tags:

views:

9240

answers:

99

Please note I am NOT looking for answers like

"spiders"

well I guess depending on the context that could be an acceptable answer.. But you know what I mean.

I am looking for answers like

"I cannot keep up with an ever changing field"

or

"That my data gets hacked"

Actual fears that developers have to deal with.

+40  A: 

Spiders.

(Working on a web app ;)

(I'm not kidding. Poorly designed spiders and poorly designed websites don't go together!)

Mike Caron
That's a good one, at my previous work, there was a "lead developer", I'm sure he's afraid of that to. One day our forum was empty, so we checked the logs. Guess who did it... Yes, a spider. He forgot the security and the spider just followed the delete links.
GuidoH
+31  A: 

That I might have to program in COBOL.

Taylor Leese
Been there done that. Agreed don't want to go back there.
Jack
I don't have a problem with it. It's a bit verbose, but suits some problem sets very well.
Brian Knoblauch
I might have to program in COBOL AGAIN.
Helper Method
I don't mind COBOL, as long as *nobody else* wrote it but me :)
Josh Stodola
`sed`, TCL, FileMaker, actually I enjoyed writing in Forth… there are actually bad languages out there.
Potatoswatter
What's wrong with COBOL? Mainframe IBM COBOL is still faster than a PC :)
Devtron
+67  A: 

Getting fired for using StackOverflow at work. =D

James
WRONGFUL TERMINATION
efritz
AT-WILL EMPLOYMENT
James
If I'm fired for reading interesting posts at StackOverflow I'd be happy for it as that company would not need someone like me.
Giorgi
Funny thing is that eventually, an employee from the company will ask a question on SO... and maybe you'll be the one answering.
ItzWarty
So I'm not the only one who dreads the possibility that my boss could one day find SO and ask me how I got so many rep points....
JohnFx
Yeah ... my exact fear as well.
Sam Saffron
+139  A: 

That I might one day have to learn Java.

marduk
*sigh. Another blind java hater
TheLQ
i actually did have to learn java eventually. my "blind hate" of java initially came about in college for my computer graphics class where i was learning how to do computer graphics and how to code in java at the same time using jogl. not fun :( years later, i went back and learned java after doing some development in .net (c#,vb.net) and found it wasn't so bad after working in c#. i'm now doing android development in java. however, i really did fear having to learn java right out of school since the only thing i knew was c/c++ and java namespaces were frightening beasts.
marduk
Just started a new job and I'm going to have to learn Java. Wish me luck.
orangeoctopus
In my case it's, "That I might one day have to use Java again."
Kennet Belenky
@Lord, personally, I'm not a Java hater. For me, Java is merely a description of a job I wouldn't like to pick.
Pavel Shved
I have to do this next year for school =( They don't teach c++ as a start as I hoped. Oh well, at least I have experience with the other languages i've played with...
ItzWarty
My biggest fear is I'll have to go back to Java someday :)
Matt Greer
"If you don't know a language well enough to document 3 specific things about the language you don't like, then you don't know the language"... and complaints about it are invalid. Not sure where the quote comes from, it's not mine.
RHSeeger
@RHSeeger, interesting quote... now I'm scratching my head looking for specific things I don't like in Java ;)
Thomas Levesque
Forced exception handling when you'd rather it bubble up, verbosity of everything, bolted on generics, classpath and jars, the fact that you know and instantly hate anything written with AWT/Swing Java UI frameworks, and on and on it goes. Java was revolutionary in 1995, but its showing its age.
mattmc3
@Levesque: Oh, I certainly have my 3. I just think it's important to know a language enough to be able to say you don't like it :)
RHSeeger
1. The naming conventions 2. the uh-gly generics 3. the lack of real properties
RCIX
@mattmc: Even when it was new, Java wasn't really particularly revolutionary. For most practical purposes, it was little more than version 5 of the UCSD P-System re-cast to run on top of an OS instead of *being* the OS.
Jerry Coffin
I just recently began using Java, and I am enjoying how the syntax differs from the other six languages I know, not to mention the portability. While I know C is far more difficult, it's refreshing to use a new language that requires me to think a little bit more than the rest have.
Allen Gingrich
How can a programmer not be excited to have a reason to learn any language?
Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
Other than C, is there any other language that doesn't have lambda? Even C++ has lambda now! A language without lambda is like a day without sunshine.
Brian
@RHSeeger - on that basis, I can't legitimately dislike Perl. I've tried to learn it several times, and ended up with lists of "WTF" notes, but now, that's all forgotten (or repressed). And sure enough I don't care about Perl, so can't seriously claim to dislike it. That won't stop me ridiculing it given the right trigger - though it *will* stop me *effectively* ridiculing it, I suppose. I don't really get the attitude with Java, though. I haven't used it for a long while myself, but to me it's neither especially good nor bad - just another C family language.
Steve314
@Kendall that's like saying a car enthusiast should be enthused to ride any car including an 87 chevy nova. i don't think so. only sith think in absolutes.
marduk
@marduk - wow! an 87 chevy nova! that's *so* *cool*!!!
Steve314
It's not really Java as a language I hate, but all the bullshit development and deployment environment that comes with it... does anybody really likes to edit XML by hand ?
kriss
^ why would you edit XML by hand? wouldnt you use a keyboard and mouse, first?
Devtron
+116  A: 

That I might end up in a job where I had to wear a neck-tie.

Jerry Coffin
Neckties are simply punishment for wimping out and getting a business degree.
bta
hmm a tie is the least of your worries. Cannot understand the fuss.
John Nolan
If there's a boss yelling at you saying "IS IT READY? IS IT READY? IS THE APPLICATION READY?? THIS IS GOING TO BE REALLY BIG FINISH IT NOW", the tie is the least of your worries. Really.
Jimmie Lin
Ties are actually very nice if you take the time to choose a nice one (together with a matching shirt). Software developers don't have to (and in my experience seldom do) look like hoboes with beards and suspenders. I am not saying everybody should wear ties, but I sometimes wear them because I want to, not because anybody makes me.
seanizer
I'm old enough to have been there. You get used to it. Wouldn't want to go back though.
JohnFx
Clip-on neckties are just what the doctor ordered for me.
khai_khai
The tie is important. When your boss decides to hang you for e.g. taking a 16 minute coffee break during your 8 hours daily unpaid overtime when your only entitled to 15, or using the toilet twice in the same week, it's important not to put him to unnecessary trouble finding rope etc.
Steve314
Well that's excatly the point.. people with ties usually are more involved in decisions as a programmer who spends most of his day behind a screen.. I'm scared of the opposite, not spending the time behind the screen.. but ending up with lower paid job where I have no influence into the decisions made and have to program out other peoples ideas..
Nils
@Nils: My original point was primarily that the companies (at least that I've seen) where you'd likely wear a tie are mostly involved in writing software so boring it hardly matters whether you have influence over decisions or not.
Jerry Coffin
> so boring it hardly matters whether you have influence over decisions or notHeh ok that's quite sad :(
Nils
+231  A: 

That a bug of mine could cause physical harm to someone or something.

