What's a programming answer you really hate to hear, yet give out yourself on many occasions?

For me, it's got to be "It depends...".

+23  A: 

"It works for me!"

Optimal Solutions
Now with certification: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000818.html
Michael Burr
I love it! ALL of my code should be certified with that! :-P
Optimal Solutions
There's also: http://jcooney.net/images/articles/worksonmymachine_logo.png
Michael Burr
Tried that 2nd URL you posted but got "Application Firewall Alert" from WebHost4Life.com I've seen that before - not sure if its my machine or the host's setup..
Optimal Solutions
What can I say - it works on my machine. ::rimshot::
Michael Burr
haha! Why did I know you might say that!? :-)
Optimal Solutions
+3  A: 

Focus on clarify and maintainability first, performance later. :-)

I hate to hear it because (even though I recognise the truth of the statement) there's a machine in my brain that just wants to optimise everything. :-)

P.S. I don't know who's been deleting the thread comments, but my point was that I renamed the post to reduce its chances of being closed again. Seriously, JaredPar, I'm doing you a favour. :-)

Chris Jester-Young

Or, even worse: "jist getter done"

Optimal Solutions
+20  A: 

"It works as designed."

Kristopher Johnson
I've gotten this on 4/5 bugs I reported on Microsoft Connect
Robert Fraser
@Robert: Same here. "The program behaves completely differently when optimizations are turned on." " [Closed as by design](https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/547423/c-compiler-optimization-bug-with-parameter-local-variable-and-memcpy) "
BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft
Alternative phrasing is "This behaviour is by design".
+36  A: 

"That problem isn't in my code. Talk to ..."

Kristopher Johnson
I find this answer to be a particular pain point, because I used to work with a developer that said this ALL the time. Unfortunately, he was often wrong ;)
As you noted, the more often a person says this, the less likely it's true.
Michael Burr
+9  A: 

"Did you read the documentation?" or "Look on Google"

If I hadn't done these already, I wouldn't be asking.

You'd be surprised how many people don't bother to read the doc ;)
too many times the answer is on the first page of a relevant google search... the thing is, not everybody can search effectively
Mauricio Scheffer
people don't read manuals, its that simple. I mean what percent of the stuff that you have bought, have you ever read the manual for? It not that different with documentation. If its not clear in the code, then its simply not clear at all IMHO.
Robert Gould
Most people would rather ask a dumb question than dig up anything themselves.
Googling for programming questions is often hard, particularly when the obvious search terms are dependant on punctuation which google will ignore
Mark Baker
Sometimes people don't even know that there is a doc. @tomalak: when that happens, I just give them the shortest possible answer and immediately send them a reference to the location in the doc with a "there's some good explanations in there..."
Christopher Mahan
+55  A: 

"Yeah, I've been meaning to fix that."

Kristopher Johnson
I'm guilty of this one, multiple times in one day.
+1  A: 

"It doesn't compile on my machine" -"But... it works on mine."

+21  A: 

"I can't reproduce that error"

+12  A: 

"It's complicated."

+288  A: 
Franci Penov
This is just the image from the blog post. Which I stole from Jeff atwood.http://www.ademiller.com/blogs/tech/2008/06/it-works-on-my-machine-award/Credit where credit is due and all that...Ade
Ade Miller
I assumed everybody here knows codinghorror's blog. :-) But you are right, the image is from Jeff's blog post.
Franci Penov
I only find this annoying when it's not used in the following way: "It works on my machine, can you give me any extra info to find out where the bug is?"
I learned to stop saying because my boss enjoyed replying: we're not shipping your machine.
+14  A: 

"We're aware of the problem and it will be fixed in a future patch."

Robert S.
+3  A: 

Hey!! I am just a consultant. don't have access to the system for debugging.. :)

+6  A: 

"I can't look at that until you file a bug report."

"I can't start on that until the spec is finalized."

"I can't test until someone sets up a testing environment."

