Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Would You Add Easter Eggs To Software Produced At Work?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the throw-in-a-flight-sim dept.

Programming 747

Mr. Leinad writes "Do you add Easter Eggs to the software that is produced at the office? I mean, if you have complete control over the final product, do you spice it up with that little personal touch, which, as unlikely as it is that anyone will see, carries with it an 'I was here' signature? I've just finished the development of a large software product, and I have a couple of days left to try to add my own personal Easter Egg code, but given that the software is quite professional, I don't know if I should. What do you think? Should we developers sign our creations?"

cancel ×

747 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

No, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25918971)

I do add FIRST POST to this article.

I would (5, Insightful)

malkir (1031750) | more than 5 years ago | (#25918979)

Subtlety is key, even if it's for something like proving the program was coded by you if some asshole attempts to take credit...

Re:I would (5, Interesting)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919055)

I already did... Long time ago, in an e-Banking application. If you pressed ctrl-alt and clicked on the bank logo, you got a picture of the development team. It was innocent stuff, but I know as a fact that they have removed it by now. It was simple code, a bit of JavaScript and a picture named as if it was an advertisement banner.

Ah, the good old days when I was young and foolish.

Re:I would (3, Interesting)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919313)

And keep it useful and not potentially offensive, i.e. don't put in an Easter Egg like the one originally in SimCopter (some speedo wearing dudes that made out with eachother, swarmed the chopper and then had to go to hospital..)

Easter Egg Link [wikipedia.org]

Re:I would (5, Funny)

supaneko (1019638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919401)

Does a rooted backdoor count as an easter egg? :D

Re:I would (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919419)

no, i think that is classed as a felony.

ianal, ymmv, gtfo

Of course! (5, Insightful)

ohxten (1248800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25918985)

Of course! Doing so in an unobtrusive, unharmful way only adds charm to the product.

Re:Of course! (3, Interesting)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919109)

Yea, I add tons of them, along with funny error messages for things that should never happen but somehow actually do from time to time - Then I always have people come up to me with a confused look asking about the error :) Just make sure they're appropriate. For instance, a picture of yourself popping up when they do something special is okay. Picture of goatcx guy, not so much.

Re:Of course! (4, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919119)

What if you are the goatsx guy?

Re:Of course! (4, Funny)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919287)

Then you might want to consider taking a photo of the OTHER end for once.

Re:Of course! (4, Funny)

sp3d2orbit (81173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919297)

I worked with a text editor in college where upon triggering an unlikely error the user was prompted with the message:

"Are you A) Blind or B) Stupid?"

The user had to pick one to continue.

Ask yourself one thing. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919299)

How are your going to be able to explain NOT fixing a bug that got through in your code when you had time to include an un-spec'ed Easter egg?

This isn't about charm. This is about having to explain to management why a customer is unhappy.

My Easter Eggs are comments and error messages. (3, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919353)

A humorous error message often brightens the day of the poor guy in operations who has to report back to the developer.

Re:Ask yourself one thing. (5, Funny)

ohxten (1248800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919417)

How are your going to be able to explain NOT fixing a bug that got through in your code when you had time to include an un-spec'ed Easter egg?

Blame the intern.

EasterEggs to Website (1)

jnicole4 (1419377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25918991)

You know, I'd have to say it really depends on whose site it is and what the site is promoting. I tend to be a bit conservative with my clients, so for something you describe and "professional," I'd probably leave my signature out of it. Save that for the more adventurous sites.

Professional easter eggs (2, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25918997)

Several large software companies have left easter-eggs in "Professional" products. Microsoft office had pinball and a flight simulator, I seem to remember.

Re:Professional easter eggs (1)

Evil Pete (73279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919175)

And the Windows95 Easter Egg where with a complex series of actions on the desktop you would get a window + music scrolling the names of all the contributors to the OS.

However. Make sure it is tested properly. The only easter eggs I ever add are useful troubleshooting features which I use to debug it. But I'm boring, too much under the gun to write games etc as well.

Re:Professional easter eggs (5, Funny)

casualsax3 (875131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919241)

Don't forget the Windows95 Easter Egg where a simple series of actions on the desktop would get you a blue screen with a special message from the OS.

Re:Professional easter eggs (1)

dingo8baby (1262090) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919439)

i don't think that one is Windows 95 exclusive.

