09 May 2007

Insights into the Hacker Worldview

From David Miller, one of the most senior kernel hackers, comes this little story:

Say you've been doing nothing for the past few weeks except looking for a real nasty and hard to trigger bug. You think you're getting close and the one piece of debugging information is just around the corner, perheps the next build or the one after that will spit out the debugging message you need to find the bug. All the rest of your work is being blocked by this problem, you have to fix it.

You've been drinking coffee all day, and guzzling water as well.

So now you have to go REALLY BAD, you're about to pee your pants. What do you do? Do you go to the toilet and take care of things or you cross your legs as hard as humanly possible thinking "just one more build, just one more" for the next half hour?

If you're one of the ones who would go to the toilet you're not a programmer.


doctormo said...

Don't be daft, going to the toilet for me lets my eyes take a break and my mind wander into the problem space without the computer. there are times I've come back and known how to solve a bug in a unique way or found better ways to debug.

If you really need all of your brain power to go to the toilet.... I dunno doesn't seem right.

Remember to take screen breaks.

Glyn Moody said...

As a non-hacker, I couldn't possibly comment. Maybe there are different schools of hacking...?