Jeremy
http://www.cis.unisa.edu.au/~cisspt/ex/KillerRobot.pdf
Tom
I hope this will be the most voted, to show that for us (programmers), people is more important than code, something great (and perhaps a surprise that breaks some myths haha)
Hernán Eche
Talk about programming for a air traffic control tower :O :O
Ranhiru Cooray
It's funny the answer says : "a bug of mine", and not "a bug in my code"
Hernán Eche
When in doubt, blame the hardware.
James
@James: How many software developers does it take to change a lightbulb? None! It's a hardware problem!
FrustratedWithFormsDesigner
FrustratedWithFormsDesigner
Working in the space industry, yes I would agree as that could possibly be a multimillion dollar mistake.
Jack
The other answers describe ridiculous to understandable "fears". But this is the only one so far which would really terrify me if it happened.
delnan
That is why I work in corporate america, and not in something like defense.
Chad
@Hernan...now you have me analyzing why i said "of mine"...I think it implies that I would have more than one. If I say "my wife" versus "a wife of mine" the second would imply that I have more than one wife, and I'm just talking about one of them.
Jeremy
@Hernan, @Jeremy... Perhaps it shows that you feel attached to your code. Like it is almost a part of you. That a bug in your code is really a bug in you... or perhaps I should stick to software and not delve into Psychology.
Jack
::puts on a fake Austrian accent:: @Jeremy: by zaying *"of mine"* rather than *"in my code"* you have accepted responzibility for your actions. Which is fery much at odds with zee zeitgeist. Now, tell me more about your mother...
dmckee
I guess this is highly unlikely in most cases, but of frightening importance in medical, industrial, millitary, and human transportation applications.
Andreas Rejbrand
I heard a story once where an "if-then-else" statement almost caused a nuclear war when someone changed the threat level, normally an integer, to "1.5".
adam0101
I wrote a shareware RPN calculator for Windows many years ago. One day I noticed someone working at a Nuclear power plant in Brazil had bought it. I still really hope Brazil never has a Chernobyl (more than my baseline desire for a lack of nuclear accidents that is).
aepryus
You should see how rigorously everyone works to make sure it wasn't their fault every time a weapon misses a target in a test flight...
Jeff Barger
Once I accidentally wrote this code "if(employee.gender="F") {...}" I was not popular 28 days later when all the "guys" in the company realized what happened.
JohnFx
@JohnFx: but that didn't physically harm anybody, right? Or are you working on a sex change clinic?
ninjalj
@ninjalj - code creates reality, like accounting.
JohnFx
@Chad You are not immune in Corporate America. You may have more chance of causing harm than in Defense. Medical, automotive, civil engineering, and safety systmes are just a few places outside of defense where a single bug can result in countless injuries or deaths. Even a faulty phone app could prevent someone from dialing 911 at a critical moment.
James Schek
+1  A: 

Using Magento and DotNetNuke :)

sTodorov
+20  A: 

Programming Sharepoint with Javascript.....

marc_s
I never thought about that
TheLQ
I dont think you can program Sharepoint. And Javascript is a scripting language, not a programming language.
Devtron
+4  A: 

Monads. And that one day I might have to write one for production code.

Nathan
Heheh, awesome answer. They're pretty fun actually…
Jonathan Sterling
Come now, monads aren't that bad.
ChaosPandion
+2  A: 

That someone else will do what I do. ;)

Chris Lively
+124  A: 

That I end up working with another developer who doesn't actually know what they're doing, but they believe their way is the best way. And that developer is actually above you in the chain of command, so you end up having to do things their way.

Thankfully I've not had that fear realised yet!

Oh, and spiders...

Jaymz
Why would anyone downvote this? Oh, right. *Someone* has to be that ranking developer...
Amardeep
I was in this kind of situation just a month ago. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the one that didn't know what he was doing.
Igor Zinov'yev
Wouldn't the ignorance of being that person be bliss?
Allbite
@Amardeep - Yes, but part of being that person is generally not realizing that you are that person.
JohnFx
that also implies that you work in an environment where *rank* outweighs logic. In my place if I can propose a suitable argument on why we should be doing something a certain way, as long as there isn't a huge cost, then that idea will be considered.
DaveDev
Your pain is my reality. He argues against the use of bug trackers. (we have 7 developers and 1 tester...)
Stargazer712
+42  A: 

Working with a senior developer who is very bad at programming.

Programming javascript without jQuery.

Giorgi
Here, I'll fix that for you "Programming javascript". :-)
Brian Knoblauch
are those two things, or are you talking about a senior dev?
Yar
I like my plain JavaScript, thank you :P.
ItzWarty
gotta love (loath) these seniors... "I'm 25 years experience programming, I don't need no unit tests and my code does not need reviews from anyone.... Delphi 5 is a perfectly capable platform that can do anything we need, I see not why I would learn anything, especially not from you little green guy " bla bla bla..... yeah so is brainfuck but you do not see many business apps developed with it, I wonder why though... maybe we need an eclipse plugin for it !
Newtopian
Don't tell me you are going to make alert()s with jQuery.Oh right, "How to add two numbers in jQuery" is the reason some of us still use plain Javascript.
Jimmie Lin
My manager prefers that I use Microsoft's AJAX library.
baultista
Have you tried JavaScript? http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Straight_Shooter_for_Upper_Management.aspx
Graphics Noob
Ugh, there's more JavaScript frameworks than just jQuery. Look at MooTools and Dojo for instance. Both are way better than jQuery in my opinion. See http://jqueryvsmootools.com/
Daniel15
Some day a smart youngster come into your office and you are the senior developer. Now what? My suggestion. If you are better share your knowledge and try to improve your team! Trust me if you get your coworkers into that "learn and improve" attitude the whole team can manage hard work more easily.
schoetbi
what about ExtJs ??? :) Personally I love to code in pure Javascript but unfortunately I've not participated in such project
Zango
+26  A: 

That my code becomes SkyNet

Marco Ceppi
Read well, the question says "fear", not "proud"
Hernán Eche
Damn, I knew I should have put a NotImplementedException in that empty Ethics method I was meaning to get back to... and now SkyNet is ruthless.
Neil N
http://xkcd.com/534/
bta
Any SkyNet code I write will make me its king! http://questionablecontent.net./view.php?comic=124
SLC
+1 made me lol!
Dal
+12  A: 

That I might one day have to learn PHP.

