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5 Most Common, Unwitting Lies That Developers Tell

After almost 10 years of programming, I found some funny and common lies that we programmer will tell unnoticeably.

If you are a manager, product owner, girlfriend, or any other role who will cooperate with programmers, keep an eye!



TODO seems vital for most development processes.

Simply, TODO means something(add a comment, refactor code, etc.) will complete it some days later.

Sadly, in most cases. TODO means we won’t do it forever.

The Linux codebase has over 4k TODO comments currently, many from over a decade ago, and the average age of a TODO is 7 years!


Could you please use a similar Shell command to count how many TODO in your codebase?

 find ./ -name *.js | xargs grep TODO | wc -l
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And you will surprise by the result.


Product owners and engineering managers aren’t usually working in the codebase, so they might not see TODO comments, but they need to be aware of the debt they represent.

Too many TODO means to much of technical debt, it’s considedered harmful by some reasons. As a developer, we should take some time to clean up TODO periodically. is an effective way to tracking your TODO in projects, it will show your TODO comments in a kanban board.

I can’t do this

Did you reject some requirements from the product owner?


This seems to be the mantra of some programmers

But the funny thing is:

  • When they say “this can’t be done”, they often do not want to do it because it is too troublesome.
  • When they say “this is very simple”, they often delay.

If a manager has no technical background, then God Bless him.

I’m almost done

Manager: Will we ready for the next release on Friday?

Developer: I’m almost done, this is the last Bug…


In most cases, almost done means another delay, and remember when you fix the last bug, you have the possibility to introduce another bug.

On average, programmers underestimate the work by a factor of 2. Keep an eye on the promise given in oral languages.

  • Please give me a moment.
  • I will fix it soon.
  • This is easy.


This is a temporary solution


There are many trade-offs in development. When a temporary solution is implemented, it will usually become a permanent solution.

Because we may add more code based on this temporary solution, and finally found out moving the temporary solution to a better one will cost too much time, and we can not afford it.

I’m busy


GF: Hey honey, Can we go to the movies this afternoon?

Developer: Oh, sorry, I’m currently busy with the next release.

This is a common lie that may be told by everyone, but it’s more natural for developers.

For a developer, the non-technical person won’t know what they are actually doing on the screen.

They may be playing a game or be watching a Youtube movie. If you come closer to them, they just use a Tab key move on to IDE, which seems like coding.

The post 5 Most Common, Unwitting Lies That Developers Tell appeared first on Coder's Cat.

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