thread is history...

Saturday, December 13, 2003

You can program after smoking weed. It's just a bit more effort, and you have to take more care. Your thoughts proceed less in sequence, your short-term memory is inhibited, and there's an increased likelihood of having that "eureka!" feeling. That's a dangerous combination.

There's no guaranteed way of increasing your productivity with this kind of thing. Most fun drugs (i.e., not caffeine, and not nicotine) disturb thinking patterns, and unless your thinking in the matter is already done you'll probably find that what comes out the other end is no better (and often worse) than what you would have come up with anyway.

If your productivity is significantly increased after taking drugs, given that most drugs decrease boredom thresholds I suspect you're doing work that is barely more than routine.

Insert half smiley here.
Saturday, December 13, 2003

Replace "unless your thinking" with "even if your thinking".

(No... I'm not on drugs.)

Insert half smiley here.
Saturday, December 13, 2003

I often wonder if I was drunk when I look at some of my older code.


Saturday, December 13, 2003

I think I'm going to try this this weekend and see if I can make any progress on this project I've been spinning my wheels on for a week and a half...Being drunk does make the boring more palatable.  I've found that the only way I can motivate myself to clean my apartment is to do it under the influence...

Tim Lara
Sunday, December 14, 2003

I remember reading somebody's account of a particularly bad weekend: Finish project at a rush by friday deadline, and ship to customer half around the world. Go clubbing to celebrate your feat. Come home sometime saturday morning with still highly toxicated. Find a bug report from the customer asking for quid fix. Dive into code. Complete the fix, ship and crash to bed. Later saturday night go out again. Come sunday morning and find a new bug report claiming your 'fix' broke everything (small wonder). Spend the whole of next week trying to fiure out what the heck it was you did during those few hours saturday morning.

(No, it was not me. And yes I know this might be just another urban legend).

Sunday, December 14, 2003

philo: "I often wonder if I was drunk when I look at some of my older code."

you will say the same thing 5 years from now

name not available
Sunday, December 14, 2003

Yes, because that code won't have changed in 5 years from now... ;)

Just kidding :)

Luke Philpot
Monday, December 15, 2003

At a previous gig working on a large retail website (sales of +$1M USD each day) I was surprised to learn that a large portion of the core code was written whilst the lead programmer was drunk.  Needless to say we never really touched that code because it was mostly incoherent and instead ended up rewriting it.

Monday, December 15, 2003

I had a programmer working for me that was an semi-functional alcholic. He was completely incompetent and although eventually turned out a reasonable facimily to the product we wanted, it had to be tossed out and rewritten because the performance was atrocious.

Since he was hired by the R&D director, I couldn't fire him, although he was let go soon after the R&D director quit (before he was fired)

Our HR dept still gets queries from various states looking for this guy to get him to pay child support.

Monday, December 15, 2003

I find that being very very tired helps. I think it is because of the natural "tunnel vision" setting in which is comparable to flow.
Being just a bit tired is a killer though.

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, December 15, 2003

Just Me,

Hahaha!  I get the same way.  If I'm slightly tired (like I got one or two less hours of sleep than I'm used to) I am absolutely *useless* (I get very drowsy and not even caffeine helps).  After I cross a certain threshold of hours behind my body gives up and tries to carry on as usual without making me groggy.  I don't think I'm as productive (I tend to get get "head-slapper" stupid bugs) as I would be if I had a full-night's rest but I'm (oddly enough) way more productive than when I’ve only lost a few hours.

Monday, December 15, 2003

I had to quit smoking weed when I learned how to program. For me it was like this:

Me: "YEAH! that's so cool - Man! this is going to be the coolest e-commerce- B2B-FPS ever - now okay brain - that thing there can be the database connection variable, you remember that..."

Brain: mm-hhmm, yeah man, cool, got that.

Me: And now I need a list of all the NPC's - oh! - gimme that  - that db variable again?

Brain: Uhm..Man.Check out how that 7 looks like an upside down nose!

Me: Whoah - yeah...

Me:(out loud) That's cool! hehe! um. What  was I - doing again?

And so on. At the end of the day it was Creative Ideas -100%  Ability to implement or remember them - 0%

My Boss can do it though. Different for different folks, I guess.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

I had a mate who was on Ritalin. We had to pull an all-nighter and when I started flaking around 2 or 3am, he gave me one. And then another an hour or so later. I have never written so much quality code in such a short period of time. Haven't done it since but it sure was interesting.

Friday, December 19, 2003

When I was in College, my roommate worked in a neuro-pharm lab.  There was an experiment he hooked me up with where you took dexedrin (basically speed) and had to fill out personality tests every hour for four hours.  It was double-blind, once with a placebo, once with the real thing.  The first time, I experienced nothing. The second time, I wrote the final project for my CS class (a long program written in Assembler code) on a big pad of paper.

My girlfriend did the same experiment and filled her research notebook with 20 pages of notes that become the core of her PhD thesis.

j b
Friday, December 19, 2003

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