wat the wtf do programmers use as debug strings?

November 6, 2013

Yesterday I tweeted this:

No matter if it’s a puts, alert, console.log, System.out.println, or echo, it seems my go-to debug message is always “wat”. What’s yours?

— Zach Holman (@holman) November 6, 2013

Programmers, ever lacking in productive things to do in life, started responding in droves.

The replies constituted the most important development in computer science since the GOTO statement. You can’t determine debug strings via static analysis, because hopefully no one’s checking these debug strings directly into source control.



Top ten responses

I received 372 replies to this tweet. The top ten responses are:

15% of you mentioned or referenced swear words, and a full 5% were poo-related. Two people use “i like cheese” as their go-to debug phrase.

I’ve also dumped the full list as json and more-readable plaintext on Gist.

Programmers, go figure

I also got some responses that made me love programmers even more than I already do. You people are weird though. Some of you have anger problems. You should get those checked.

@holman also, "HOLD ME CLOSE TONY DANZA". I don't know why.

— Jamie Winsor (@resetexistence) November 6, 2013

@holman I almost always use "abacate". Portuguese for avocado. I don't have a clue why, though.

— Guilherme Nogueira (@nirev) November 6, 2013

@holman mine is "you got here" or "this is the place within the brackets!"

— Sara Chipps (@SaraJChipps) November 6, 2013

@holman "panda" ALWAYS. who doesn't want to see a panda?

— Andrea Gaither (@angramify) November 6, 2013

@holman 'foo', 'bar, 'should work', 'damnit', 'dicks', 'motherfucker'. In order of how long I have been debugging the problem.

— Michael Lange (@DingoEatingFuzz) November 6, 2013

@holman “fuckassshitfuck” no lies

— Michael Koziarski (@nzkoz) November 6, 2013

@holman "programming is stupid I hate computers who invented this fucking profession anyway"

— Brandon Tilley (@BinaryMuse) November 6, 2013

Happy debugging.