Don't try to speak my language

Josh Sherman
3 min read

You may think you’re being cute. You may even think you’re being relevant. The fact is, you come across like someone that’s out of touch and trying too damn hard.

I know you don’t mean it that way, and I think I may actually empathize with you a small bit. The thing is, I consider you offensive and you’re doing nothing but pushing me away. That may actually be a good thing, perhaps you don’t even want me around ;)

This rant is brought to you in part by the FirstWaVE Venture Center located in my least favorite place in the world, Tampa, FL (more on that later). The supposed tech accelerator / co-working space recently moved and launched a new website. At the top of the site, a mangled pseudo-code snippet that does nothing more than make me want to drink away the pain.

The snippet in question is this:

If (self.location="wave"){ += 100; increase_developer_friends(); }

I know it’s petty for me to feel the way I do, but that’s just how I am (because Pisces). Personally, I don’t think it’s petty to think that places should do their best to seem professional or at the very least, especially in technology, sound like they are relevant. This is the same reason I berate recruiters that send me bullshit emails about jobs that no one wants.

So this code snippet, all it tells me is that the location in question (FirstWaVE Venture Center) is completely out of touch with programmers. At the most topical aspect, the code is inconsistently formatted. Why is the if capitalized and why isn’t there a space before the opening parenthesis?

To dig deeper into it, the fucking conditional in absolutely wrong. Last I checked, most (if not all) languages that use = and == have clear rules for assignment versus comparison. Not just that, but is just going to keep being incremented by 100 every time self.location is set to be wave? Don’t even get me started on the undefined function that’s referenced.

“So Josh, since you’re so damn opinionated, what would you change the code snippet to?”. I wouldn’t change it to anything, because it’s all just too subjective. I would simply delete it and take all of the guess work out of it.

Delete! Delete! Delete!

I get it, you’re trying to speak to people that are in technology. Turns out, we actually communicate in plain English (or whatever your native tongue is), not in code or science fiction references or whatever the hell other stereotype you can throw our way. You wouldn’t try to talk to a plumber in a series of drain and pipe references, would you? I seriously hope not. So why try to talk to me in code?

It all comes off condescending, to me at least. It’s like you think we’re fucking cave dwelling sub-humans or something. I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way, but that’s how you make me feel. Thanks a lot, time for another drink I suppose.

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About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Engineering Manager and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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