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Get Drunk and Code

4. November 2008 20:34 by Scott in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (5)

Have you ever reached the pinnacle of the programmers peak when working on a piece of code while drunk?  Have you ever thought: now that's a brilliant piece of code, what the hell did I do last night?  From time to time, all programmers will eventually experience the peak.  Its called the "Ballmer Peak". Its the moment that your a few beers in with the Blood Alcohol level of .13%-.14% where you just start to write the magical code.

Last night I was writing some good code for customers on one of my pet projects.  It involved web services and a bit of Javascript.  I was working great until I was a few beers in, when I was truly able to focus anymore.  I was talking to one of my fellow peers today at work, and he explained it was the "Ballmer Peak".  I guess there is a theory for everything.

Its the theory that computer programmers can obtain a superhuman coding ability with the blood alcohol level between .129% and .138%.  It was discovered with Steve Ballmer and coined at the web comic XKCDThe theory came about referencing Steve Ballmer and his crazy acting pretty much what looks like a drunk when ever he is on stage.  The theory though is more than what meets the eye.  It might actually be somewhat correct in assumption.  Have you ever had those nights where you just hacking away at code while having a few beers and you wrote brilliantly?  Only to wake up the next morning not able to compile the code you wrote!  I have been there many a times and put this theory to the test.



Point of concern that throws this whole theory out the window is that Steve Ballmer never wrote any production code while at Microsoft.  He has a background in business and is known for being able to solve difficult math calculations mentally, but not code.

This is one of those theories I don't mind trying over and over again.  Someone needs to take the initiative and insert it into Wikipedia.

Programmer's Paradox, which is the lag in creativity behind skill on the inebriation scale.


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