Nate Bross
Nothing to be afraid of... it's far from being my favorite language, but it's really easy and you can get decent results pretty fast
Thomas Levesque
I think the real fear should be that you might one day have to USE PHP. Learning it is easy - it doesn't have any of the complexities of a real language.
Charles Boyung
Yes, after a bit of reflection, my real fear is having to actually *use* it. I already know a fair bit, and learning that wasn't so terrible... ;)
Nate Bross
I think what you really, really have to be afraid of, is to have to **maintain** PHP
OscarRyz
Pfff - consider yourself lucky it isn't VB.NET
Dal
PHP is better then any language I worked with(too long list), atleast untill you need optimization. Why do you thnk it's so bad?
Dani
Thomas: From what I've seen of PHP, the kind of programs for which PHP can deliver "decent results pretty fast" are pretty much the kind of programs I don't want to write. That's why I'm afraid.
Ken
Exactly, decent results != good software.
Nate Bross
php is a beginner language haha. perhaps what you meant is that you might one day have to *code* in PHP which means that you're most likely doing web development, which means you didn't get that dream job of working at a gaming company :P
marduk
@marduk - I do web development all the time and I would still never use PHP. The language is absolute garbage, it performs worse than anything else out there, and the tools to support it hardly compare to what I have available to me with Visual Studio.
Charles Boyung
+8  A: 

Being pushed in a direction and noticing afterwards that you are stuck with what you are doing, and you have been doing it the last 5 years or so

Nealv
That's what I've never spent more than 2-3 years in the same job ;)
Thomas Levesque
After 6 jobs you are working 18 years ;). No it's just something I notice. When I was in school, I was always bussy with new technologie and experimenting etc,and now, I work for a boss, I don't have time to experiment for a couple of days, let alone keep up with changes+become better at the things I don at work
Nealv
+77  A: 

though all answers seem to take the funny part, and I'm loving them

I must say that my worst fear is just 2 words

bored and afraid

getting bored of everything about developing, computers, internet... I'm afraid that, after investing so many year in programming (15 and counting), we get to that age that... "please... no more computers!" and then I wonder ...

getting afraid even though I have the passion of developing and creating web business applications (that's what drives me), I'm getting sick of such new versions of programming languages, new ways of doing it, it all come to fast (I'm a .NET developer)... I can't know it all as I wanted, now I'm starting with MVC, WCF, OData, ... ... ... :-( When will this ever end, I'm exhaust of pursuing the new technologies, takes time to be good at one, and when your good... there are 5 more, 3 of them Upgrades! Uff!

but then again...

without programming something... what else can I do?

this is my fear!

balexandre
+1, mate.But, to be honest, being programmers, I think most of us will never get bored of what we do.We probably just love it too much. Think about it: is there some other job in which you can build virtually every tool you need, *the way you want it built*?
sm
@sm, although I tend to agree, not all programmers love what they do... Actually, most of the people I worked with don't really have a passion for programming, they just to it for a living (which I find kind of sad). But anyway, those people usually don't spend time on SO ;)
Thomas Levesque
add my comment to the answer.
balexandre
""please... no more computers!" and then I wonder ..." Okay, I went through that few months ago. Still alive and kicking. Now what?
SigTerm
I think this is just another way of saying burnout, which is something I greatly fear. Already I've reached the point where I rarely program in my spare time for fun anymore.
rmeador
@Thomas Levesque: I agree with you when you say that a lot of programmers don't really care about what they do (I see that everyday at work). As a matter of fact, I was referring to 'us' truly passionate developers, as you seem to have perceived.Developers that really don't care about programming, don't care about constantly learning new things or do anything to improve themselves, aren't IMHO worth of being called 'developers'.
sm
@SigTerm I'm really think of dedicating to something else... sometimes, pull up the chair, sit down and turn the computer on I think... here we go again... I fell that I should do something else as well, more... mouse-and-screen-independable :)
balexandre
@rmeador: "burnout" Once upon a time I had a freelance project, where I worked at maximum power for a month. I had to learn a new API, write a plugin with it, debug it and send it back. I "overloaded" my brain and when project ended I was mentally tired and couldn't think about complex things for a few days. Can't say it was pleasant. But, while I was working it was a pure happiness - the feeling of the skills put to test, brain used at full capacity (plus the pay was good). I miss that feeling. After that other project looked a bit boring - lots of work, but no similar challenge.
SigTerm
There are plenty of other interesting things to do besides sitting behind a desk writing code all day. The tricky part is figuring out how to get one or more of those other things to pay the mortgage...
dthorpe
@balexandre: On your "it all comes too fast" point - have you read Joel Spolskys "fire and motion" article? It's from 2002, but only getting more relevant, IMO. Pretty soon we'll be learning how it's time to throw away the old kitchen sink API because the new shiny one (that'll be obsolete too in a few years time) has so many more bells and whistles.
Steve314
fear == afraid. It seems your biggest fear is fear itself.
John Isaacks
+75  A: 

Data loss. Causing data loss is the worst sin any developer can possibly commit. But, that's why sysadmins take backups.

Chris Henry
You haven't lived until you've dropped a production database.
Frank Farmer
Taking backups is the first part of the solution. Then you've to restore them!
Felipe Alsacreations
@Frank - or until you've had to restore _something_ from backup, even the data for a single column. It doesn't have to be a whole database.
uncle brad
Whenever i use a recursive folder clear/delete in C#, since you can't delete a directory that contains files, i'm always afraid that i'll accidentally call the function on 'C:\' >_>... Many times, i've accidentally written a file to C:\ instead of my target directory.
ItzWarty
@Frank, does it count if you thought you dropped the production database, but actually were off by one number and dropped the test database, and still ran around making calls like your boss was going to drop you in molten lava once he found out?
Matthew Jones
You do this once, and you try never to go it again. I dropped a production database, it was the worst day of my life.
Mark Tomlin
Unless, of course, you are developing secure disk erase software. I cause data loss all the time :)
bta
Oh, this is huge. I've had this happen a few times due to RAD and poor QA practices. OT: "You haven't lived until you've dropped a production database." Hahaha.
Inigoesdr
@ItzWarty: That's why I test code in virtual machines.
Jimmie Lin
@Frank - No, you haven't lived until you've dropped a production database and then committed.
Wade Williams
qstarin
+15  A: 

Getting called out for writing something totally wrong on Stack Overflow. (It's Ok if no-one notices..)

Grant Crofton
+1 for the (its ok if no one notices part)
John Isaacks
If too many people notice, delete the message. There's a badge for that.
Donal Fellows
Every cloud has a silver lining!
Grant Crofton
I've been planed here. It's not so bad when you learn something important from it.
Superstringcheese
@Donal Fellows - its braver to sit it out and ride out the storm.
Tim Schmelter
@Tim: Braver maybe, but I prefer to review whether the answer is really answering the question (or the comment is at all valuable) and, if not, delete it. The focus must *always* be on answering the question. (And badges are Good! Want badges! Mmmm…)
Donal Fellows
+14  A: 

Regular Expressions.

Jaymz
What ?! Regular expressions can save lives ;) http://xkcd.com/208/
Thomas Levesque
Scary at first, but such a useful secret weapon once you know them!
adam0101
This is a great start for people who don't know regular expressions but would like to learn: http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/php/regular-expressions-for-dummies-screencast-series/
npsken
What do you have against Cthulhu?
Andrew Grimm
+7  A: 

stack overflow.

