How to annoy a Web Developer
A list of tips on How to annoy web developers, hopefully for knowing and avoiding them.
Web development is fun. Making websites and solving problems is a career that currently about ten million people around the world have chosen. The fun can turn into annoyance in many different ways. For example by bugs, browser problems, lack of documentations and more importantly how we treat each other. This project list things that might annoy web developers, so that hopefully those can be avoided to make those 10 million developers happier.
The list of is divided based on who you are.
- Section 1. If You Are an Employer
- Section 2. If You Are a Browser Maker
- Section 3. If You Are a Designer
- Section 4. If You Are in DevOps
- Section 5. If You Are an Event Organizer
- Section 6. If You Are in QA
- Section 7. If You Are a Web Developer
- Section 8. If You Are a Client
- Section 9. If You Are a Project Manager
- Section 10. If You Are in a Relationship with a Developer
- Section 11. If You Are Just a Web User
Please contribute to this project if you know more ways of annoying a web developer. You can contribute either by opening an issue on Github or send a pull request or just comment on Reddit or Hackernews pages mentioned at the end.
Section 1 - If You Are an Employer
Being an employer gives you the power to annoy web developers better than anyone else. You probably are already very good at this, but this chapter can help you improve your methods of annoying even the most flexible web developers on the planet very easily.
Annoy them before you know them
As an employer you have the unique chance of annoying web developers before you've even met them! You can annoy them by advertising positions that actually never existed in your team, or have already been filled. You can also humiliate them by never answering their job applications, or writing back months later with a generic email: "Dear applicant, unfortunately...". Sky is the limit for you! Let's go to details about annoying methods you can use on each stage.
Writing annoying Job Advert
To make a job advert offensive to web developers the first step is listing the name of all the technologies that you've heard or seen the previous developers install on their computer as the requirement for the position! Here's a sample requirement list for a web developer position to help you get started:
- HTML, CSS, SASS, LESS
- Backbone.js, React.js, Angular.js, Ember.js
- SQL, NoSQL, MySql, MongoDB
- Wordpress, Drupal, Typo3
- SVN, Git, Mercury
Why this list might do a good job annoying web developers? The most important factor to keep in mind is that the position doesn't actually need many of those skills. The actual job can involve just editing some pages on your current Wordpress website. This way you have annoyed equally well both those who you will apply and the ones that don't apply. Because those who saw the list and didn't apply because of the high requirements actually could apply and fill the position. On the other hand the developer who somehow knows all those technologies will be very pissed off from the moment that understands how simple and possibly boring the actual role is.
It also helps if you're somehow clueless about the technologies you have listed. For example take IO.js and Node.js. They were kind of different technologies for a while but got merged back together long before the time of writing your job advert. You can list them separately, and insist that those are totally different tools.
Typos and wrong usage of small and capital letters in the technology names help a lot. Instead of flexbox, just cut it to flexbo. It's more fun.
One more tip to make your job advert annoying is using cheesy words in job summaries:
- rock star
Another trick to waste developers' time is by having unwritten criteria. For example, imagine you're a local consulting company in Finland, and almost all your clients are Finnish speakers. But you also like to show that your company is very international with offices in every continent. To achieve this, you can write your adverts in English, but simply ignore all all the applicants who have foreign-sounding names.
Besides the way you write your job adverts, you can also piss off developers by advertising positions that actually don't exist or are already filled. There are very good reasons to do this. Firstly just because you can! Secondly because you have probably a section on your website to list job ads, if the list is full everybody thinks you're growing fast! On the other hand, if you have the ad there there's a chance that randomly you get applications from top talents! And lastly because you like annoying web developers, right?
Annoying Processing of Job Applications
To effectively annoy developers you have many options as said before. Let's take a closer look at some options.
Do nothing. Simply ignore the job applications. Let them pile up in your firstname.lastname@example.org inbox.
Send back a generic email, and again do nothing Set an automatic reply on the careers address to send back a generic email to applicants after some time, informing that they weren't good enough. Here's a sample:
Thank you for your application.Unfortunately we concluded that your skills and expertise aren't the best match for this position.
We regret to inform you we won’t be inviting you for an interview. I hear you thinking, what a standard reply. Unfortunately I can’t deny that. We can’t do it any other way because of the amount of applications we’ve received for this job.