Does 'job security' count? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919005)

Not that I added anything to that nuclear launch program. No, the other one.

The 'story' Tag... (1)

perffectworld (973737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919015)

The 'story' tag never ceases to amaze me. It even pops up in questions!

Re:The 'story' Tag... (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919269)

It is a type tag to separate things still in the firehose from things not in the hose. I think there are other system tags, maybe idle to separate that crap too.

What is this "would" you speak of? (4, Funny)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919023)

Getting such things past the pointy heads is just good fun. Getting the doomsday code past them is a riot.

Well.. (5, Funny)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919033)

Easter Eggs? No, funny comments/error messages, and bizarre variable names, absolutely.

I will never forget the day a student who was using my software for a project asked during a meeting what an 'out of cheese' error was. The poor kid was so confused :)

Re:Well.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919081)

... a student who was using my software for a project asked during a meeting what an 'out of cheese' error was. The poor kid was so confused :)

I don't use a mouse, you insensitive clod!

Re:Well.. (4, Interesting)

Clueless Moron (548336) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919097)

Easter Eggs? No, funny comments/error messages, and bizarre variable names, absolutely.

At one place I worked, the guy who wrote up the coding standard explicitly prohibited jokes in comments and humorous variable names. I'm not kidding.

Presumably he will be reincarnated as a worker ant in his next life.

Re:Well.. (1)

Windows_NT (1353809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919229)

Yes. Comments are the best place to put your touch .. Although functions and classes will have our names on them (so the others know who to talk to when it doesnt work). But i also like to throwrandom fortune messages or starwars quotes into the mix
"The empire is getting closer, and R2-D2 is nowhere to be found ..." Better yet, to put even more of a touch, do your special comments in Hexidecimal or binary ..

Re:Well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919101)

+++melon melon melon+++
+++redo from start+++

Re:Well.. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919187)

who the hell is Redo, where is start, and what does he want anyway?

Anthill inside!

Re:Well.. (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919361)

Easter Eggs? No, funny comments/error messages, and bizarre variable names, absolutely.

I will never forget the day a student who was using my software for a project asked during a meeting what an 'out of cheese' error was. The poor kid was so confused :)

Nothing really tops the Amiga's "Guru Meditation Error".

Re:Well.. (2, Insightful)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919375)

only stuff that appears in compiled code should count. Unless you are talking scripts

Re:Well.. (1)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919389)

Devil's advocate: If other people can't understand your error messages, doesn't that make them... bad error messages?

Remember: "Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute"

OTOH, if you do a good job of commenting on your easter egg in the source, whoever comes along after you should still be able to understand what's going on, and you get to amuse yourself with jokes. Win-win?

Add something useful instead (4, Interesting)

Clueless Moron (548336) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919037)

Anywhere I've worked, we've always tended to add potentially useful but undocumented experimental features to our programs.

Quite often they end up being useful and get cleaned up and documented in subsequent releases.

Re:Add something useful instead (2, Interesting)

dujenwook (834549) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919407)

You do have to be careful with this sort of thing, depending on the customer and your revenue model. I find that giving functional freebies, especially in commissioned/ongoing projects, spoils the customer causing them to expect such extras in future mods. You also lose out on the chance to charge them for the feature. Of course on the other hand it could also work in your favor if they understand, appreciate and don't take the extra work for granted.

Shit happens (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919047)

Is a pending accident waiting to happen. Maybe because the change adding the Easter Egg the application have a problem (security, speed, space, whatever), maybe people find or know about your easter egg, do every possible misuse of the application to try to find another, and something breaks somewhere. And adding something not requested/approved by your company is a bad precedent, another way to put an "i was here" message is called "backdoor".

Rick roll in the Code. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919057)

Something like

You know the Rules, and so do I...
We're never going to give you up,
We're never going to let you down,
We'll never run around and desert you....

Sure. But you had better be careful. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919065)

If your "easter egg" causes bugs that end up costing the company money, your ass is grass.

No. (0, Troll)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919085)

The mere fact that you are asking this question tells me you lack any kind of professional integrity.

Re:No. (1, Troll)

finky (1419489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919145)

The mere fact you answer a question like this tells me that you are a jackass.

Re:No. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919165)

The mere fact that you are asking this question tells me you lack any kind of professional integrity.

      Cool! I pressed my right mouse button and hit left Ctrl-Shift-Enter and typed in my birthday on your post, and managed to play that pong game you coded! Well done!!!

