Programmers Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before implementation and all through the house
not a program was working, not even a browse.
The programmers hung round their cubes in despair
with hopes that a miracle soon would be there.

The users were nestled all snug in their beds
while visions of inquiries danced in their heads.
When out of the cope there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.

And what to my wandering eyes should appear
but a super contractor with a six pack of beer.
His resume glowed with experience so rare
he turned out great code with a bit-pushers flair.

More rapid than eagles, his programs they came –
he whistled and shouted and called them by name;
“on update, on add, on enquire, on delete, on batch jobs,
on closing, on function complete.”

His eyes were glazed over, fingers nimble and lean
from weekends and nights spent in front of the screen.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing dread.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his work
turning specs into code; then he turned with a jerk
and laying his finger upon the enter key,
the system came up and worked perfectly.

The updates updated, the deletes they deleted,
the inquiries inquired, the closing completed.
He tested each whistle, he tested each bell,
and with nary abend, all had gone well.

They system was finished, the tests were concluded,
the client’s last changes were even included.
And the user exclaimed with a snarl and a taunt,
“IT’S JUST WHAT I ASKED FOR, BUT NOT WHAT I WANT.”

Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 13:54:18 -0500