It happens me once, in a random way, I was using recursive functions, was the last time I use them

Hernán Eche
I think it should be noted that you mean an actual stack overflow and not this website. At least I hope that is what you mean.
Jack
I don't understand people donwvoting this answer. Indeed, it was a very good answer...stack overflow could be one of the most difficult error to debug in production environment when occuring andomly
fabien7474
A: 

That I will have to learn C.

TheLQ
*sigh. Another blind man who does not understand how a computer works. (Let us not start a flame war, hope to get your funny side)
Tom
Let's not get so hasty Tom. Clearly he must think assembly is good enough.
Justin Ardini
C has its place (the linux kernel for example), and thats a place that I would like not to go.
TheLQ
Today I never use C anymore, but I wouldn't be a complete programmer if I hadn't learned it...
Thomas Levesque
I rarely grow my own wheat for bread, but if I hadn't ever gone from seed to bread, I wouldn't be a complete bread eater. Now I'm learning how to make toilets.
Yar
@Yar Best comment I've seen in a while!
Josh Stodola
You should probably do at least one substantial program in C at some point. You'll have a new appreciation for everything you're used to.
Gary
@Gary: Thats the issue. I've never figured out why people have said "You should slit your wrists working with C, and then you'll appreciate everything about high level language X. " Besides an extra thing to put on your resume, whats the advantage of knowing a language thats only a step up from assembly?
TheLQ
I went to a talk once with Yale Patt, a leader in Computer Architecture. HE said that the problem with today's programming scene is people are afraid to function at multiple levels of abstractions. I think that if you are ever to do anything complicated or original on a computer, it would save a lot of time, and make things that seem impossible possible. I just don't think it would hurt you too much. The other issue is any time you deal with a leaky abstraction, you'll have an edge. Let me put it another way, why do surgeons learn biology when all they do is cut?
Gary
@Gary, That analogy sure seems fishy. But in any case, the vast majority of programmers are not -- from Pratt's perspective -- doing anything complicated nor original. The leaky abstractions argument holds to some extent, but while as a surgeon I might need SOME knowledge of how to make a scalpel from metal ore, if I don't have a perfect cutting surface, those metallurgy classes from college are not going to be the fastest way to get one. Better to work on social skills and winking.
Yar
@Yar: the thing is, while a surgeon doesn't need to know how his tools were made, he needs to know what they can do.
Michael Foukarakis
@mfukar, that's kind of my point. A surgeon (or whatever analogy we're into) needs to really get into his tools, their limits, why one is stronger than the other, under what conditions they won't work, etc. But still, he doesn't need to move beyond his level of analysis and start MAKING SHIT at a different level. I just doubt that struggling with the arbitrariness of another language (e.g., implementing a list structure in C) helps you with the issues you need to handle in Java or any higher level language. There are limit cases, of course, where the guy who knows C wins, but they are rare.
Yar
I'm not sure if I would hire a programmer who did absolutely nothing in C so far.. Since he will be just useful to work on easier problems.. and have no idea how the machine works..
Nils
@Thomas Levesque: "Today I never use C anymore, but I wouldn't be a complete programmer if I hadn't learned it..." I wouldn't be a complete programmer if I never bought an ancient programmable calculator and hadn't done assembly programming for an obscure chip/platform as a kid. But it doesn't mean that every programmer should learn how to program that calculator and do assembly the way I did (on that thing you had to type numbers directly in octal mode without any editor or undo). Same goes with C. Some people need it, and some don't.
SigTerm
@SigTerm, this is hardly comparable... C has been a mainstream language for decades, it's not "assembly programming for an obscure platform". Sure, you can probably be a decent programmer without knowing C, but C makes you understand a lot of things about how a computer works internally. High level languages provides a convenient abstraction of low level stuff, but sometimes you need to understand how things work under the cover in order to write efficient code
Thomas Levesque
@Thomas Levesque: "this is hardly comparable.." I disagree, because I got my low-level understanding from that "assembly for obscure platform". Also, writing self-modifying code and division/multiplication programs was fun. I could honestly say that writing assembly by inputting octal numbers instead of mnemonics "makes you understand a lot of things about internals". Do not forget that there are many different ways to get/reach the same knowledge/skill, learning C isn't the only way to discover "how things work under the cover". you can learn same thing using different language.
SigTerm
@SigTerm, point taken. I had misunderstood the meaning of your previous comment
Thomas Levesque
I dont understand why the answer "that i might one day have to learn java" got 107 up votes till now and that "I will have to learn C. " got 6 down votes. Both answers were non-judgmental, hence the reaction is interesting. Personally i can understand better that people who have no experiences in C are more afraid of learning it than people with no skills in Java to learn it because its easier and readable. Thats suprising, or perhaps its only injured vanity of skilled C-programmers ;)
Tim Schmelter
@Tim: Its mainly because C programmers are extremely cocky. Most think that everything should be written in C, while most java people that I know recognize the limitations of their language and don't push it on others at every single moment that they can. Whats funny though is that my comment "*sigh. Another blind java hater" got 89 upvotes.
TheLQ
+1 :-) I thought this was a joke at first, like "my biggest fear is that I'll to learn Java", "well, mine is that I'll have to learn C". Well, *mine* is that I'll have to learn assembly and stop writing machine code directly in a hex editor!
Dean Harding
Don't know why I didn't post this before: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/296/should-i-learn-c/2576349#2576349
TheLQ
+185  A: 

That I'll recognize my code on TheDailyWTF.

nivlam
That my colleagues recognize code that I submitted on The Daily WTF... and that they guess who posted it ;)
Thomas Levesque
The people who lovingly write TheDialyWTF code are not the kind of people that would recognize their code.
TheJacobTaylor
Shouldn't be a problem, as they rarely actually post *code* on the TDWTF anymore. I'm sick of their overly long stories leading up to a punchline where someone non-technical did something stupid. Needs more horrific code to regain its lost punch.
Nathan Ernst
@Nathan, couldn't agree more... most recent stories were boring
Thomas Levesque
hehe I like this one :) and Thomas's response :)
townsean
+1 for already mentioning my biggest fear :)
mhenrixon
I've done that already. Not *my* code, but it might as well have been - it was the "inner platform effect" thing. I don't read it much really because there've been too many cases where the WTF wasn't a WTF, but that was a nasty reminder of past misdeads.
Steve314
+1 for obvious reasons (like: me being the forum admin of tdwtf)
ammoQ
+38  A: 

Having no internet

Seriously, once the internet is down and all developers stopped working and started chatting. Oh my god... that's nightmare!

nanda
I can't watch a post-apocalyptic movie without thinking. "Yaknow? All of of these valuable programming and computer skills I have spent years acquiring would be absolutely useless if that happened. Maybe sniper would have been a better life-choice."
JohnFx
I was in storm during past 6 days in Maryland and my Internet service was down...ask me about it. Was I paralyzed? YES
AJ
I'm the opposite. I had a deadline to hit last week and I found that pulling the network cable out of my workstation massively improved my productivity.
WOPR
^ until you realized all your web development stuff wasnt working? i kid, i kid.
Devtron
A: 

that i'm not doing the things like a pro dev or like they had to BE done

Kreker
+4  A: 

Threading :O

Gives me nightmares

Ranhiru Cooray
I actually fear people who think threading is easy much more than threading itself.
ninjalj
Oh come on, threading's not *that* difficult, it's not nearly as confusing as asynchronous behaviour passing the async state around.
BenAlabaster
@BenAlabaster: As Rusty Rusell put it: "Please stay the f*ck away from my code" :P
ninjalj
@ninjalj - Don't worry, I'm not in the habit of threading for threading's sake. Like all tools, there is a time and a place for them, and in most places I see it used, it shouldn't have been. Often threading used incorrectly impedes performance rather than improving it. I've only multi-threaded a handful of a few dozen applications I've written. So if your code shouldn't be threaded, it's quite safe, I wouldn't thread it with the misguided allusion that it would definitely increase performance.
BenAlabaster
+15  A: 

Failure.