Been there done that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919087)

I worked on the Lexmark MarkNet print servers and adapter cards back in the 90s. We had an easter egg that would print a page with all the firmware developers' names in it when you pressed the buttons on the adapter in a certain order. With the insane amount of stuff those little things did -- they were basically a complete Unix server in a little box, not bad for its time -- we figured we could give ourselves a pat on the back. Even if nobody probably ever saw it, at least we knew it was in there.

Re:Been there done that (5, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919277)

I used to work in the visuals department for a flight sim company and it was common practice for the image database devs to sign their names and leave each other messages at something like -10m below the airport's primary runway.

This was all well and good until we had some sort of glitch on a sim under test and the customer's chief pilot managed to land through the runway and the entire cockpit view was filled with something like "Fuck off Dave!"

Management were not pleased!

No. (1)

z_gringo (452163) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919093)

No. You shouldn't.

Professionally Signed (5, Interesting)

no1home (1271260) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919095)

My personal take on this is to go ahead. First, the world NEEDS to step back from the super-serious attitude, but still be polite. Second, coding is as much art as science and I think your paintings, songs, code, engineering, etc should all have your personal mark, something to make it identifiably yours. Third (kinda goes with the first) doing so can be a moral booster for you AND those who discover it.

However, there are issues to keep in mind. You must keep it professional, so no vulgarity, rudeness, or jokes about loss of data. Certainly, you should avoid all the '-isms' like the plague. And, just as important, it should be clear that the Easter Eggs do not break security in any way.

In short, make it secure, polite, fun and it should be cool.

Re:Professionally Signed (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919243)

If you hold Select, A, and B, the Naughty Dog girl shows up topless. With nipples.

Re:Professionally Signed (5, Insightful)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919245)

Speaking as a Software Engineer (I consider myself a professional); you are undermining the customer's trust in your product simply to massage your own ego. Customers are naturally concerned about integrity and security (more so today than ever before). Once you've demonstrated a desire to hide "secret features" in their products, they may start to wonder what other (perhaps malign functionality) is lurking in the code.

Re:Professionally Signed (4, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919317)

Speaking as a Software Engineer (I consider myself a professional); you are undermining the customer's trust in your product simply to massage your own ego. Customers are naturally concerned about integrity and security (more so today than ever before). Once you've demonstrated a desire to hide "secret features" in their products, they may start to wonder what other (perhaps malign functionality) is lurking in the code.

Thank you. I was starting to think that attitude was entirely missing from the Slashdot crowd. "Easter Eggs", bah. Programmers and engineers should make their mark in the world by designing and implementing quality products and not, as you say, massaging their obviously-inflated egos.

Re:Professionally Signed (5, Funny)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919397)

I am a robot. I do only as instructed. Beep beep. Bloop Bloop.

More for the Testers (1, Offtopic)

tomhath (637240) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919105)

I occasionally toss little jokes in for QA to find. Keeps them honest.

Re:More for the Testers (4, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919291)

That's just good practice. You should put in a handful of bugs and see how many your QA department finds.

If you put in 10 and they find 8 of those plus 24 other bugs, then you can roughly estimate that there are about 30 bugs in the code that you have to fix.

Test your testers.

No (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919113)

Most of the projects I've been on never left me with time for fun stuff like that.

Re:No (2)

Windows_NT (1353809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919265)

must not code fast enough .. Real programs only spend two hours a day programming .. then rest is spent sleeping, getting coffee, or posting on /.

Well, yes (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919115)

Yes, you should. Just do so in good taste. I once put The Story of Mordac(tm) into a script that I made and distributed around the office, which described in a humorous and epic way the reason for its invention: All it did was send F5 to a window with a specified name.

We were running HP Service Desk and the admins, in their infinite idiocy, disabled the auto-refresh of the views. This was because they seriously under-spec'd the server and were looking for any way possible to cut the load down. It crashed every few hours; Which is what you get for using Citrix for over five thousand workstations in six different countries for "security" purposes. And then using RAID10 on the database... oh god, the write times, they buuuurnses us. *snickers* In either event, after distributing it to our techs and letting it bounce around the working grunts in our various offices for awhile, I let it slip to a few friends about the story of Mordac, Preventer of Information Services (thank you Dilbert), who I credited with the debacle.

