Are you superstitious?



  •  Hi WTFers-

     

    I'm writing a short article about IT workers (defined broadly ... programmers, sysadmins, architects, tech support, etc.) and their supersitions.  I know techies have a reputation for being a rationalist bunch but I'll bet some of you rub a lucky rabbit's foot before a kernel upgrade or knock wood every time you commit code into Subversion.  I'd love to hear about anything slightly irrational that you take to your tech job -- charms, muttered incantations, lucky socks, you name it.  Feel free to email me at jfruh@jfruh.com if you're interested in sharing.   (Of course, you can post responses here, too, but I'll probably bug you for your real name and title so I can actually use your quotes if you do.)

     

    Thanks in advance,

    Josh Fruhlinger 



  • @jfruh said:

    rub a lucky rabbit's foot before a kernel upgrade
    Oh, I do tons of kernel upgrades.  I'm on my fifth one today!  Gonna need a new rabbit's foot soon!  And these lucky underwear are starting to look a little ... stained.



  • I'm superstitious of forum spam. I think it bears the omen that threads are going to be locked.



  •  OK, well, I apologize.  I'm a daily WTF reader but haven't been a forum participant before; I thought this would be the sort of topic people might enjoy sharing funny stories about.  Apparently I'm wrong.  Carry on!

     

    Josh



  • Probably digging myself into a hole further, but if you want proof that I am not a Nigerian spambot looking to harvest your email address and/or organs, you can check out blogs I write here and here, and follow the domain name in my email address to see my resume. 

     But probably you just don't want people asking these kinds of questions in the forum in the first place, so, you know, carry on.



  • Hmm.. it didn't seem much like spam to me, with all due respect to Welpog.  It seems like a legitimate request by someone who is doing research for a sociological article.  Remember, guys, not everyone can pursue their science in the anti-social confines of the Large Hadron Collider control booth nor while listening to the hellish shrieks of bunnies in the cosmetology testing lab.

     

    Speaking for myself, I'm not a superstitious person at all, unless you count drinking beer as superstition, in which case I am chronic, late-stage superstitious.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

     

    Speaking for myself, I'm not a superstitious person at all, unless you count drinking beer as superstition, in which case I am chronic, late-stage superstitious.

    Your superstition has to hit rock bottom eventually, but you've already shrugged off two attempts at a superstition intervention.



  • superstition? No. Rational measures based on empirical evidence to ward of bad luck? Certainly.

    Now where's that four leaf clover.



  • I am not superstitious when it comes to programming/systems. Observe, hypothesize, experiment, conclude. It's almost like science. Like... computer... science.

    I do have a few "lucky" t-shirts, though. But that's only because I like those shirts and thus feel better in them, increasing my "luck" and overall content(ed)ness. One of them is a motorpsycho shirt and I heart motorpsycho.



  • I am superstitious in the sense that for every major project, when I think I've covered every base, tested and accounted for all scenarios, have a contingency for all foreseeable outcomes and generally made sure nothing can go wrong then everything goes smoothly.  When I have all the above in place but take the "it's all under control" path and assume it can't possibly go wrong and leave it unattened or have/choose to leave it to others then things never quite work out.

    Frustrating but often true, especially when my fingers are not crossed.



  •  Sukperstitious?  Hell no.  I don't have any magic bear paw or any other silly gadget that is supposed to make me better at my job.  I don't cross my fingers when the UNIX admins deploy my WAR file because I have tested it...  I know that it works.  Personally I don't know anybody in the field that does anything like that (not that I know everybody, but those that I do know...).

     

    I don't think that you are likely to fine very many people as far as programmers go that are superstitious.  Personally I think that the way programmers think and rationalize is different than those in other fields.  Just my opinion though.



  • Hey Josh - First off, HUGE fan of your other work on that other site you do.   

    For me, it's the rubber iguana that sits on top of my monitor or tower that's followed me since my first IT job.  It's cast from a real iguana and airbrushed for realism. I don't freak out if I don't have it, but I have encouaged others to pet the iguana for good luck.

    There's also a Hula Girl that I have had for about as long that doesn't get pet for...um...obvious reasons.  I even gave her a nod on an MFD strip.

     



  • The closest thing I have to a superstition is my relationship with our OPC server; I do my best never to touch, look at, or breathe upon that computer; however, this behavior comes from personal experience: the server loves to break its database connection when you do something as innocuous as move the mouse to the extreme edge of the computer screen.

     That said, I am known for whispering short prayers to the great RNG before rolling my dice when playing PnP games.



  • When my phone rings and I see the number is from a certain customer's area code, I KNOW I'm going to be annoyed by whatever they say.



  • Fake answer:  I sacrifice a chicken on top the intranet server ever morning I then open the case and let the blood flow inside the DWH server.

     real answer:  Mondays I always dread them.  It has to be a terrible day.  not really rational since nothing seems to break over a weekend, EVER, around here



  • Heh. My previous job involved major infrastructure changes from time to time, in a large financial institution. Many of the IT staff carried saints in their wallets for "good luck". I think they took "pray everything goes well" too literally ;)

    Another superstition for the dev team was not to order pizza. For some reason, every time they ordered pizza, the app deployment would fail, and a simple 15-minute deployment would turn into a 5-hour nightmare... unless they didn't order pizza. Therefore, pizza was banned for major deployments.



  • @danixdefcon5 said:

    Heh. My previous job involved major infrastructure changes from time to time, in a large financial institution. Many of the IT staff carried saints in their wallets for "good luck". I think they took "pray everything goes well" too literally ;)

    Another superstition for the dev team was not to order pizza. For some reason, every time they ordered pizza, the app deployment would fail, and a simple 15-minute deployment would turn into a 5-hour nightmare... unless they didn't order pizza. Therefore, pizza was banned for major deployments.

    Neither is superstition. The first is religion, established over centuries by study of empirical evidence. The second is common sense. If pizza causes the deployment to fail, it's only logical to not order pizza.



  • @jwenting said:

    The second is common sense. If pizza causes the deployment to fail, it's only logical to not order pizza.

     

    What would you call "superstition" then? How do you believe those potential people would have come to their bear paws? By going into a shop one day and saying "oh, I want to be superstitious from now on"?



  • @jwenting said:

    The first is religion, established over centuries by study of empirical evidence.

    Religion is just really old superstition.

     

    @jwenting said:

    The second is common sense. If pizza causes the deployment to fail, it's only logical to not order pizza.

    Are you joking or just stupid?  As you seem to come out in defense of religion, I'd say the latter, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt...


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.