64

What's a programming answer you really hate to hear, yet give out yourself on many occasions?

For me, it's got to be "It depends...".

313 accepted

Works on my machine!

59

"If you reboot, it should work fine."

58

"Yeah, I've been meaning to fix that."

44

It fixed itself.

44

When asking 'Is it done yet?' for progress report:

"It's practically done. I'm working on some final details, but it is practically complete."

And then find that it is not even code complete, full of bugs, not tested, not documented, not integrated, and probably not even checked into source control.

Of course, on the other side, just asking 'is it done yet?' every couple of days is not the best way of measuring progress.

39

"That's weird..."

38

"That problem isn't in my code. Talk to ..."

26

Are you using Internet Explorer? (for some of our older/contractor developed internal apps)

26

"I wrote that a long time ago when I didn't know what I was doing."

24

"It works for me!"

24

"I can't reproduce that error"

21

"It works as designed."

19

A total classic that a fellow Software Engineer of mine used to say is:

Drum roll please....

Of course it works! But no, I haven't tested it.

18

"That's not a problem, that's a feature!"

15

"We're aware of the problem and it will be fixed in a future patch."

14

"It's complicated."

14

"That's going away in a couple years anyway."

Hear it every day at my job.

13

"This really needs a complete rewrite."

"This isn't the way I would have done it."

10

"Did you read the documentation?" or "Look on Google"

If I hadn't done these already, I wouldn't be asking.

10

This suffers intermittent failures. I have no idea why.

9

"Have you installed all the service packs?"

9

"Yeah, I haven't had time to finish that yet."

8

"I can't look at that until you file a bug report."

"I can't start on that until the spec is finalized."

"I can't test until someone sets up a testing environment."

8

"That should be easy" spoken within earshot of a customer upon hearing a new feature request and prior to analysis.

6

It all depends on context. And yes that's also my answer.

5

Thats the way I was told to program it.

5

"We don't have time to insert best practice here. We'll tackle this in the next insert sprint, release, iteration here."

As the saying goes, "... you must have time to do it again."

4

Ran into this one just today too:

"I'm not sure how this has ever worked!"

3

Focus on clarify and maintainability first, performance later. :-)

I hate to hear it because (even though I recognise the truth of the statement) there's a machine in my brain that just wants to optimise everything. :-)

P.S. I don't know who's been deleting the thread comments, but my point was that I renamed the post to reduce its chances of being closed again. Seriously, JaredPar, I'm doing you a favour. :-)

3

Hey!! I am just a consultant. don't have access to the system for debugging.. :)

3

Once when I was arguing with a QA guy about a bug, I was surprised by his response..

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you...blah blah"

3

its not an issue with our software , its an error due to XXX

3

"But sales said..." or "You have to use IE."

3

"The behaviour is by design."

3

Insert any Yes or No question here

Maybe

2

"Can you get me a hex dump?"

2

My colleague loves to say "I'm just an intern". Well at least now he's been contracted, he cannot use that one anymore.

2

You have version 3.4.2.0957. Your problem was fixed on version 3.4.2.1243.

2

"You'll have to lay it out with tables"

2

"Rebooting the machine fixed the issue."

2

"You have to upgrade. But before you upgrade that you have to upgrade these four other things which need another six things upgraded..."

2

"I did [something to circumvent a problem] because [some other component didn't work the way I expected] for some reason."

To clarify: it drives me nuts to hear that someone wrote a non-obvious piece of code in response to a problem they didn't even try to understand properly! Even more so when that someone is me. .-)

2

30 more minutes and it should be fixed (over and over again)

2

That sounds like a classic hardware issue.

2

In response to a reported bug:

"Well, the system wasn't meant to be used that way."

2

"I don't know. Try it now."

I get that one any time I make the mistake of calling a helpdesk number.

2

I'm afraid to touch that code

2

When reporting a bug to the programmer: "Oh... You found it..."

2

"You only have to install X first"

Where X is .NET Framework, Java VM, XNA Runtime, Flashplayer, DirectX Redistributable etc etc.

2

"You didn't use the app the way it was designed to be used... "

In other words: user insufficient ;-)

1

"It doesn't compile on my machine" -"But... it works on mine."

1

Do you have steps to dupe. If not come back when you do.

1

"Did you try a full rebuild?"

1

"that's a legacy issue" is my particular worst offence.

1

Don't blame me. The guys over in building D changed the spec and didn't think of the consequence it would have.

1

Could you restart the program, machine...it should works then.

1

I didn't ask you to find bugs, I asked you to fix them!

1

Why are you trying to do X ?

1

"Go ask on Stack Overflow first and then talk to me"

1

"It's not enough to be right. You also have to be smart."

(Can be used for office politics or any other reason :)

1

In response to a team member whose code wont compile...

Try restarting your IDE...

Sadly, this actually works 50% of the time.

1

"it's not our product, it's your environment"

Unfortunately that much is true so much of the time, particularly when interfacing to MS protocols and then some charming sysadmin installs the latest beta crap and it all stops working.

1

We are still prioritizing that fix

1

Check The Top Ten Lies of Engineers by Guy Kawasaki.

1

"There is no such thing as 'clever/beautiful code'."

Programmers have no sense for aesthetics ;-)

1

On an existing code base...

The person who wrote this should have done it this way, but don't change it.

0

Or, even worse: "jist getter done"

0

"That will have to go on a separate work order. It's not in the functional specs."

I always hate to hear this for small and easy to add additions to apps - but I say it too.

0

"Ask the Internet"

0

"Yes, but..."

0

It only happens on environment X.

I hate environmental issues :(

0

"Did you Google It?" Or "Just Google it."

0

Bug? That's a feature!

0

My favorite/worst:

RTFM

0

The end user changed the defualts in web.config and it broke....

and its sister...

Dont change the default value, if we wanted it changed we would have made THAT the default value....

0

"I wrote it in Java"

0

Without having to tink about it: "It works on my machine". That drives me crazy !

0

It can't be done with that language, you need to use [C++/ASM] instead.

...we work with .Net mostly and am frequently asked to make some piece of legacy hardware work which only has Windows 3.1 drivers or some such.

0

That's not a bug, it's a feature...

0

"It's not a bug, it's a feature!"

0

What did Valgrind say?

0

A few of my classics:

  • "That should still work"
  • "You want to do WHAT?!?"
  • "What do you mean by..."
  • "Could I show you this..."
0

"That should take about a day to do."

0

"It depends..."

0

When they say: "As designed."

0

"It works as specified."

...where "specified" means "The spec does not specifically mention this".

0

Hands down: "I'm almost done."

0

"It can be fixed"

0

I'll look into it.