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Discussion on: What are your personal stories/examples of "naming things"?

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Willem Dehaes

I studied finance in college, and for our final thesis, my thesis partner and I had to do quite a bit of statistical coding in a software program called Stata. We were running heavy calculations on large datasets, and to avoid running out of memory, we frequently had to delete columns containing intermediate results. For that, we had to use the Stata drop statement.

We started off using meaningful variable names, but we quickly grew bored of that, and as a way of letting of steam, we decided to get more creative with our naming. One night, after a day of particularly tedious programming, we decided to name a variable theBase, so when we no longer needed it we could write this glorious statement.

drop theBase

In our exhausted minds, it was the most hilarious line of code ever written. Meanwhile, the rest of the campus library was staring rather disapprovingly at those two idiots laughing uncontrollably at their IDE.

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Tim Supinie

Speaking of funny but objectively bad variable names. When he was in grad school in meteorology, a friend of mine had an assignment that required some Python coding. I think he'd reached a point in the class where he stopped caring, and coding wasn't his favorite thing anyway. But he named his variables stuff like heyo, heyo1, and some almost-but-not-quite curse words that I'm not sure I should put here. It perfectly fit with his sense of humor, so we thought they were pretty hilarious. I'm not sure the professor who taught the class did, though.