Two weeks later, the auto-refresh got turned back on. Many queries were made and security operations attempted to track down who had made the "unauthorized script". To this day, whenever a feature gets turned off on a server that the users liked, or some dumb "security" policy goes into place... People chalk it up to Mordac. Many of them aren't familiar enough with the strip to know of the little-known Dilbert character. ;)

Easter egg away my friend, but remember thy audience!

Re:Well, yes (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919359)

There are three potential problems that you mention. a) "unauthorized script"; b)"a feature that gets turned off...that the users liked"; and c) "some dumb security policy".

It seems there is a common thread there. And it all seems to point to retaliation towards those making security decisions or (in general people 'higher up' making decisions). a) You said it yourself "unauthorized script". This is not an easter egg, this is an unauthorized script. b) the users are users, not security experts, and just because they liked something doesn't mean it was good. Writing a script to distribute some funny message in response is not (IMO) the right answer. c) "dumb security policy". This seems related to item b. If the policy is so dumb, then there are usually correct ways to get it changed. Writing a script (IMO) is not the correct way.

I understood what you did may have been a lot of fun, but it doesn't seem to be what is generally described as an easter egg.

No guts, no glory (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919139)

There is no right time or place to add an easter egg.
There is only the question of whether you have the cojones to do it.

God, no (4, Insightful)

eddy the lip (20794) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919147)

These make for great legends, but as much as I hate to admit it, I've gotten very serious about my work. Easter eggs are not generally appreciated by the Powers That Be, or by clients paying big cash for a product. My personal reputation, and producing a quality product have become important to me.

There's also the fact that that more code == more bugs. You can't get around that. Why open up a professional product and your reputation as a developer by making it more likely that you'll screw up?

I can see certain exceptions to this - for instance, games with easter eggs (approved, of course) can add to the charm of a product. An easter in egg in Quicken would be less cool.

Re:God, no (4, Informative)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919333)

These make for great legends, but as much as I hate to admit it, I've gotten very serious about my work. Easter eggs are not generally appreciated by the Powers That Be, or by clients paying big cash for a product. My personal reputation, and producing a quality product have become important to me.

Here's one of those legends [rinkworks.com] where a well-executed easter egg of sorts served to corroborate one's professional reputation:

My old boss spent some time writing statistical analysis packages for the Archimedes. One of them got fairly popular for Archie software, and he started a small business selling it. For those who don't know, Archie software usually came as source code and was executed through an interpreter.

One day at a scientific meeting, he noticed that another company was showing Archie software with remarkably similar functionality to his own, so he wandered over. The longer he watched, the more familiar it looked. Eventually, when the sales representative had gathered a good crowd, he asked in a loud voice:

  • My Boss: "Are you using my copyrighted code for this?"
  • Sales Representative: "Of course not."
  • My Boss: "So what happens if you press [key combination]?"
  • Sales Representative: "Nothing."
  • My Boss: "Do it for me."
  • Sales Representative: "Ok sir, but I can assure you it does--"

The screen displayed my boss' copyright notice. All they'd done was remove the front end.

It widely accepted as the biggest laugh of the show.

Comments. (3, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919155)

Your name should be all over the code you write... In the comments/remarks as defined by whatever language you're using.

This might answer the other thread's discussion... (2, Interesting)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919157)

Short answer: If Google can do it, then why can't you?

But about the Subject... There was a discussion about "moral" vs. "ethical". Here is a case that might help answer the question of "what is the difference"?

Adding an easter egg to your product, one that doesn't add value to the product, could be spending company resources, and getting paid, to do something that was never your job. So, it's not ethical.

But to say it's not moral? I don't think anyone would go that far.

Guru meditation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919167)

The best easter egg is pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del to log in, which still eludes many computer users...

AS long as... (1)

perlhacker14 (1056902) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919177)

I personally see no issue with a personal touch as long as it is undetectable and actually functional; there really is not much of a point in a simple "I WAS HERE!" sort of message; perhaps something that extends or adds function to the software?
I briefly worked (back in high school) for my school's tech department (being more qualified then they were) on a few projects. One of the few rules I was explicitly reminded of was no additional functionality or 'easter egg' type things. Perhaps employers dislike anything useless, but I personally think if it will never be found and is enjoyable or helpful, why not?

Re:AS long as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919227)

You worked for your SCHOOL??? Loser.

