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The most famous code I ever wrote doesn’t even compile

One morning not so long ago, Jeff Word steps into my office with an idea to use code to promote SDN with developers. “Use code for marketing purposes?” I ask in return, “That’s like reanimating Frankenstein. Sacrilege!”

OK, maybe I’m exaggerating how it happened. After all, I did end up writing the code…

And I’m glad I did! It ended up being the most widely distributed code I had ever written. It found its way onto giant TechEd posters, the back of thousands of t-shirts and even into several magazine ads (alas for me my employment agreement with SAP doesn’t have a royalties clause). In fact, the shirts were so popular in Las Vegas that during TechEd you couldn’t find a roulette or a blackjack table without at least one person wearing one.

So obviously people liked the shirts but what did they think of the code? It seemed that the universal comment we received at TechEd was that this code did not compile… Engineers, we are a funny bunch.

Anyways, enough ado. My masterpiece follows…



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  • I love the innovation you made in extending the goto function to point to a url instead of a line number. Edsger Dijkstra must be spinning in his grave.

    I admit the thought that this wouldn’t compile was the first thing I thought when I saw the poster. To bad the controversial bits had to be removed from your picture here.

  • If you use the right programming language then your project will be a big success:

    add 1 to SAP_Developers.

    while abap_true = you->collaborate( colleagues ) and
          ( abap_true = you->connectWithExperts( Customers ) or
            abap_true = you->connectWithExperts( Partners ) or
            abap_true = you->connectWithExperts( SAP ) ).
      call screen

    module ouput.

      connectWithExperts( ).


    module input.

      contributeToTheCommunity( ).
      collaborateWithPeers( ).


  • I love the code snippet…very creative…now I am waiting to hear the story about the sales guy that took you along to demo a working version of the code for a client!

    Chris Solomon