As in, didn't get it shipped - whether that be in time, with the killer feature, etc.

qstarin
Man, if you've never experienced this, either I've been doing something horribly wrong, or you're *very* lucky.
notJim
Oh I've experienced it. Very bad feeling. Do all programmers tie their self-worth to the success of their work?
qstarin
+2  A: 

Scalability.

Really getting into all the extras, HipHop, Cassandra, etc.

Kerry
+156  A: 

I fear the rise of closed programming environments—in particular Apple's iOS—and the anti-freedom business model and way of thinking they represent. It was bad enough trying to be a programmer when Microsoft could decide to destroy you through unfair practices like bundling, but the total control exercised so capriciously by Apple makes MS look like a kindly uncle.

I loathe the increasing presence of internet activation (DRM) in development toolsets (Windows, graphics tools, applications in general). Again, my ability to do my job rests in the co-operation of another company that can arbitrarily deny it or simply disappear, leaving me in the lurch.

I despair that, after years of the open-source crowd chipping out some hard-won freedoms in these areas, many want to simply hand over the keys to all their computing activities to a third party, whose interests may well not align with their own.

bobince
+1 Thats why I don't have an iPhone.. not because I am on Verizon.
John Isaacks
+1 for the final paragraph
rmeador
+1 for truth, -1 for no mention of jailbreak :p.
chpwn
You're always at risk. Imagine you're a developer of an embedded system that relies on specific hardware. It's becoming increasingly difficult to find 5.25" floppy drives, ISA slots, and so on.
Gabe
The thing is that the average joe couldn't care less about open-source software. He just wants to surf the web, get email, maybe chat with friends, and watch silly YouTube videos. He doesn't even know what open-source means. And even if he did, he wouldn't care about what some imtellectuals were fighting over in the corner; he just wants software that works even if he has to pay for it. That average joe is probably 60-80% of computer users. Until the open-source community learns to be able to target these users, it won't gain wide acceptance.
RCIX
DRM is a real problem, but at this point, the open source community doesn't have the ability to deliver solid programs that work in a lot of places and install easily. Thus, there's no good alternative for the not-(very-)technically inclined.
RCIX
Finally, even if you can solve the problem of quality in open source software, you have to be able to get it out to the general public. That requires a lot of money, and unless you get bill gates to donate a few million...
RCIX
@RCIX - the trouble with that "average joe couldn't care less" point is that suddenly the average joe realises he's being ruled by a dictator. Steve Jobs may not wear a Darth Vader helmet, but if you offered him total dominion over all Apple customers via the dark side of the force, I don't think he'd refuse. That said, I do like LLVM - an open source project primarily sponsored by Apple.
Steve314
The success of the iOS and its App Store is precisely because of the quality control that Apple imposes on 3rd party software. I don't know how to explain what good design is, and developers who gravitate towards open source platforms such an Android tend to be unable to see the difference between good and bad design. I can't really help them. Most people aren't programmers, so we should be designing for them and not for ourselves.
lucius
Whilst there may well be a cultural preference for prettier UI in the Apple world, the App Store approval process is not about ‘good design’, it's about censoring activities that aren't beneficial to Apple Computer. In any case, I don't want an external arbiter deciding what is “good design”. Let all the dross though (and yes, there is plenty of dross even in the App Store) and let the market decide which applications are well-designed.
bobince
@Steve314: Steve Jobs may not have the helmet but he already have a nice black pullover.
kriss
@bobince - don't you fear someone asking you to parse HTML with regex? lolz! ;)
DMin
A: 

Someday, I'll run into God who will ask me to stop programming.

OR

Some of my code causes the apocalypse that ends civilization as we know it.

JB King
Nothing to be afraid of, the current universe is just a prototype.
Gamecat
+2  A: 

That I will invest all my time into a hyped new technology only to find out shortly down the road that it's a dying one...

A.Donahue
A: 

Mutable value types in .NET

Thomas Levesque
+6  A: 

That future technology and consolidation of development efforts either by corporation or open source projects will reduce the demand for programmers, while globalization significantly increases the supply. I think this is already well underway.

Paul
the trick here is to be good at what you do. there's a glut of bad and mediocre programmers, but good ones are few and far between, and likely always will be.
rmeador
Well no offence, but I think that type of response is incorrect, as it throws responsibility for a systemic problem at individuals who have little actual control over the situation. Look at what happened to skilled craftsmen during the industrial revolution. It is going to be the skilled programmers who find that their skills have less and less business value. Technology is being driven by people with money who want to reduce the skill needed to program so they'll have more people competing for the same jobs and can pay them less. SharePoint is a perfect example of this type of thing.
Paul
Yeah, but someone has to maintain SharePoint itself!
Iain Galloway
Yes, someONE does. This is consolidation of development. One common library/application for all. It's not always better, but it's usually cheaper.
Paul
The point is "they can't replace us all". As meador says, really good developers are rare. Unless you envision a world where one person maintains Windows 3000, and the rest of us are just users...I can't really see that happening. The market is getting bigger, not smaller, despite the massive influx of developers from the second world.Sure, the pressure is on to differentiate yourself, but despite all the advances we've made software is still getting more complicated, not less.
Iain Galloway
Right, and I don't disagree with that, they can't replace us all and my hope is that the best developers can always get good jobs. My point is that they are going to try to make the bulk of programming jobs easier, so that it doesn't require a highly skilled developer. This will 'free up' (euphemism for losing your job or taking a pay cut) more expensive skilled developers to compete for a smaller set of projects with wide deployment. It's not the end of the world for good developers, but it does have an impact on your quality of life no matter how good you are.
Paul
Only if you consider that the complexity of applications that there is demand for has an upper bound. Certainly, we're being forced to learn more, and faster, in order to keep up. Overall I think it's a good thing though because in return all the boring stuff is automated.
Iain Galloway
Well, I hope all the naysayers here are right!
Paul
+7  A: 

What if I make it all the way to the end of my career and I've never done anything to help move the industry or humanity forward in any significant way? What if I slip off into the night and am forgotten like that dead Raccoon you drove past on the highway last week that you hadn't given a second thought until I just mentioned it?