However I can assure you that we've reviewed your motivation and CV and made a well-thought-out decision. Thanks again and we wish you all the best and good luck in finding your perfect job!
- Send applicants an automatic rejecten email everyweek until they mark it as spam, because you don't have time to setup your recruitment application
Annoying job exercise
- Give applicants a job exercise that takes a long time to complete, has nothing to do with the real job they will be doing and give them a close deadline
- Give applicants something to do that you're going to charge your clients for, yes actually make applicants work for you for free
In job interviews you get your first chance to humiliate web developers and see the reaction on their face in real time! But don't get excited yet. There are still things you can do before the interview. By planning the interview right, you can get much better results.
- arrange a group interview, instead of meeting one applicant at a time. Group interviews work best at annoying developers specially when you press these nerds with questions like: "what is your biggest weakness?" in front of the whole group.
Invite all the applicants to interview. Before reviewing their technical skills, let human resources spend some time with them, with all of them. Otherwise what is human resources good for? And those applicants don't have much to do anyway. They're looking for a job, it means they've plenty of free time.
Focus on finding the best engineers in the world. Forget about the real position the applicant is going to fill. You deserve to have the best engineers in the world working for you, so don't go for anything less!
- Head to Amazon and order one of those "1000 Hard Interview Questions".
- In the interview, don't waste time getting to know the applicant, just throw them some of those questions right away and let them struggle.
- Don't be nice. For instance if you see the applicant is overqualified just tell to their face: "If you're really as good as written in your C.V. why did you apply for this position? Everyone is going to treat you like shit".
Annoying First Few Weeks
You have done a great job in humiliating at least one web developer all the way up to this point, and now you have your new team member. At this stage you can:
- pick a project that no one has been able to deliver in the past two years, set a two months deadline on it and ask new developer to work on it.
- Keep reminding the deadline but don't even give the poor developer a system to start working
Annoying Activities / Distractions
You should know something about developers mentality to do this kind of humiliations on your developers effectively. Generally, and according to stereotype web developers care about the following: technology, computers, board games, hackathons, tech talks, cat pictures and anime
- never organize events involving around such things.
- organize events that are on the opposite side, like about marketing and business.
- organize those unwanted events early in the morning, as developers are often night persons
- don't let your developers focus. When a new idea comes to your mind, no matter what they are working on at the moment, gather them in a room and let them start working on your "vision" right away.
Section 2 - If You Are a Browser Maker
If you are making browsers, it's safe to say that you're responsible not for many humiliations that web developers suffer from, but also for making many of them even change their career! You don't need any tips. You know exactly what to do. But just to make this book longer, let's list the methods you use for humiliating software developers.
Have Your Own Reading of Specs. Have a different reading of the Specs. Be special. Let web developers find this sentences at the bottom of every search result: "Not supported in X"
Keep Your Development Process Secret. Put your development process in a black box and lock it! Never let anyone on the outside know whether you're planning to support that feature or not. Let developers do guess work, instead of planning based on your feature plans.
Section 3 - If You Are a Designer
Being a designer, you can help web developers make amazing websites with eye catching visual effects. However this won't prevent you to enjoy annoying web developers as part of your job. Here are some tips to help you with that.
Never Be Happy With The Results
You're a designer. A good one. You should be satisfied only with perfect implementation of your design. The vertical space between the image and the text can always become more balanced, you just have to ask the web developer to push some more buttons. Don't give up! Just keep reminding the web developer that this is not acceptable and should get improved. This could be a good catch phrase for you: "We can't launch like this".
Imagine Users Will Spend Hours Looking at Details
Your developer, checking the website analytics knows that users are spending 15 seconds on average on your website. But don't believe that! Design the website so that it had loads of details, and small things to be discovered by users. Push your developer to break many standards and best practices to build those details that probably only yourself will end up exploring!
Keep Your Creativity Stream Going
Don't stop! Bring in new ideas even on the launch day. Never call it final. Always help the developer feel that all the code that he is writing, might end up in trash in a matter of seconds.
Live In the Print Era
You have been designing amazing stuff from business cards to billboards for years, and everyone loves your design. Keep using standards that you've used and loved. For example if the web developer says "the fold is dead", don't buy it! Insist on fitting everything in the fold, no matter what! By the way you have been centering any element in photoshop by a couple of clicks. Why the developer can't just center that button for you?.
