Omne trium perfectum

Gert-Jan van de Streek

Gert-Jan van de Streek

Published: 8 January, 2016

Lazy developers are the best developers. Search for that and you will find numerous articles trying to explain you why. This assertion has always annoyed me greatly. Not because it is inherently wrong, on the contrary, but because something is missing. And as all good things come in threes, there has to be more. I knew it was Larry Wall, the author of Perl, that initiated the story about laziness, so I looked up what else he said:

  1. Laziness: The quality that makes you go to great effort to reduce overall energy expenditure. It makes you write labor-saving programs that other people will find useful and document what you wrote so you don't have to answer so many questions about it.
  2. Impatience: The anger you feel when the computer is being lazy. This makes you write programs that don't just react to your needs, but actually anticipate them. Or at least pretend to.
  3. Hubris: The quality that makes you write (and maintain) programs that other people won't want to say bad things about.

Now that makes a complete story. Even the explanation for laziness is far more convincing than any derived piece of writing I have ever seen: '...go to great effort...'. Sounds lazy to you?
But the best part comes at the end: Hubris. Excessive pride. The quality that makes you write programs that other people won't want to say bad things about. Well said Larry. Oh, and he mentioned maintainance as well. Don't miss that.

Next time you write about laziness, don't skip part 2 and 3.

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