No, never, stop thinking about it. (5, Funny)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919183)

One of Microsoft's head programmers tried a little stunt like the one you're suggesting. It cost him his career... his dignity... and if the suicide note was of any indication, even his life.

His name was Andrew B. Clippy, and his "personal touch" tore him asunder.

Re:No, never, stop thinking about it. (1)

Windows_NT (1353809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919305)

so.. was that joke?
Clippy being the programmer?
Or did the programmer who created clippy actually commit suicide?

Re:No, never, stop thinking about it. (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919345)

Do Microsoft employees have a career, dignity, and a life? They must be doing better than I am.

Don't waste too much time on it (1)

genik76 (1193359) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919193)

You should add elaborate easter eggs only, if you are 100 % sure there is nothing else you can do to improve the software, that is probably never. Save yourself some future grief by running more tests, going through the code or documentation or by fixing some of the bugs or "issues" that are undoubtedly still there somewhere to fix. Adding something like a dev team picture behing a key combination is cool, though, and hardly wastes any time.

You can do that? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919199)

You can program a complete flight simulator in two days?

Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919209)

Anywhere i've worked we don't have time to finish the product much less add extra's.

If creating something fun isn't taking away from something else and it's somewhat professional i see no issue with this.
However, if your building the product for someone else i would find that seriously unprofessional.

I think it also matters if its a team deciding to do it or if it's just some rogue programmer inserting hidden code. The latter should get you fired or in serious truble no matter if it's harmless or not.

Yes. Do it. DO IT NOW! (2, Interesting)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919213)

Eastereggs are the sign that a company is proud of its software. Add something in that only people who had heard of it and were looking for it would find. If people are looking for it, they probably arent the starch shirted old people who would be opposed to a little bit of humor at work.

No easter eggs for me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919217)

My current employer once almost got sued over an easter egg. The product was crashing constantly and the customer discovered a "funny" error message the nasty way and reacted something like "what the f*ck do you guys think you're doing?!". So ever since then the whole thing is easter egg free.

(posted anonymously for obvious reasons)

Maybe - Maybe Not... (3, Interesting)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919223)

I would say if it is done in unquestionable good taste it is OK - I have a friend who was nearly fired over a log message that contained profanity and was written to some obscure text file - a government official was randomly looking at files and found it and alerted his superiors - it was a BIG mess...did I mention this was on a major DoD weapons system.... It is not an Easter Egg but it certainly shows the pitfalls of "personalizing software"

Initial release? (1)

I.M.O.G. (811163) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919233)

I wouldn't put easter eggs in an initial release. The odds are fairly good that the software hasn't been fully tested in a production environment or by a user base like that which it was ultimately designed for.

Let the monkeys pound on your first release for a while then if it holds up like you expect it to, perhaps work in some easter eggs in the next release along with some bug fixes. Having easter eggs and unexpected bugs/flakiness in an initial release would be embarrassing, and call into question the seriousness of your coding. If your unquestionably confident in the quality of the product, then you don't need to bother asking if its alright - if you've nailed it, adding your own flair is cool and fun.

Re:Initial release? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919279)

Having easter eggs and unexpected bugs/flakiness in an initial release would be embarrassing, and call into question the seriousness of your coding.

What? Installing an easter egg into a product at any point in its development cycle calls into question not only the seriousness of your coding, but your professional ethics. This whole thread is stupid: your employers don't pay you to insert unauthorized code into their commercial software, and if you think they do, odds are you're mistaken.

Re:Initial release? (1)

I.M.O.G. (811163) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919415)

Installing an easter egg into a product at any point in its development cycle calls into question not only the seriousness of your coding, but your professional ethics.

Professional ethics? You've got to be kidding - a harmless personal touch in a finished product is in no way an ethical matter. The only risk here is a matter of quality - you don't want to appear as tho you've wasted time on frills when the core functionality is subpar. Outside of that, if your afraid to have some harmless fun with what you do its likely you won't enjoy your job much.

you disgust me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919235)

and i thought playing christmas music before thanksgiving was rude

The team (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919239)

A pic of the developement team would be neat.

Re:The team (0, Redundant)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919289)

unless your team happens to be Team Goatsx...