Don't Learn Anything About CSS / HTML / the WEB!
Leave those things to the web developer. That's his problem. You don't have to worry about those things.
Expect mega corporate website quality from a single developer
If your web developer says "I can't implement this feature now", simply open apple.com and show him how apple has done it. To annoy your web developer act like making a website like apple.com, is as easy as copying their bruchures in Photoshop. It doesn't matter how many team members have worked on apple.com, or Spotify.com, if they can do it, your single developer must be able to do it as well.
Don't Care About The Developer's Craft, or User Experience
At the end of the day, it's your design that should shine. Who cares about meaningless code that developers put together to make the design come to life as a website? Don't compress your image and video assets, and don't let the developer do that for you! Website speed is not your problem, it's users'.
Don't Read This Book
There's a good book titled: "Don't let me think" by Steve Krug. It can give you a good idea about what works and what doesn't for the web. To annoy your web developers, never ever read this book!
Section 4 - If You Are in DevOps
Naturally you help web developers reach their hard earned product to end users. You're the window between developers and users. Just like any other persona we discussed, you can be super nice to developers. But in case you're interested in making their life harder, we have some tips for you as well.
Tell Them To Use Another Tool
Is your developer happy using a grunt task? Humiliate them by making them use a task runner written in PHP! For desired effect tell them to do change the tool just a couple of hours before deploying to production! Are your developers all excited about Docker recently? Tell them its not time to consider it for now.
Section 5 - If You Are an Event Organizer
So you organize tech events to help the community go forward. Very nice. You have probably a good will. And all that makes it a little hard for you to be able to annoy web developers. But still, if you try hard, there are ways to achieve that.
For example you can always put sponsor satisfaction before the quality of talks. If a company is chipping in well, then it doesn't matter what their presentation is about. It can even be as none-informative as a YouTube commercial. It doesn't matter. Just let poor web developers who have traveled long distances to reach your conference, and also have paid a few hundred bucks for tickets, listen to some repetitive, corporate promoting talks.
On the other hand you can choose your panel so that some parts of web developer society gets offended. For example you can have an all male panel of speakers, and when asked why, reply with a generic: we'd love to have women speak at our conference, but no one applied!
Generally if you don't care about diversity, some web developers might end up annoyed. Just imagine everyone in tech is white, male, straight, and rich. Keep that in mind and you'll succeed to annoy many underrepresented minorities in tech, and people who care about them.
Section 6 - If You Are in QA
If you're the person responsible for quality control, you can of course annoy the poor web developer easily. Just ask her to support any old browser since 1995 onwards. And more importantly, make sure the website looks the same across all those browsers. Another trick would be trying to convince the art director that the user experience is not good enough, so they should definitely consider a complete redesign. It better be shortly before going live!
Section 7 - If You Are a Web Developer
If you're a web developer you have two main options to annoy web developers. Firstly, you can annoy yourself, or at least your future self. Or you can annoy your fellow web developers! Whether you want to annoy your future self or your fellow web developers, here are some tips for you.
- Keep the code base dirty and never refactor.
- Add any framework / library that you see into the project, you don't have to really need them. Import libraries just because they look good.
- Never write comments explaining how your code works.
- Even better than the one above, don't update your comments, and sort of lie about your code!
- Don't be consistent with your variable names, indention,... Your code should look like if it's written by 10 programmers who have never met each other.
- Bash whatever technology people in your team are using, and bring in those that you like.
- If a fellow web developer comes to you asking for help with a problem in framework "X". Tell them the only viable solution is to switch to framework "Y".
- Never write README.MD files for your repos. Let the maintainers Google and guess for the rest of their lives.
- Write one word commit messages like: "fixed", "solved"
- Or write commit messages like this one: "I don't know exactly what I did, I did it yesterday"
- Push a nearly perfect commit, and after that a couple of commits to fix typos
Section 8 - If You Are a Client
Clients of freelance web developers or web development studios have great power to annoy the developers. This comes from the unique relationship between clients and contractors. A contractor really, really wants to do a great job for a client. It makes them happy because it's their craft, it makes the client happy, it makes client's customers happy - and, of course, the developers get paid and can put food on their table. Some surefire ways to annoy a developer as a client:
- Challenge every aspect of a job estimate.
