Fun with Easter Eggs

While searching around for 2012 tax records, I found a file with printouts of the “Easter Egg” my team put into our website back in 1999. This Easter Egg was on the error screen. If you typed a particular search value, you’d get a page that looked like our standard error page, with the text:

“An error has occurred  — when asked about the problem, our developers would probably respond with:”

This was followed by an answer selected randomly from the following possibilities. These were from a list of things developers actually said to me, the tester, that were written on a whiteboard throughout the development of this product. (I wish I had a picture of the whiteboard! This was before everyone had a phone that’s also a camera!)

  • “I could just do it so it works”
  • “Have you been able to get anything to compile?”
  • “If you don’t think that it’s your fault, blame the tools”
  • “Hmm…. That’s bad”
  • “It’s working for me”
  • “We found out why the query page isn’t working…. there’s something weird going on”
  • “Who needs error checking?!”
  • “Just add more memory”
  • “I owe Steve $1,000,000 — Aaron”
  • “Never show your code your fear”
  • “Sweeeeeeeeeet!”
  • “Oh, it doesn’t compile? Just comment that part out.”
  • “In order to fix the bug, you must become the bug”

Ah, that brings back such fun memories. It was a great team. When I first joined them in ’98, the five developers (including one who was 16 years old – ah, the Internet boom years) they’d never worked with a tester. It was nice to develop a happy, collaborative relationship where we could kid each other and make lists of funny developer responses. I’d call them over to my workstation to see an error I got, and they’d say stuff like, “You have too many windows open!” I knew I’d proven my worth when one of them approached me shyly one day and said, “We’re going to come in this weekend to work on this project. Would you mind coming in to help us, so we know about the problems right away?”

What are your favorite Easter Eggs? What memories do they bring back for you?

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