BenAlabaster
wow. that is depressing, but unfortunately the likely fate of the vast majority of us.
JohnFx
@JohnFx - I know, isn't it? Thankfully, I don't spend my waking moments considering that this is a possibility. I had to sit and think long and hard to come up with that being my only real fear... and what if?
BenAlabaster
There are few things more frustrating than to pour your heart and soul into a product, a great product well received and loved by customers, and have it all but vanish from the face of the earth only a few years later. Software doesn't last.
dthorpe
@dthorpe - I'm not talking about a product, I'm talking about paradigm shifts, new approaches, radical new ways of thinking, change the world stuff. You're right though, pieces of software come and go.
BenAlabaster
@BenAlabaster Are you sure there's a difference? ;>
dthorpe
@dthorpe - I mean like profound world changing stuff, like finding the cause of gravity so we can beat it, light speed propulsion systems, warp speed, the ability to teleport... holy grail kind of stuff. There's no point in dreaming small ;)
BenAlabaster
@BenAlabaster: and none of those have anything to do with software. Are you in the right field? ;> Ok, creating true sentience would be a software thing, and game changing on multiple levels.
dthorpe
@dthorpe - Think metaphorically/abstractly and apply that to the software industry. I didn't literally mean *those* things - although it would be hella cool to figure *them* out, just imagine the possibilities.
BenAlabaster
I obsess about that raccoon. It haunts me.His name was Speckled Jim. He was a father, a lover, a good provider. Sure, he got into fights occasionally was a bit reckless in traffic, but he was fundamentally a community minded raccoon.I miss him.
WOPR
+4  A: 

Being forced to help with ISO Documentation... or even worse a users manual

jumpdart
Done both. To make it worse, the manuals were mil. spec.
PSUnderwood
+19  A: 

Outsourcing....

Jack
Or the lack of it for folks like me who're at the receiving end of it.
Amarghosh
@Amarghosh - depressingly funny burn
rownage
question of opinion... one man's bane is another man's boom but I understand your fear.
Newtopian
TBH Outsourcing prevented my internship out of college from turning into a full time position. However, in retrospect I am kinda glad it happened I really enjoy working for my current employer.
Jack
I'm less afraid of outsourcing, and more afraid of managers who think it's a good idea -- it implies prioritizing price over quality.
Frank Farmer
How about being the programmer who has to come in behind a failed outsourcing effort? Yikes!
JohnFx
@JohnFx At least at that point you would feel fairly safe that they would not try outsourcing again.
Jack
it should read "outsourcing...to Asia".
Devtron
+32  A: 

That I will stay too long in a corporate job that I don't love because the pay is good.

wshato
meh, worse things have happened in my life
xiaohouzi79
and now I can afford that ivory back scratcher
xiaohouzi79
I'm going to stick around just couple more years until I can afford the one with diamond inlays. In all seriousness, I enjoy my gig quite a bit, but I've seen this happen many times.
wshato
+4  A: 

Boss who doesn't understand me.. and, Incompetence.

Y.J
+21  A: 

Obsolescence.

I am running as fast as I can to keep up, but the amount of stuff you need to know to do this job right only seems to be increasing. As I am nearing 40 I have to wonder how much longer I will have the stamina to keep learning at such a rapid pace.

JohnFx
I'm only 26 and feel the same way :p
jdizzle
+26  A: 

Becoming outdated.

I fear that the next hot thing will come along and I'll find that no one wants to hire me because I didn't just get out of school trained in Object Oriented X# and they don't want to wait until I get up to speed.

Beaner
+1. As a Win32 developer, I fear .NET (No, not really, but to a small extent, maybe.)
Andreas Rejbrand
+2  A: 

I am always afraid that my OpenGL programs do not run properly on the majority of computers. In my experience, there is always a good "chance" that an application that runs perfectly on my machine (and a few others), do not run smoothly on some other machine, for no apparent reason...

By the way, testing on many machines should have been a lesson for those developing Grand Theft Auto IV, because - it seems - the setup utility will fail to display any text labels on computers not running an English languange version of Windows (and maybe German, too -- at least no text was shown when I tried to install it on my Swedish machine; there was only some strange mix of random Chinese (?) characters and whitespace). And when it was installed, even though my specs were far higher then the recommended, I got a inverse frame rate of some seconds per frame (yes, that is less than one fps!).

Andreas Rejbrand
+2  A: 

Agile Methodology takes over, and is poorly implemented.

Nix
A: 

That I might have to do front end work using javascript.

nabeelalimemon
+10  A: 

One of my fears is that I will quit liking my job. I can imagine programming is the kind of work that can be miserable if you don't love it.

Chad
+46  A: 

Losing an arm or a hand.

ninjalj
It's OK if you still have one, though... In a previous job, I had a colleague whose left hand had been amputated, and he was pretty good
Thomas Levesque
Fortunately I don't use Emacs, but even then, fear is irrational.
ninjalj
Dragon Speak, programming edition. Problem solved :-)
invertedSpear
My wife claims she saw a documentary that included a mention of a prolific programming book author who only has 3 fingers total. Never managed to find him via google though.
Frank Farmer
@ninjalj: That's when you get yourself a good one-hand keyboard and a set of foot pedals for the modifier keys.
Novelocrat
@Novelocrat: I like the foot pedals idea. I'd feel like I was Def Leppard's drummer.
ninjalj
Sounds like a more appropriate fear for a jedi than a programmer.
JohnFx
@JohnFx Are you not [email protected] What about eyes? That is realy more appropriate fear for a programmer
Jeriho
Voice Command, Speech SDK. Oh yesssss! High Five.
Devtron
+58  A: 

I fear the rushing tide of developers that are coming into the field only for the money or the "opportunity" and not because they love to code and solve problems. They devalue the field as a whole.

blesh
If you're a decent programmer you won't have to worry about it...however I do agree with you in the sense that it will be devalued. On the flipside, look at nursing. So many people go into nursing because there's earning potential there but when they are not experienced and don't actually enjoy what they do, they don't stand a chance in the real world -- and the good nurses still make bank.
rownage
Seems like this was a lot more of an issue in 1995-2000 or so.
Frank Farmer
I wouldn't fear these people. Developers who are not geeks by nature are usually carp.
seanizer
Crap, not carp.
seanizer
@rownage: People get into nursing for the money? I thought it was underpaid.
Andrew Grimm
@Andrew: It's not great to start off, but if you can eventually become a senior nurse or head a department there are huge amounts of money to be made (the main point being you'll never get there if you don't enjoy it)[email protected]: That gave me a good chuckle. If you're a developer and you're not a geek, you might as well be a freshwater fish.
rownage
It's these people that I fear... it's the managers who can't distinguish between these folks and the ones with true passion.
James Schek
Right, that's what I mean by "devalue" they can actually end up lowering wages for "good" developers. To upper management at a lot of larger companies, a developer is a developer, the more the better. There's no accounting for skill at that level, and at some point your salary is going to be dictated by some sort of supply and demand psuedo-logic.
blesh
The dot com bust was effectively a thumb in that dike. I hardly ever have anyone ask me anymore "What do I have to do to become a programmer?"
JohnFx
What money? Am I the only one who thinks that programmers are underpaid? Or is it just me who is under paid?
John Isaacks
@JohnFX I have people all the time say they want me to take a day or 2 to teach them how to program, so they can get a programming job. I think they truly think that it can be learned in a couple days. Actually I think they don't actually associate programming as writing code, I think they conceptualize it like programming a VCR.
John Isaacks
+11  A: 

Losing the battle to stay up-to-date on such a vast field of knowledge and having to resign to being a 'specialist' in some fading, dinosaur technology.

