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I am an Undefeatable Hipster

I am an Undefeatable Hipster

No one can beat my kung fu style! I don't care if you're a Java programmer, Orc, or both. I'll defeat you either way. The rest of the office is in fear of my l33t programming skills, and my constant Nerf dart gun fights in the office. But I think most of the fear is from the former.

I mean, look at this page I made with XML! No one has 5kills like this! Dedicated to American Ninjas, it's the only completely dynamic Web page around where all the illustrations are pictures made from ASCII symbols that are generated by XML databases and XSLT stylesheets. It makes the site all text, and it loads slowly, but true programmers will see the beauty in such a site.

Sure, I don't understand every last programming request I get from the higher-ups, but I usually get the job done one way or the other. Sure, I don't quite "get" all the programming terms they give me, but I get the gist of them. The point is that I do my job, and I have the most fun doing it. When my co-workers and I get into our Nintendo races, or use the offices as our urban Nerf gun combat zone, we may cause a ruckus, sure. But it really raises employee spirits to see that much fun being had. I mean, right?

Well, most of my office playmates have been laid off in the past year. But I don't think that's indicative of the way all companies treat fun-loving employees. I think it's just the economy and our uptight management.

The managers have always been hateful about my office happiness. They can't tolerate the fact that I actually enjoy coming to work. I have some fun in the office once in a while. Big deal. Well, it is to them.

Whenever I walk into an elevator full of all the stuck-up managers with their stuffy suits and ties, they see me with my ultra-cool Japanimation T-shirts, baggy pants, and skateboard (which, sure, I may be riding at the time). I see the envy burning in their eyes. Soon after one such encounter, they made up anti-skateboarding laws for the office. I couldn't believe it. Outlawing something as harmless as that out of spite. And the monkey suits didn't stop there. They started killing our freedom of speech.

Whenever the other programmers and I e-mailed each other to offer up an l33t match of programming skill, we cc'ed our messages to the rest of the office. I thought it would help office morale to see such gung ho workers. But no, the Nazi-esque sales team told us to knock it off. Sure, they e-mail the entire company every time they make a sale. But us, we can't tell anyone how great our new front-end Java servlet templates will be. Fascists.

Despite all the adversities that come my way, though, I persevere. My professional lifestyle will carry on here even if I don't. I didn't put the Property of Cool Co Dot Com masking tape labels on all my Nerf guns for the heck of it. If I am to depart this office someday, my legacy will live on with the new breed of programmers. They will be armed with my weapons of choice. To all hip, young programmers who would be disheartened I say Look up! Our day will come again. Well, unless none of the fun-loving programmers (who get laid off) find new jobs. But hey, everyone still wants employees like us. I mean, right?

More Stories By Tod Emko

Tod wrote humor-oriented articles for the Syracuse Herald-Journal and held various writer, editor, and cartoonist positions at other publications before accepting his role as a computer nerd. He has years of experience as a front-end Web developer and Perl programmer, and is now a senior XSL script architect and XML documentation writer for

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