Origin Story

So, what’s up with the name of this blog, you ask? Well, pull up a chair and let me tell you a story.

Many years ago, I worked for a time at a company that was a subsidiary of an Israeli company. At one point I found myself working on a project that integrated some of our local code with code from the home office in Tel Aviv. I don’t remember a whole bunch about the project, except that it went poorly and was perpetually behind schedule. The main programmer in Israel and I exchanged many frustrated emails typified by our inability to communicate effectively. The language barrier was a palbable, living thing; a great wall that stood between us and understanding.

Finally, one night, in a desperate effort to move things forward, I stayed at the office really, really late so that we could talk on the phone. I don’t remember how late exactly, but it was a serious inconvenience for me. As far as I can remember part of the conversation went down like this:

Me: Okay, I understand that there’s a problem. Can you tell me what the error message says, exactly, so that I can debug it?

Him: No is workee. Your code is suck.

Me: Huh.

… and scene.

(Quick note: It is not my intent to mock anyone for whom English is a second language. It’s more to acknowledge that language difference occasionally give rise to funny moments. Heck, he spoke at least some English. I spoke no Hebrew. Then again, I don’t get super warm fuzzies towards this guy either, because, no matter how poorly we communicated, it was clear that he was deliberately trying to insult me, or at least my code.)

As I recall I took a couple of deep breaths and tried again. In the end we got it to work, and I don’t really remember whose code was at fault. It certainly could have been mine, though I like to believe that my code generally is not suck.

Through the years since I’ve told this story to many of my co-workers and programmer type friends. Back when I was part of a two-man consulting business, we used to tease each other with the phrase all the time. People have even told me I should get t-shirts made. (If you agree, let me know. I just might do it. I gotta save for retirement somehow, you know.)

Just recently, when I finally decided to get off my butt and start writing a blog, of all the names that I came up with, YourCodeIsSuck.com was the one that stuck. (Though “Crateful of Charientisms” will always hold a special place in my heart.)

So, welcome to my humble blog. I hope you like it. It will not all be about programming and computer things, but I am a huge nerd, so expect some nerding out.

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