Bar code scanner to say "Hello Joost" (2, Funny)

Proto23 (931154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919249)

I have programmed an in shop bar code scanner meant to display the price information to customers in the store to say "Hello Joost" for one particular of the shelve product. For those in the Netherlands it was at XL Paris a shop with a lot of perfumes and stuff. I never ever heard about it from any manager, but have shown a number of friends and my girl friend the "Hello Joost". As far as I know they still use the same bar code scanners, but I am not sure whether my code is still in.

Re:Bar code scanner to say "Hello Joost" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919369)

i buy my wife's perfume there - nice service (leuven, belgium). and as a foreigner, i always loved the name joost. i laughed very hard when it was chosen as the name for that ill-fated video site, since that joke doesn't work in dutch.

/ac for off-topic reasons ....

No. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919261)

Do you add Easter Eggs to the software that is produced at the office?

No. Period. End-Of-Statement. Even if I worked for a game studio (and I used to) I wouldn't do that. It's thoroughly unprofessional.

Personally, no (1)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919263)

I wouldn't and do not. I can't see any real need for it and it is simply something else that may go wrong and hurt something.

Yes, we like to think we can do all this totally 100% orthogonal and have it just be "fun" - but we all also know how well that works in practice in software products we have purchased/used. I'm certain that programmer thought it would be harmless, cute, and he was more than good enough to put it in there.

Of course, if you have a good QA department and said easter egg goes through that process too then that is also another story - would you really want *any* un-tested code in critical software even if it only pops up a smiley face? You always will get some - code is too complex to be other wise - but I would generally avoid intentionally untested code and I doubt anyplace is going to be happy to spend money testing your easter eggs.

If I want to personally sign things I do so in the comments. While most of mine are direct and to the point there is generally some humor in them and personal touches. It is one place I feel fairly confident that it will not hurt anything else and the reality is that this is the only place anyone is really going to have any idea that the easter egg is actually yours.

Now, in some products (say entertainment products) I think easter eggs should be a near requirement. However for working code I do not want them in there on either things I produce or things I purchase.

It's your career... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919267)

Do what you want, it's your career. If you're posting the question on Slashdot, you obviously have doubts. Maybe you should listen to that little voice inside... or not.

I put them in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919283)

My easter eggs cause my code to periodically crash the system for no apparent reason.

Not even to me!

You tell me. (4, Interesting)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919285)

I write firmware for medical devices. You want some easter eggs in your ECG?

Re:You tell me. (5, Funny)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919421)

Yes, I want it to reverse current and shock me so my heart pulses out jingle bells! Whilst the readout shows vectored pine trees!!!

yep (1)

zaunuz (624853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919295)

Short answer: Yes i would

Long answer: I already have.. in a web-suite that i was the lead systems developer for, the finished product had this menu-system based on 3 x 3 iconds (9 total for those who don't know their arithmetics).. it was all javascript-based, and if you pressed the right CSS-boxes and icons in the correct order, the menu-icons disappeared, and you'd be left with an empty grid (3 x 3 open squares, still 9 total, in case you forgot already), where you could play tic-tac-toe against a simple AI written in javascript as well. That's what i got after the javascript-developers were finished with their part and just waiting for the backend to be completed. I told them "Be productive, amuse me.. easter eggs are always fun".. oh god i laughed when i saw the finished result.

My favorite easter eggs (1)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919315)

My favorite easter eggs are usually found in the comments for source code. You get to see features that were left out, acknowledgments of unfixed bugs, and rude messages about other programmers in the project.

Not a chance (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919341)

No way I'd sign my work at work.

It's not yours. You may have written it but you did it on the company dime. You don't own it, so don't go messing it up with your graffiti.

Besides, why would you want to in the first place? When it crashes (and it will eventually - most workplace projects are committee clusterfucks) do you really want your name on it?

Only if you're perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919347)

----
But it didn't matter - we still shouldn't have done it. Why? Because it was utterly irresponsible. We didn't tell the customers about it, and that was unforgivable, ESPECIALLY in a network server. What would have happened if there had been a buffer overflow or other security bug in the Easter Egg code? How could we POSSIBLY explain to our customers that the reason we allowed a worm to propagate on the internet was because of the vanity of our deveopers? Why on EARTH would they trust us in the future?

