Little Red Riding Hood was a story about not trusting strangers. Programming is about not trusting anything – especially yourself.
When talking about fairy tales, most people think of Disney princesses and happy endings. The original fairy tales, however, were dark stories full of violence where things rarely worked out well for the characters.
Take Little Red Riding Hood. In the modern version of the tale, Little Red Riding Hood and her grandma are eaten by a wolf and later freed unharmed. The people in the 17th century knew better, however – back then the story ended with the wolf having a nice meal and both Little Red and granny died. Earlier versions of the tale are even worse – sometimes have the wolf tricking the girl to eat her grandma. It’s messed up.
Programming is kind of like a fairy tale – most regular people see programmers as magicians who turn coffee into code until perfectly working apps appear. While sometimes the code just works (though you may not know why), more often than not it’s a much darker story. Half the time you don’t know why, and when you do figure it out then half the time it was your fault. If you throw legacy code into the mix, then someone or something will almost certainly die.
But the biggest similarity between programming and fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood boils down to this – do not trust anything.
What else you got? Any more programming comics?
This is not the first programming fairy tale we’ve told. We also wrote about how to save the princess with programming. There is also the story about slaying dragons with programming, which ends just as poorly.
If you think we should attempt to solve another fairy tale with code, just let us know in the comments.
What is Toggl?
Toggl is a simple time tracking app that helps you see where you’re spending your working hours. It’s pretty popular with developers and while it won’t make writing code easier it will at least help you get paid fairly for your time.
But we don’t just do time tracking – we’ve also developed a couple of other tools to make running a business easier. There is also Toggl Plan, a beautiful project planning tool. We also built Toggl Hire, which helps companies hire people with online skill tests.
Check them out – we think you’ll like them.
Mart has a background in anthropology - a discipline which has turned people-watching into a science. He most enjoys working on projects that make you go from “that’s stupid” to “hmmm”.