Sunday, October 28, 2007

You Know You're an Engineer When...

by Niniane Wang, Tom Wang

1. When you agree with someone, instead of saying "Yeah" or "Okay", you say "Obviously" or "Clearly."

2. You think Track 1 of the CD is the second song on the album.

3. There are things you wouldn't do for $1000, that you would do to win a free T-shirt.

4. You've never dated anyone who doesn't use vi.

5. You've never dated anyone.

6. You think the author line of this article should be written as "{Niniane, Tom} Wang".

7. "Big O" has a totally different meaning to you.


Ryan said...

...or you think track 2 of the cd is the first song on the album, because track 1 is the data track. (obviously.)

Strider Aragorn said...

I agree with the last two..

Anonymous said...

I use emacs. Oh, well. You don't know what you're missing out on. :-)

Dazhi said...

what does big o mean to an engineer?

Anonymous said...

In point 6, the space after the comma breaks the bash expression:

% touch Niniane
% touch Tom
% ls {Niniane,Tom}
Niniane Tom
% ls {Niniane, Tom}
ls: Tom}: No such file or directory
ls: {Niniane,: No such file or directory

In point 4, why would an engineer refuse to date someone who doesn't use the roman numeral for 6? That's almost as dumb as not preferring to use the Vi editor.

Otherwise LGTM.

Anonymous said...

Thr Big "O"

6. big o

the city of Omaha, Nebraska located in the midwest of the United States. Known for it's corn-fed cattle, rich man Warren Buffett, and popular independent record label, Saddle Creek. Often signified by the capital letter O and an exclamation mark- O!

Biao said...

8. To check out a package also has a different meaning.

9. You don't giggle when you tell someone to touch a file, to check out the man pages, or install something in a rack. Or maybe you do.

10. You've asked for cables with male and female parts.

metal said...

The guys asking about number 7:

I'm a little rusty, but I believe it has to do with how long it takes an algorithm to process a data set.

You write out some machine instructions and Big O is a vague description for how long it'll take for the instructions to go through a given set of information.

"5. You've never dated anyone."

See thats just wrong. Why would you put salt into someones wounds.

Anonymous said...


Clearly it is because Niniane hates engineers.

Niniane said...


"self-hating bigot"?

ArC said...

It's 2007; even the lowest-spec consumer PC you can possibly find has more than enough memory for several users all running emacs.


ArC said...

I mean seriously. "eight megs and constantly swapping" is completely ludicrous now. I lose track of more memory than that before breakfast!

Anonymous said...

There's also the fact that emacs is bloated, confusing, unergonomic, often slow to start up, and not as ubiquitous as vi.

Anonymous said...

"emacs" = "escape+meta+alt+control+shift"

Philipp Lenssen said...

8. You are oblivious to social etiquette by posting a top 10 list with only 7 items

Joshua said...

Hmmm...then how do you know when you are an "engineering manager"

Joshua said...

btw, I hope this helps:
The Big O

Sort of an improved "Batman:TAS", with a more engaging background narrative and a robot Robin. Overall, an improved, more accessible and useful implementation of the playboy crime crusader character. Like emacs to Vi, if you will.

Anonymous said...

what happened to the MSFT at 35 post?

Mike said...

It's comforting to know that people at Google use vi (and/or emacs). I would really like it if you could write about tricks you use to get "un-stuck" on a thorny bug or programming challenge. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Niniane, please finger me.

Seneca the Younger said...

8. You are oblivious to social etiquette by posting a top 10 list with only 7 items

Its octal, silly.

ArC said...

Its octal, silly.

0) Then Phillip would have said a Top 010 List.

1) There's still only 7 items.

10) People expect a decimal top 10 list, not top 8; this ain't Discworld.

BYTE me said...

Come on ..

We all know it is the top

0111 list..

Those who do not know this can Nibble me.

But a good engineer would call it the

0000 0111 list....

This would leave more flexibility
for creeping requirements
and future enhancements.

Engineers who do not do this can BYTE me.

Go optimize yourself.

Optimize = Debug in a nice way

Anonymous said...

I think I have a little crush on arc...

Anonymous said...

I think the "Big O" to a engineer means Big O Tires??????

As far as the dating are stretching it with the claim never dated. Never dated the same person more than once is way more realistic.

When a person is now a engineering manager is when they stop being a engineer and become a babysitter. When they realize that suspenses outweigh full creativity (in other words, stifle creativity/quality in the name of the bottomline, arguably the purist engineer's worst nightmare)

Anonymous said...

No, Big O doesnt refer to big O tires. *rolls eyes.
Anyone with half a brain would google that. =P

Mike said...

Two great resources about run-time ("big O"):
Introduction to Algorithms
Data Structures and Algorithms

The first few chapters of each book deal with runtime.

ArC said...

I think I have a little crush on arc...

"No one likes Milhouse!"

LoB said...

"2. You think Track 1 of the CD is the second song on the album."

That one made me laugh