DEV Community 👩‍💻👨‍💻

Shobhit🎈✨
Shobhit🎈✨

Posted on

What is the funniest thing a non-developer has asked you about code?

For me, it was a client who was scared about the language I'll use and had to ask this:

I just couldn't control my laughter. :)

What's yours?

Top comments (18)

Collapse
ben profile image
Ben Halpern

That statement you wrote is ignorant on so many levels that transcend tech.

As far as my answer, I try not to blame or shame non-tech folks for "dumb questions" or stuff like that, but I've definitely had my share of funny or frustrating moments.

One time, in the midst of some technical debt which was making it hard for me to update our admin interface in a timely manner the client started insisting we change to Wordpress. I tried to explain that not only can we not "just change to Wordpress", but it made absolutely no sense for this app I had built and furthermore I don't know Wordpress beyond a passing knowledge of how it works.

Somehow he insisted on arguing my points with no actual basis for any of his points. That project eventually fell apart altogether.

Collapse
avapitambare profile image
Avadhoot Pitambare

A very long time ago someone had asked me if a colour hard disk was required to store colour photos.

Collapse
shobhitic profile image
Shobhit🎈✨ Author

Hahahaha! Probably interpolated from a coloured printer is needed for coloured printing.

Collapse
kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman • Edited on

I've had people (more than one, a long time ago) tell me they were scared to change OS settings or scripting code because they were afraid they would accidentally create a virus.

Collapse
mwalden profile image
Matthew Walden

I mean, tell them to run rm -rf /* and they'll be virus free! forever!

Collapse
scottishross profile image
Ross Henderson

Our manager, who isn't a developer but isn't stupid, likes trying to say things when the other dev and I are talking as if he's trying to help. He's making a joke, but it's sometimes hilarious.

Once we were in a meeting withour Database Admin and he was talking about moving to AWS and my manager is trying to get it all sorted. And the DBA asked why we wanted to move to AWS in the first place, and my manager replied with "Because we want an easy and secure way to encrypting our data at rest".

All devs looked at each other and was like "Holy crap he said something right!". Manager was dead proud of himself, until a few sentences later, we're talking about column encryption and the drawbacks, he said "We'll just put it in a PL/SQL block... No? Okay I'll shut up".

Collapse
rhymes profile image
rhymes

HAHAHAHA awesome meetings you have :D

Collapse
lfsmith profile image
LFSmith

At School I once had a teacher insist that the dropdowm effect of menu needs to be implemented in PHP because JavaScript is to slow.

Collapse
ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Collapse
lfsmith profile image
LFSmith • Edited on

Yep, that was my reaction he also remained stubborn when I tried to explain the difference my webtech techear teacher later suggested one should handle such a request by supplying a PHP script that does nothing else than serve a javascript function to the client

Collapse
spookylukey profile image
Luke Plant

That doesn't strike me as an unreasonable question actually. I've seen code bases programmed in non English languages (I saw French once) - even if you are using a programming language like Python that uses lots of English keywords, the programmer chooses names of functions and variables. Some programming environments even encourage this because they actually localise the names in all APIs - e.g. Visual Basic for Applications (in the past, I don't know about now, but I have had to write code that needed to automate excel/word and the commands it used had to be translated into French and German because the software was deployed in several places across Europe)

In addition code comments can be in any language you like. These things do happen in reality, and would be a huge maintenence issue if they happened to your code base unexpectedly.

Collapse
shobhitic profile image
Shobhit🎈✨ Author

This wasn't as much a unreasonable question, as something out of the ordinary. I've always lived in the English speaking programmer bubble and never realised that this could have been something people think about.

Collapse
spookylukey profile image
Luke Plant

You're right, I've almost always been in that same bubble. When I came across that feature of VBA I was really surprised and thought it was madness, but it makes sense for the intended audience (people writing macros etc to automate office apps).

Collapse
ben profile image
Ben Halpern

The thing that struck me: "Indian" is not a language.

Thread Thread
shobhitic profile image
Shobhit🎈✨ Author

This happens so often that I've developed a blind-spot towards it.

Collapse
carlosas profile image
Carlos Alandete Sastre

In my first job I was 'the developer', which means backend, frontend, sysadmin, designer and so on. Reporting directly to the owner.

Once he came to my desk, saw some PHP code and asked me:

  • Do you understand all those symbols?
  • Well... I wrote them.
Collapse
ghost profile image
Ghost • Edited on

Being a freelancer for many, many years I have see a few crazy requirements (and crazy clients) in my time. One of the craziest and funniest projects to me was a client (who you have probably seen on TV many times) that wanted a task manager website with a kanban board (for chores) and push notifications (to remind the kids to feed the animals), running on a high-end wall mounted touch screen only locally within his home because "the kids" were not doing their chores and feeding their animals. I didn't feel bad at all taking his money on that project and still laugh about it every time it crosses my mind... Humans! :-)

Collapse
lfsmith profile image
LFSmith

I've heard of families doing this.

🌚 Friends don't let friends browse without dark mode.

Sorry, it's true.