'T'was the Night Before Crisis, from 1985

Twas the night before crisis, and all thru the shop,
not a program was working, not even a prompt.

The programmers were wrung out, too mindless to care,
Knowing chances of extensions hadn't a prayer.

The users were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of CBT danced in their heads.

When out in the lobby there arose such a clatter,
That I sprang from my tube to see what was the matter.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a Super Programmer, oblivious to fear.

More rapid than eagles his fingers they flew,
As the bugs were fixed, and the kludges removed.

On Graphics! On Menus! On Input and Judging,
On Compiler! On Printer! On Test Score Recording!

Cram it all on one disk, make sure it is small!
Now work with the management system, merge with it all!

His eyes were glazed over, as if in a dream,
As he slouched in his chair in front of the screen.

A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to 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 fingers on the ENTER key,
The system came up, and worked perfectly.

The graphics, they plotted, the deletes, they deleted,
The records recorded, and the closing completed.

He tested each whistle, he tested each bell,
With nary a break, all had gone well.

The system was finished, the QC was concluded,
The client's last changes were even included.

And the client exclaimed with a snarl and a taunt,
"It's just want I asked for, but not what I want!"

Author Unknown

Last updated: January 24, 2011