Superstringcheese
some of the best paid programmers are the ones who can maintain COBOL code... Not fully exciting but a nice golden retirement. Fast forward 20 years and replace COBOL with Java
Newtopian
Yeah, we just laid off 3 of them when we replaced our legacy mainframe system.
Superstringcheese
+3  A: 

Spending my life programming on a language/environment I dislike.

See: Is using an outdated programming language bad for my career/personal development?

Rafael Belliard
+2  A: 

Closed platforms. With every new locked device, a potential programming job is lost, along with individual freedom.

hb2pencil
+41  A: 

Burnout. I've seen it happen, and gotten very close to it myself. It's not pretty.

Also fear waking up one day and needing to scream "I don't want to do this anymore!!", but that's not really programming-specific, could happen in any career.

FrustratedWithFormsDesigner
The good thing is that it is usually only a transient condition.
JohnFx
While my first (and so far only) time burning out was bad, although not as bad as some experience, I'm glad that it happened. I have significantly improved my work-life balance since then, and even though I'm in Grad School now, I still manage to have a social life and not feel too stressed out on a day-to-day basis. I've figured out how to get lots done within a "normal" work day, so that I don't actually spend too many evenings working away on school work.There has got to be a better way to learn this stuff, but hitting my all-time low seemed to have worked for me...
Tony Arkles
@JohnFx: how long does such a 'transient condition' last? really curious
Chris
@Chris: I can only speak for myself, but it usually seems to last only until I get my hands on a really cool project with a new twist. That said, each time it seems to take longer to get excited again. By the time I'm 50 I may have run out of refreshes.
JohnFx
+2  A: 

Given how many fervent debates there are about programming languages and platforms, I would say one of the most common fears is becoming irrelevant after investing lots of time cultivating a very specific skill set. There is a huge amount of angst on blogs, forums like hacker news, and even this site about getting left behind.

Some people deal with it by being defensive and trying to rationalize their decision to stay the course, and others endlessly jump to the newest greatest thing. But both are manifestations of this fear.

Jacob
A: 

There are two or three things in the world I'm VERY afraid of, but they all have nothing to do with programming. Except those two or three things I fear absolutely nothing. So I don't have a programming fear.

(Almost?) Every bad/horrible/horryfying programming event or experience can be used to learn or gain something. So there is nothing to be afraid of. In any event you can always remember that "this too shall pass".

SigTerm
+8  A: 

That code monkeys will replace all real programmers.

Pavel Shved
There will always be a need for programmers. Code monkeys can only do what they're told, much like computers themselves.
John D. Cook
It's already happened. They're called Microsoft Certified Developers (such as myself) :)
Devtron
+3  A: 

That my code will be reviewed

Ed B
To be safe just wipe the repo and burn all printouts
Alexandre Jasmin
+2  A: 

misusing rm -rf

adavea
+4  A: 

That I'll die without saying a simple word, "Eureka"

loxxy
+2  A: 

Being forced to ship code before it is ready or within a timeframe that guarantees poor quality. I know the pain this causes, know what I will do to make it write, but still I hate this situation.

For Vice Presidents of Engineering put in this position, my recommendation is to refuse and/or quit. Don't push it down to your team.

Jacob

TheJacobTaylor
+7  A: 

Being forced using MFC on windows.

Flaps
Please, don't talk about this. I don't want to remember it ;)
Vitor Py
I'm still in this nightmare. At least until I finish porting the wretched app to WPF.
Nathan Ernst
+6  A: 

Lack of motivation due to a project that you know 2 months down the line isn't going to be used anyway, so they scrap the idea and propose a new idea.

Mike
A: 

OMG.. these Code Review Comments!

Ankit Jain
they're not that scary D: ...they can be beneficial :3
townsean
+2  A: 

Oh boy...a lot of good ones already mentioned. :)

Not being able to keep up in this every-changing field.
Never improving as a developer. Becoming the "weakest link" on the team.

townsean
+5  A: 

My second biggest fear is being asked to re-write and modernize a program that my employer "has the source code for", where "has the source code" means "it's written in Fortran on this unsorted, waist-high stack of punch cards". I've done that once, and it's been a recurring nightmare ever since.

My biggest fear is for the above to happen, only for me to find that part of the aforementioned source code has decomposed or been eaten by vermin whilst being stored in the repositorybasement...

bta
+1 for the vermins.
ninjalj
+1  A: 

Find out that some day my knowledge is obsolete and because of that become a college teacher.

Jafet
I dream of following my software development career with teaching. Some of the profs I respect the most came from industry.
Alain O'Dea
+1  A: 

Not knowing something I feel I should know. Perhaps I'm just too hard on myself.

MattB
+4  A: 

That I have to go back to VB.NET from C# for the next project.... shudder

Dal
You reminded me of what I'm afraid of. Language snobs.
JohnFx
Sorry for giving my personal opinion... coded in the language for six months, eventually the existing developers decided to try some C#... never looked back. Speaks for itself really.
Dal
A: 
  1. That I have to use object-oriented programming techniques, in MATLAB.
  2. That I try to implement something very time consuming, very hard and highly optimized just to find out later that it (or something even better) already exists (maybe hidden on some personal homepage) (a.k.a. reinventing the wheel). I'm glad that did not happen to me, yet. The positive thing is that at least I will learn some things:
    1. how this works and how to implement it, and
    2. next time use more time to Google it.
George B.
+9  A: 

I fear that some day the world will realize that we all spend about half our day goofing off and therefore should only be paid half as much.

Bryan Oakley
The world should also realize that programming is a creative task, and you can't do it as if were driving nails, mind recreation is a need
Hernán Eche
+2  A: 

1 - getting behind of the general profession, not having enough time to develop my skills 2 - getting stuck on a maintenance project for a long time 3 - having to know so much about business logic to be competitive 4 - having bad design or no design before starting coding 5 - so on :) unfortunately there are a lot of things to be afraid of in this profession

LostMohican
Sounds like you've been there - please take a look at mine.
Carnotaurus
+8  A: 

That I might one day come to the conclusion that programming is just not for me. That's what really scares me.

Dan
+1  A: 

Having to rewrite the whole system... again... in another language... using different toolsets/frameworks... all at once rather than in phases (replace one part, then the next)... because some upper level manager thinks their way is the best way and any other way is bad and needs to be replaced wholesale.

