(I reference this so often that I figured I’d better post this here)
Threes, Rev 1.1
By Elms and L. Fish
Deep in Engineering down where mortals seldom go,
A manager and customer come looking for a show,
They pass amused among us and they sign in on the log,
They’ve come to see our pony, and they’ve come to see our dog.
Three things you should be wary of: a new kid in their prime,
Someone with all the answers, and the code that runs first time.
Summoned from our cubicles to conference rooms we go;
We bring our dog and pony cause we know they want a show.
Watching as we enter with a shifty routine eye,
The customer sits waiting in his pinstripe suit and tie.
Three things never trust in there: a vendor’s final bill,
The promises your boss makes, and the customer’s good will.
The pony kicks his heels up as the doggy does his trick,
And hands are waved with vigor as we lay it on — real thick.
The customer just watches as we do this song and dance,
Then reaches for his briefcase scarcely giving us a glance.
Three things see no end: a loop with exit code gone wrong,
A semaphore untested, and the verses of this song.
From briefcase then there comes a list of things we must revise,
All before within the room are taken by surprise.
And all but four are thinking of their last job with remorse:
The customer, the manager, the doggy and the horse.
Three things hold no secret: files that somehow hit the net,
Your boss’s secretary, and the third thing — I forget…
First thirty-seven changes that somehow we must add in,
Then twenty one new features show up much to our chagrin.
And this thing’s just inadequate, and that one’s just plain wrong,
And by the way, your schedule is about three months too long.
Three things it is better for that only you should know:
How much you’re paid, the schedule pad, and what is just for show.
The customer proceeds to go through each change line by line,
Excruciating detail that no logic can define.
When it ends there’s only four not sitting there aghaw:
The customer, the manager, the pony and the dog.
Three things never anger: first the one who runs your DEC,
The one who does your backups, and the one who signs your check.
Now we here all are software types who spend ours days and nights
Embedded in the system down among the bits and bytes,
And none but us can tell full well the damage done today,
It’s for what they do not know for which they’re gonna have to pay!
Three things are most perilous: connectors that corrode, new
Unproven algorithms, and self-modifying code.
The manager and customer are quick to leave our bunch,
They take the dog and pony and they all go out for lunch,
Now how will we revenge ourselves on those who raise our ire?
Self-destructive code that goes the day the warranties expire!
(Taken from http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/91q3/dogpony.html)