How To Appear To Be A Sophisticated Programmer

During the economic apocalypse it will be increasingly important to stand out from all the other programmers applying for the few remaining jobs. It would certainly help if you appear to be the most sophisticated programmer. There are many ways to become a sophisticated programmer. You could write a book, master test driven design, contribute to an open source project, or use a lot of design pattern lingo like “factory method” to elevate yourself above the other code monkeys. But none of those things is as likely to impress as sprinkling a few phrases of French in your conversations.

Casual use of French distinguished the aristocracy from the lower class. It was the mark of an educated man. French is heard so seldom today that you are sure to seem special if you drop the F bomb (as in French bomb). In order to pick up the French vocabulary relating to programming, read through some articles on the French version of WikiPedia atéveloppeur. Follow the articles connexes to find related articles with additional vocabulary.

Here are some suggestions on how to sprinkle French in your conversations at work. Let’s suppose you are concerned about a buffer overflow in your application which could be a security risk. You will want to bring this to the attention of your chef de projet (project manager). You could say something like this, “Monsieur, je pense que nous avons un dépassement de tampon.”. Yes, you got that right! L’Académie française in it’s efforts to avoid un anglicisme has decided that a buffer overflow should be called un dépassement de tampon. Now you might think the word overflow became tampon but it is actually the French word for buffer, what you use to stop the flow.épassement_de_tampon

However, if you have a race condition you would use the phrase une situation de compétition.

If you speak enough French to seem like you know the language you may even be transferred to France where all the programmers speak English. There are no French programming languages, not even Pascal or Eiffel uses French words for the syntax, and all the documentation is in English. But at least you’ll get a free European vacation and France just might avoid the economic apocalypse that dooms us all. Bonne chance!

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14 Responses to How To Appear To Be A Sophisticated Programmer

  1. Max says:

    Learn to speak Indian instead since almost all sophisticated programmers seem to be from India. lol.

    by the way, i am not from India.


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  4. Huh! Très très drôle … and I guess dropping TDD for a native French speaker in French speaking world would help shine too? Oh wait! since “French is heard so seldom today”, this is absolutely true for them too? Jean-Claude Van Damme sort de ce corps!


  5. @Max That would be Hindi. Indian programmers speak English. Hey! I just realized that WordPress does not support threaded comments. I should find a plugin to fix that or write my own.


  6. @Ousmane The French might be impressed by Italian. I know the Germans love to vacation in Italy because it is warmer in the south.


  7. florin says:

    Guys, no reasons to use French. Use Hebrew or Romanian. It’s all Greek anyways.


  8. SeanJA says:

    @Robert S. Robbins: Actually… WordPress does, if you are fully upgraded and use a theme that supports it.


    Robert S. Robbins Reply:

    I installed a plugin for threaded comments.


  9. rubayeet says:

    where I am from, speaking good English is considered an asset.


  10. alepuzio says:

    >Germans love to vacation in Italy
    Generally the German turist visit to Northen-Italy (milan, Trentino, Emilia Romagna) or Rome, not the warmer zones (the Southern Italy).

    >France just might avoid the economic apocalypse that dooms us all.
    The France (as Italy, Germany and the most of Europe) is’nt in a better economic situation because the engine for the economy is the USA. This States haven’t a lot of job occasions in software production for the outsourcing in other States (like Romania, India, etc)



  11. Sly says:

    Hi, some thoughts from France here 😉

    First, I must say I’m impressed by your motivation in learning French, and that’s great for my chauvinism 😛

    Alas, your advice seems quite weird since the best practice is to develop in english, even in France, and most tech-teams (and finance!) are known for their “franglais” and english jargon anyway.
    Plus, you should always write code for your colleagues to read, so even for me french should be forbidden in any non-french team.

    They are widely regarded as toys or heresies, but there are some you can find 🙂
    – the macros in the french editions for Excel (non-portable!) and FileMaker.
    – Windev, webdev, ALGOL and COBOL have options to “understand” french.
    – You may also be interested in
    and some instructions from the french-made “GOTO++”

    @Robert S. Robbins: I don’t think the french would be particularly impressed by and Italian-speaker…

    Merci pour l’article, et bon courage !


    Robert S. Robbins Reply:

    Merci pour votre commentaire! I will try a few of the French programming languages.


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