I have no problem trying new ways of doing things. What I have a problem with is totally abandoning the old way(s), tossing aside any lessons learned doing it that(those) way(s), and redoing the whole thing another way. At the very least, reimplementing specific (unrelated) components using the new technology to see how it works would be nice.

RHSeeger
+1  A: 

I’m afraid of losing grasp of what the customer wants and needs. There’s a big indescribable understanding built up in this project over 5 years.

I’m also afraid of losing rigour in development due to carelessness. I’ve seen good projects sink (and sinking) because developers not caring.

Ant
+1  A: 

Getting the paper in the morning and discovering that (probably indirectly) my code has made the front page for all the wrong reasons.

Daniel
+6  A: 

I fear spending my time on an answer forum answering RTFM questions like:

How to find the maximum of 2 numbers?

and

How do I write a is not smaller than b

xiaohouzi79
+9  A: 

That one day, I'll wake up and realize that I haven't done anything of value and I'm too old to change that.

Marko
+4  A: 

making the mistake that causes the rest of the team to work unplanned overtime to correct.

AShelly
+2  A: 

To take a page from this guy's book, I have nothing to fear except fear itself. Seriously.

RCIX
Why the downvote? i'm perfectly serious. I don't care if it's a cliche.
RCIX
+3  A: 

I got left behind!.. I came out of a 15 year old time capsule because I stopped programming that long ago when I started a Pawnshop business. FWIW, I have a 20 yr old pawnshop app written with INFORMIX-SQL and I need to modernize the app with a GUI-front end, but keep the same functionality. My app is very robust and has some incredible features which a couple of other pawnshop owners who use my system are very happy with. Only obstacle which has kept me from effectively acheiving market penetration is, believe it, my app is char-based and I would like to duplicate the same functionality with a GUI. My feeling is that its quicker for a user to process a transaction with my char-based app vs. having to focus a cursor with a mouse, but cosmetics are hindering me! I need a programming language update!

Frank Computer
+2  A: 

When I am involved with Legacy System and am working on new feature, I have this constant fear that I should not break existing functionality. This is one of my real life fears...I must admit it here.

Rachel
+3  A: 

i'm deathly afraid of a monetary loss due to a bug in my code. it's happened before... the infamous "penny pizza day", instead of "dollar pizza day"... unit tests FTW

joshtronic
+5  A: 

I am afraid I will get old and I won't be able to work as efficient as now and keep up with technology.

Neo
+14  A: 

Being asked "How many years experience do you have in XXX?", where XXX is a product I designed and wrote, then being told I didn't get the job.

Oh that's right, this already happened

WOPR
What was the XXX product, dare I ask?
user279521
How the h3ll???
Rafael Belliard
Wow. 10 more to go.
Michael Foukarakis
Sharepoint is the product :)
Elijah Glover
I resent that comment. +1
WOPR
+3  A: 

Somebody will completely restructure my code!

fastcodejava
Amen to that! I wonder how many programmers stay in their job mainly because they know how badly their co-workers would butcher their beloved codebase if they weren't there to take care of it. :)
Jeremy Friesner
+15  A: 

Non-reproducible bugs. (in particular, bugs that only ever show themselves when the program is being demo'd on stage in front of at least 500 people)

Jeremy Friesner
+2  A: 

That working overnights and trying to improve could cause me physical harm, like the carpal tunnel syndrome

Ast Derek
+1  A: 

The horrible time suck and commitment it creates, that and losing my memory sticks and learning i should back up the hard way

Hugoagogo
+7  A: 

Spending so much time working on work and side projects that I forget to stay in shape, find a nice girl to marry, etc etc.

baultista
+1  A: 

Fear of the wrong path.

Santana
Like this? `if(...) { /* right! */ } else { /* wrong :( */ }`
Brian S
A: 

That my one app will be killer of my previous one.

Ideveloper
+1  A: 

Something Like: breaking my fingers, blind ... and can't write code anymore.
Another one: IE6 ... LOL

Aitjcize
+1  A: 

My biggest fear as a programmer is that someday, somehow, code I wrote kills someone.

I also fear the rise of programmers who only learned Python, *.NET, and and who have no knowledge of how a computer actually works because "they only work with windows" (heard it before, it was pretty scary to chat with that guy).

Opera
why should a plumber learn dentistry?
I__
+14  A: 

Being held accountable for timeframe estimates for essential functionality, where:

  1. I have no idea how long it would take to code;
  2. I am not given time to investigate;
  3. Requirements keep changing in an uncontrolled way;
  4. Data that needs to sit in just about any tier is being drip fed to me;
  5. The direction taken was incorrect or not considered an optimal way of writing the functionality and you then have an unrealistic timeframe to re-write it; and
  6. Once it has been re-written, half of the company blame you.

Does any of this sound familiar?

Carnotaurus
Preach!!!!!!!!!
Rafael Belliard
You want me to post more?
Carnotaurus
+6  A: 

I'm afraid of not having enough time to learn and master all stuffs I'm interested in...

Vimvq1987
+1  A: 

The Singularity.

Machines will be writing themselves, and all high-level languages, like C, will become obsolete. Then we're all back to assembly, to try and figure out what the machines are doing.

monkut
+7  A: 

I always get a deep fear in the pit of my stomach just before I'm about to push anything I have built or anything I'm responsible for live. Regardless of how thoroughly I have tested it.

It's like I'm assuming it's going to break straight away and I'll be revealed as stupid or incompetent or something.

Evernoob
I can relate to that. On the other hand, I an actually shocked, when I run into someone in the hallway, and they mention how everyone in their department LOVES the app I developed. :-)
user279521
+1  A: 

That my mind will fray and I will not have the capacity to do what I do anymore and that I also haven't built up any other useful (read: management) skills to continue working in the field.

jdizzle
+9  A: 

That one day the power will go out...

...and never come back on.

My entire educational and professional career would be for naught.

Caleb Thompson
Hush. Don't talk about Project Mayhem.
ninjalj
A: 

Getting caught in an endless loop of revising estimates to fit a predetermined but secret number, having offshore developers assigned to my project before requirements are understood, having management debating which technology to use six weeks into the project...

Ed Guiness
A: 

That I wont be able to keep up with the new technologies and Web 3.0 stuff (like integrating Twitter and Facebook and iPhone apps etc). I started with VB4.0 and have come along way, but back then it was just front end vb and back end sql. You actually had time to go out and enjoy life on the weekends. These days its silverlight or web 2.0 or mvc or F# or something new that I need to get upto speed on. There is no time for a vacation or to take a break. UGH !!

user279521
I gotta tell you, F# is just plain fun to write. There are so many awesome features just waiting to be discovered.
ChaosPandion
+6  A: 

Getting bored.

If I have to do one more CRUDdy web-app, I'm going to become an artist or something.

chris
A: 

Having to do Java

Jasconius
Locked?! That's not fair I want to answer too :(
Nils
duplicate: someone already answered with this:
C Johnson