- Ask for estimates for 15 different minor variations of the same scope of work - the most complex of which is barely within the normal minimum project range for the web developer.
- When scope of work is agreed upon, try to negotiate down further.
- During the review process, be sure to send lots of detailed and finicky updates scattered across many different emails.
- Blame the developer for missing some of the changes.
- Be sure to freak out that "nothing has been done" when literally every change you requested has been done, except for the one in the file that you didn't actually send.
- Give the developer free reign on creating a responsive version with no specs whatsoever...
- ...and then when you want it changed, say you don't think it should cost extra.
- See the Designer section above, and be sure to hit all of those points as well.
- Dispute the invoice.
- Call everything a bug. Even the feature or improvement you asked for two days ago!
- Report bugs couple of months after noticing it, but expect a fix right away after reporting it.
- Don't focus on describing a problem but instead try to offer a solution or even prescribe an implementation.
- Ask for implementing features that make the website slower, and harm user experience. Likes lots of pop ups and carousels.
- Ask for old browser support, "Site needs to work in IE 6" even if under half a percent of your visitors are using that browser
Section 9 - If You Are a Project Manager
- Before starting a new task, keep repeating that the task is "easy".
- When developer comes to you with time estimation, look at her with rounded eyes and say: are you sure it takes this long? I thought it's easy.
- Also remind the developer that this has been done before a thousands times, it's just a matter of cut/copy/paste.
- After the task is done and feature is live, don't update the developer about what happened next, or what difference delivering that feature made.
- Talk a bit aggressively with your developer, so that they take you seriously.
- Challenge all the technical decisions. Remind them that you have been a developer yourself, some 20 years ago. Even though 20 years ago, web development didn't exist and you were working on a different platform.
- Ask your developer to walk you through the codebase line by line, while your more important tasks like managing the project is on hold.
- While your developer is working on a task, ask her to stop and then ask another developer to complete it. To maximize effect do it multiple times to each task, so that seven developers need to work on the same thing each one trying to understand and continue the work done by others.
- Talk to your developer like you never believe her. Developer says: feature is ready. Your best response can be: says the developer (grin).
- Try to replace QA and do the quality control yourself. Instead of spending your time managing the project, and helping your developer, try to test features yourself.
- When you find a bug, run around the office and shout: "I found a bug in my developer's code, I found a bug, yoo hooo, yes! yes! I found it".
- But when you find out it wasn't actually a bug, just silently nod at your developer and say alright. No one at the office needs to know that you were wrong.
- Love software methodology jargon like: scrum, kanban,... Every Monday suggest: Shall we switch to monkey swing tree method that only came out yesterday?
- Keep telling your developer: "You don't understand the business aspect of this"
- Ask for a quick prototype, and when it's ready tell your developer it's good enough let's deploy it to production.
- Don't focus on describing a problem but instead try to offer a solution or even prescribe an implementation.
- Ask for getting something done in short notice, during last working hour of Friday! Developers who deploy something on Friday, are more likely to think about what they have done during the weekend and stress about what if they broke something and they can't know until Monday?
Section 10 - If You Are in a Relationship with a Developer
Well if you're living with a developer, chances are you will be get annoyed more often than you can annoy your partner :) So I sympathize with you, for all the time you were talking and your partner was just pretending to listen but actually thinking of a bug deep inside. But anyway we have some tips for you as well!
- Ask your developer half, to stay home and do remote work, but actually assume that it's a day off for her! Keep talking and distracting and get disappointed when you don't get enough attention.
- Use the oldest version of web browsers, operating systems, and don't let her upgrade your system.
- Ask her to do all the things related to internet because "she knows better". Even for small tasks that you can definitely do yourself.
Section 11 - If You Are Just a Web User
If you don't know a web developer closely, you still can annoy them! Isn't that amazing? Yes you can annoy actually many web developers without even knowing them by following this tip:
- Don't update your browser. Use the oldest Internet Explorer or Safari that you can!
Section 9 - If You Are a Recruiter
Tips for recruiters follow:
- How Do You Annoy a Web Developer? A reddit discussion which gave me some ideas after writing my first few pages. I also took the title from that thread.
Thanks to everyone participating in: