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Why Programmers Don’t “Get It”

I saw this post on Coding Horror yesterday, and I immediately know that this will be one of those “Oh boy!” moments. The post asks a simple question:

Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, you met someone who told you they had two children, and one of them is a girl. What are the odds that person has a boy and a girl?

OK, I was a professional programmer myself, and still do quite a bit of programming work now. Nevertheless, I knew that the answer to this question proves that programmers tend to want to be technically correct even at the expense of being seen as an idiot.

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The Fallacy Of A “Win-Win Situation”

One of the phrases I hear often but find to be totally self-contradicting is “This is a win-win situation!” That phrase annoys the heck out of me! It’s one of those paradoxes that proves the nonsensical nature of the very message it tries to project.

The thing is there can’t be a winner without a loser. In a so-called “win-win situation”, who is the loser? Isn’t the loser the same people that “won”? Isn’t it more accurate that whatever outcome that was described as a “win-win situation” was actually a draw?

Yes, that’s exactly what happened. You didn’t win. Your opponent didn’t win. You stalemated. It’s as simple as that. Trying to describe such situations as “win-win” is ridiculous.

So the next time you’re itching to use this cliched phrase; bite your tongue, drop the pen, move your hand away from the keyboard. The “win-win situation” thing has been overused to oblivion.

Just tell the situation as it is; the best compromise, equally beneficial middle path, fair and square… anything that doesn’t imply that either (or neither for that matter) party is “winning”.

Of Inverted Flags And Net Censorship

I haven’t posted anything for over two weeks now. Traditionally, I usually post something about Merdeka or Awal Ramadhan, but this year I skipped writing about them.

Out of the two, I feel particular disconnected from writing about Merdeka. On one side of the fence, there are calls from some bloggers for the Malaysian flag to be hung upside down as a sign that our nation is in distress. What a crock of shit!

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The Only Thing That’s Consistent Is Inconsistency


Photo Credit: Jean-François Chénier

Regular HTNet visitors will know that I’ve left my comfortable job as an Analyst Programmer to venture into the world of entrepreneurship. I’ve taken the first steps to set up a private limited company and the process will take around ten days.

Under Malaysian law, a private limited company must have at least two directors. I’ve approached a close friend to join me in setting up the company one and a half months ago. This friend of mine knows next to nothing about IT. However, he has wide experience in marketing from credit cards to cars and property among other things.

He wants a 50% stake in the venture and I have no problems with that. All I wanted in return was for him to cough up 50% of the starting capital, which he agrees is a fair deal. Nevertheless, as lunch break of my last day at work comes, I have nothing concrete from him at all.

I sent him an SMS asking if he’s still committed to the plan, and informing him that I’ll be meeting my tax/account advisor the next morning to iron out the details of registering the company. I got no response from him until 8:18pm, a good eight hours and eight minutes from when I sent my inquiry.

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Last Few Days As An Employee

Future Business Tycoon

Photo Credit: Jason Mulcahy

The past few days has been weird to say the least. I’m spending my last few days at the company and due to our ridiculously red taped policies, I have to get every HOD to sign what they call an exit clearance form.

What’s so bad about the clearance form? Well, I don’t use or have in my possession 95% of the things listed on it. In fact, it’s like collecting autographs from buddies you met in some event.

Ah well, I just have to bear with it. It’s part and parcel of the job and organisation anyway. Thankfully, it’s just a once-off process.

Nevertheless, I know I made the right decision to leave. Why? I just don’t feel a tinge of sadness nor regret. In fact, I have a feeling of deja vu. It’s like this whole process was meant to be and I’m the one who will be coming up tops in this process.

It just reassures me that everything will be OK. No, I’m very sure things will turn out super for me.

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