As I'm listening to the Decorating Your Desk episode, I fear I will have to lose the Software Puppy. (Generally no soft toys.) Before he leaves my desk, I wanted to share with the group the Legend of the Software Puppy so when he's not here in fact, he may remain in spirit.
Many years ago a software developer (programmer, coder) told me the Legend of the Software Puppy. Often as you're writing software code, you find challenges. Sometimes the code won't compile. Other times you're not getting the results you expect. For those who have written some code, you have had times where a comma was in the wrong place, a semicolon was missing, or there is a typo in a variable name.
When you are really stuck, you will grab another programmer and ask them to look through your code to see if they can find the problem. This takes a lot of courage, especially for programmers, because it means someone will see your mistakes or demonstrate they are a better programmer than you are. Well that is the mindset at least. Some programmers will spend hours pouring over a block of code before they ask for help.
After they do ask for help, they have to explain this piece of code to the other programmer. Most of the time about halfway through the explanation, they see the mistake themselves, blush, and say "There it is. Thanks. I've got it from here." Then the other programmer, who has been interrupted and didn't actually get to prove they knew anything, walks away to get back to their search for the elusive bug.
Now enter the Software Puppy. When a software development team brings a Software Puppy onto the team, it costs about nothing. The interview is quick, though lacks a lot of energy. The Software Puppy will sit quietly in the corner until someone has a problem. The programmer will bring the puppy to their cubicle. As the programmer explains the problem, the puppy will sit quietly and not interrupt with silly questions. As before the programmer having the problem will recognize their issue and turn to the puppy saying, "Thanks. I've found it. I'll take it from here."
It is amazing how many software issues the Software Puppy can resolve in a month at a much lower cost.
Thanks for letting me share. I hope those of you who have worked with software developers enjoyed this story. I've included a couple pictures of the Software Puppy. The first one is his badge photo so he can get in the building. The second one is an action shot of him reviewing some code looking for errors.