Since 1984, various versions of a document entitled "Real Programmers Don't Eat Quiche" have been circulating among computer professionals, and now generates over 25,000 hits, e.g.

See't_Eat_Quiche for more of a discussion of the mindset involved.


Real programmers don't eat quiche. They like Twinkies, Coke, and palate-scorching Szechwan food.

Real programmers don't write application programs. They program right down to the base-metal. Application programming is for dullards who can't do systems programming.

Real programmers don't write specs. Users should be grateful for whatever they get; they are lucky to get programs at all.

Real programmers don't comment their code. If it was hard to write, it should be even harder to understand and modify.

Real programmers don't document. Documentation is for simpletons who can't read listing or the object code from the dump.

Real programmers don't draw flowcharts. Flowcharts are, after all, the illiterate's form of documentation. Cavemen drew flowcharts; look how much good it did them.

Real programmers don't read manuals. Reliance on a reference is the hallmark of the novice and the coward.

Real programmers don't write in RPG. RPG is for the gum-chewing dimwits who maintain ancient payroll programs.

Real programmers don't write in COBOL. COBOL is for COmmon Business Oriented Laymen who can run neither a business nor a real program.

Real programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for wimp engineers who wear white socks. They get excited over the finite state analysis and nuclear reactor simulation.

Real programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for insecure anal retentives who can't choose between COBOL and FORTRAN.

Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers program in BASIC after reaching puberty.

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

Real programmers don't write in LISP. Only sissy programs contain more parentheses than actual code.

Real programmers don't write in PASCAL, ADA, BLISS, or any of those other sissy computer science languages. Strong typing is a crutch for people with weak memories.

Real programmers' programs never work right the first time. But if you throw them on the machine they can be patched into working order in a few 30 hour debugging sessions.

Real programmers don't work 9 to 5. If any real programmers are around at 9 A.M., it is because they were up all night.

Real programmers don't play tennis or any other sport which requires a change of clothes. Mountain climbing is OK, and real programmers wear climbing boots to work in case a mountain should spring up in the middle of the machine room.

Real programmers disdain structured programming. Structured programming is for compulsive neurotics who were prematurely toilet trained. They wear neckties and carefully line up sharp pencils on an otherwise clear desk.

Real programmers don't like the team programming concept. Unless, of course, they are the chief programmer.

Real programmers never write memos on paper. They send memos via mail.

Real programmers have no use for managers. Managers are a necessary evil. They exist only to deal with personnel bozos, bean counters, senior planners and other mental midgets.

Real programmers scorn floating point arithmetic. The decimal point was invented for pansy bedwetters who are unable to think big.

Real programmers don't believe in schedules. Planners make schedules. Managers firm up schedules. Frightened coders strive to meet schedules. Real programmers ignore schedules.

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine sells it, they eat it. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.