Kristopher Johnson
I don't know about you, but when these and like phrases come out of my mouth it is because I was required by management to say them... What a putrid taste it leaves in mouth.
We force internal folks to file a bug report for a problem, and we like it that way, the tracking alone makes it much easier in the long run. This is particularly the case when you have to hand it off to someone else.
Kris Kumler
Or you don't say that, then you get asked about what you're working on and you say, "No progress on that, but I did fix bug Foo that was bothering tech support all week!" "You weren't assigned to that, it wasn't a priority. Pleas try to focus on Blah."
Zan Lynx
on the bug report: if I know the use is challenged, I'll send them an email detailing what they just complained about, and ask them to confirm. (trail) then I create the bug report for them. If the boss asks why I filed the bug report: I show the email. Users happy. Everybody else ok.
Christopher Mahan
I usually say that so the user bother write something clear about the problem.
+56  A: 

"If you reboot, it should work fine."

Kristopher Johnson
oh my, our network engineer always keep on saying that
Rakesh Juyal
I am saying this to ward off tiresome people :-)
+17  A: 

A total classic that a fellow Software Engineer of mine used to say is:

Drum roll please....

Of course it works! But no, I haven't tested it.

+39  A: 

It fixed itself.

Agreed. It becomes almost impossible to debug something when the symptoms disappear.
Jason Jackson
Especially when you spend all day on the bug, then come in the next day and can't get it sto fail.... Then it shows up 2 weeks later and the process repeats...
/* magic don't touch */
+3  A: 

Once when I was arguing with a QA guy about a bug, I was surprised by his response..

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you...blah blah"

+22  A: 

Are you using Internet Explorer? (for some of our older/contractor developed internal apps)


"That will have to go on a separate work order. It's not in the functional specs."

I always hate to hear this for small and easy to add additions to apps - but I say it too.

+9  A: 

"Have you installed all the service packs?"

Kristopher Johnson
+11  A: 

"This really needs a complete rewrite."

"This isn't the way I would have done it."

Kristopher Johnson
Yeah, the 'I could've done it better attitude'
Sergio Acosta
It's not always that, often there's code that you wrote in a hurry for a limited problem, and has now grown into a monster. "This isnt' the way I'd have done it if I'd thought it was going to stay around"
Mark Baker
+3  A: 

its not an issue with our software , its an error due to XXX

+3  A: 

"But sales said..." or "You have to use IE."

+2  A: 

"Can you get me a hex dump?"

Kristopher Johnson

"Ask the Internet"

+14  A: 

"That's going away in a couple years anyway."

Hear it every day at my job.


"Yes, but..."

+5  A: 

Thats the way I was told to program it.

+38  A: 

When asking 'Is it done yet?' for progress report:

"It's practically done. I'm working on some final details, but it is practically complete."

And then find that it is not even code complete, full of bugs, not tested, not documented, not integrated, and probably not even checked into source control.

Of course, on the other side, just asking 'is it done yet?' every couple of days is not the best way of measuring progress.

Sergio Acosta
+15  A: 

"That's not a problem, that's a feature!"

+1  A: 

Do you have steps to dupe. If not come back when you do.

+5  A: 

It all depends on context. And yes that's also my answer.

Mike Brown
+22  A: 

"I wrote that a long time ago when I didn't know what I was doing."

Kevin Conner
+2  A: 

My colleague loves to say "I'm just an intern". Well at least now he's been contracted, he cannot use that one anymore.


I'll look into it.

+10  A: 

This suffers intermittent failures. I have no idea why.


It only happens on environment X.

I hate environmental issues :(

+1  A: 

"Did you try a full rebuild?"

Assaf Lavie

"Did you Google It?" Or "Just Google it."

Lucas Goodwin
+5  A: 

"We don't have time to insert best practice here. We'll tackle this in the next insert sprint, release, iteration here."

As the saying goes, "... you must have time to do it again."

Russell Myers

Bug? That's a feature!

+3  A: 

Ran into this one just today too:

"I'm not sure how this has ever worked!"

+7  A: 

"Yeah, I haven't had time to finish that yet."


