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 at http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Développeur. 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. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dépassement_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!