Not to mention that we messed up. Just like the NT 3.1 Easter Egg, we had a bug in our Easter Egg, and we would send the Easter Egg out in response to protocol elements other than the intended ones. When I was discussing this topic with Raymond Chen, he pointed out that his real-world IMAP client hit this bug - and he was more than slightly upset at us for it.
----
Larry Osterman
<http://blogs.msdn.com/larryosterman/archive/2005/10/21/483608.aspx>

Two answers (1)

JavaRob (28971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919355)

Well, an easter egg is a feature, and it's more or less guaranteed that the feature you code at the last second in great haste is the one that will contain a bug capable of making the whole damned thing unusable if the user performs the right (wrong) action.

It might turn out that the obscure key combination you chose for your easter egg happens to be *right* near a commonly used key combination in some other part of the app (which you didn't work on... so you won't know).

And when that bug from hell is finally tracked down, and the code was checked in by you, and you have to explain to your CEO that it was an *easter egg*....

On the other hand, the idea has appeal... we're stupid that way, aren't way? Assuming the product still has some solid testing ahead of it (that will protect you a bit, though of course they won't likely test your secret feature), make sure your easter egg is easily debugged and difficult to trigger, make sure its implementation doesn't involve changing any important or delicate code, and make sure it's easy to remove cleanly and simply (and if you find it's not going to be complete enough to be amusing in time, you can pull the plug easily).

Have fun!

Sure! (1)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919357)

... and I have... :)

As long as it's not some insanely time consuming thing that causes bugs or complexity in the "public" parts of the program, I don't see a problem with it. Gotta blow off steam somehow...

The best one ever (4, Interesting)

nhtshot (198470) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919363)

I used to be the lead programmer for a Big Company (tm). We'd just completed a several year project to build and roll out an in-house ERP system. It was mid-October.

I decided we needed a little fun break. I whipped up a quick piece of code that recolored all the application screens in orange and black. Through it on the update server.

When everyone logged in on Halloween, they were greeted with orange and black screens. Everybody laughed. Even the PHB thought it was pretty funny.

If your work is so serious that you can't have a little fun, it's probably time to find a new job.

Good lord, grow up. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919367)

Juveniles shouldn't work on products. . .

No problem if it's small and unobtrusive. (2, Insightful)

nozzo (851371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919373)

I normally put one in that if you hold down CTRL and click a certain area of the screen it'll say something like "Programmed by x, y and z". Just so I know I'll always have a little bit of me in there.

Yes.. ofcourse easter eggs exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919383)

You mean the easter egg that never bills my calls or logs the CDRs?

Perhaps I did, and if I did it'd have been done so well that nobody will have noticed it for years. ;)

here's what I did... (5, Interesting)

marhar (66825) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919385)

It's only an easter egg for true geeks, but I used this value as an encryption seed:

long encrypt_seed[]={1263681869,1381122376,1313821513};

Hexdumping the executable shows:

00000130 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
00000140 00 00 00 00 4d 41 52 4b 48 41 52 52 49 53 4f 4e ....MARKHARRISON
00000150 01 00 00 00 0f 02 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 78 00 ..............x.

Since it's the file encryption seed, nobody can ever change it without destroying the program's ability to decrypt old files!

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919391)

cowsay "never"

Don't know if you'd call it an Easter Egg... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919403)

During a large software product (4 years to completion) there had been a major disagreement about 3 years in. PHB vs programmers. Several programmers walked for what I considered legitimate grievances. For those of us there at the end, the PHB informed us that only those who saw the project through to completion would receive recognition. (Ie. credit.) Long story short, in this major piece of software used by government organizations in several countries, if you go to a certain place and do a certain thing, you get a list of everyone who worked on the software at any point during the development. It was tricky to hide (the PHB know how to grep the source) but hiding encrypted data and a decrypter wasn't too hard. ;) This was several years ago and AFAIK, it's not only in the first version, it's in the newest release.

No BS code gets in without need. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25919425)

I don't allow caveman art in my company's software. I don't even allow programmer's login-ID in the code but it is usually present in CM history. For one, code is written by one, but maintained by many. You either want to have everyone's name on there to be fair or no one's. I absolutely hate people writing their names in big bold letters on the front page of the document or documenting "Author: XXX" in the software when all they may have done is just to create the file and add the first two lines of code (out of a thousand). Other "non-author" programmers feel awkward to remove names even when their contributions may be substantial and so I make it a rule not to allow names. For security reasons, I simply do not allow any signature.

Could be as simple as: (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 5 years ago | (#25919443)

Yes = fired
No = !fired

think about it

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>