My favorite/worst:


Ben Collins
+1  A: 

"that's a legacy issue" is my particular worst offence.

Graham Lee
+6  A: 

"That should be easy" spoken within earshot of a customer upon hearing a new feature request and prior to analysis.

What difference does it make? The salesman's probably already told the customer it'll be easy long before you hear about it.
Mark Baker

The end user changed the defualts in web.config and it broke....

and its sister...

Dont change the default value, if we wanted it changed we would have made THAT the default value....

+1  A: 

Don't blame me. The guys over in building D changed the spec and didn't think of the consequence it would have.


"I wrote it in Java"

+1  A: 

Could you restart the program, machine...it should works then.

+2  A: 

You have version Your problem was fixed on version


Without having to tink about it: "It works on my machine". That drives me crazy !

+1  A: 

I didn't ask you to find bugs, I asked you to fix them!


It can't be done with that language, you need to use [C++/ASM] instead.

...we work with .Net mostly and am frequently asked to make some piece of legacy hardware work which only has Windows 3.1 drivers or some such.


That's not a bug, it's a feature...

+2  A: 

"You'll have to lay it out with tables"

+2  A: 

"Rebooting the machine fixed the issue."

+32  A: 

"That's weird..."

+1  A: 

Why are you trying to do X ?

Shawn Simon

"Go ask on Stack Overflow first and then talk to me"

Ray Vega
+1  A: 

"It's not enough to be right. You also have to be smart."

(Can be used for office politics or any other reason :)

+1  A: 

In response to a team member whose code wont compile...

Try restarting your IDE...

Sadly, this actually works 50% of the time.

Is that IDE Visual Studio?
+1  A: 

"it's not our product, it's your environment"

Unfortunately that much is true so much of the time, particularly when interfacing to MS protocols and then some charming sysadmin installs the latest beta crap and it all stops working.

Adam Hawes
+2  A: 

"You have to upgrade. But before you upgrade that you have to upgrade these four other things which need another six things upgraded..."

+2  A: 

"I did [something to circumvent a problem] because [some other component didn't work the way I expected] for some reason."

To clarify: it drives me nuts to hear that someone wrote a non-obvious piece of code in response to a problem they didn't even try to understand properly! Even more so when that someone is me. .-)


"It's not a bug, it's a feature!"

+2  A: 

30 more minutes and it should be fixed (over and over again)

I'm guilty of this for sure. "When's that feature going to be available?" Me: "Uhh... I think I should be able to deploy it tomorrow morning." - 2 days later: not done.

What did Valgrind say?

Tim Post
+2  A: 

That sounds like a classic hardware issue.

+2  A: 

In response to a reported bug:

"Well, the system wasn't meant to be used that way."

+2  A: 

"I don't know. Try it now."

I get that one any time I make the mistake of calling a helpdesk number.

Bob Cross
+1  A: 

We are still prioritizing that fix

+2  A: 

I'm afraid to touch that code

+1  A: 

When reporting a bug to the programmer: "Oh... You found it..."

Lior Kogan

A few of my classics:

  • "That should still work"
  • "You want to do WHAT?!?"
  • "What do you mean by..."
  • "Could I show you this..."
JB King
+1  A: 

Check The Top Ten Lies of Engineers by Guy Kawasaki.

Pascal Thivent

"That should take about a day to do."


"It depends..."


When they say: "As designed."

+2  A: 

"You only have to install X first"

Where X is .NET Framework, Java VM, XNA Runtime, Flashplayer, DirectX Redistributable etc etc.


"It works as specified."

...where "specified" means "The spec does not specifically mention this".


"There is no such thing as 'clever/beautiful code'."

Programmers have no sense for aesthetics ;-)

+1  A: 

On an existing code base...

The person who wrote this should have done it this way, but don't change it.

Aaron Daniels
+3  A: 

"The behaviour is by design."


Hands down: "I'm almost done."

+1  A: 

Insert any Yes or No question here



"It can be fixed"

Praveen S