Jake’s First Rule of Computing

Back in 1994 I was one of the computer labs at the Levels Campus of the University of South Australia. I was a first year Computer Systems Engineering student, and was working with a small group on a class project. We huddled around the PC as one guy typed in the commands and the rest of us looked on.

I noticed that in this setting, humans seem to be unable to resist the urge to pronounce the typos of the person typing. I’m not sure why this is, and yet 11 years later, it is still a thing that we do.

It happened again just last week. We were in a meeting room at work, with the desktop of a team member’s laptop on the big screen, watching him type up a story for a product backlog. Sure enough, he mis-typed something, and sure enough, someone tried to pronounce it.

People will always pronounce your typos.

I coined this phrase “Jake’s First Rule of Computing”, back in 1994 in that computer lab, and it seems to have survived 11 years of technological development. Back on campus, we were using telnet to write C code on the Campus Unix machine (ah LUX, I remember you fondly). Last week, we were using WiFi, a 52″ plasma screen, and a web-app to manage the Agile development process we adopted the year prior for the Software as a Service product, running in a VM farm inside the company’s data center.

How times change, and yet some things never do.

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