Real programmers don't write specs. Users should consider themselves lucky to get anything

Real programmers write their own assemblers, preferably in LISP.

Real programmers aren't afraid to use GOTO's.

Real programmers don't eat quiche. They eat junk food and drink Coca Cola.

Real programmers know better than the users what they need.

Real programmers don't draw flowcharts. Cavemen drew flowcharts, and look where it got them.

Real programmers don't write in COBOL. Applications programming is for sissies.

Real programmers know structured and object oriented programming are communist plots

Real programmers use xor in everyday conversation

Real programmers don't produce results. They just return exit codes

Real programmers don't write in APL, unless the whole program can be written in one line.

Real programmers can write assembly code in any language.' - Larry Wall

Real programmers never grow old. They suffer from bugs in their DNA.

Real programmers never grow old. They suffer from burnouts or monumental crashes.

Real programmers write self-modifying code

Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no one past puberty writes in BASIC.

Real programmers write executable code directly with a binary editor

Real programmers don't write in LISP, or any language with more parentheses than code

real operating system = R = RSN

Real Programmer n.

[indirectly, from the book "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche"] A particular sub-variety of hacker: one possessed of a flippant attitude toward complexity that is arrogant even when justified by experience. The archetypal `Real Programmer' likes to program on the bare metal and is very good at same, remembers the binary opcodes for every machine he has ever programmed, thinks that HLLs are sissy, and uses a debugger to edit his code because full-screen editors are for wimps. Real Programmers aren't satisfied with code that hasn't been bummed into a state of tenseness just short of rupture. Real Programmers never use comments or write documentation: "If it was hard to write", says the Real Programmer, "it should be hard to understand." Real Programmers can make machines do things that were never in their spec sheets; in fact, they are seldom really happy unless doing so. A Real Programmer's code can awe with its fiendish brilliance, even as its crockishness appalls. Real Programmers live on junk food and coffee, hang line-printer art on their walls, and terrify the crap out of other programmers -- because someday, somebody else might have to try to understand their code in order to change it. Their successors generally consider it a Good Thing that there aren't many Real Programmers around any more. For a famous (and somewhat more positive) portrait of a Real Programmer, see "The Story of Mel" in Appendix A. The term itself was popularized by a letter to the editor in the July 1983 Datamation titled "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal" by Ed Post, still circulating on Usenet and Internet in on-line form. Typing "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal" into a web search engine should turn up a copy.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

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