Papadimoulis: Did you see the sunrise this morning, or not make it up that late ?
Atwood: Who me ?
Papadimoulis (& Spolsky): Yes.
Atwood: No, I don't remember actually it all blends together after a while.
Spolsky: What's going on here?
Spolsky: Snap out of it man we've got a podcast to do.
Atwood: I'm ready.
S: And WTF stands for
P: Worse than failure, that was established, yeah we actually established that a couple years ago. I don't know if you guys remember there was a bit of a name change on the site...
S: And people were not happy
P: It didn't work out so well, in retrospect probably keeping the daily WTF was the way to go. I don't know what it was... it just didn't feel right saying it. We obviously talk about the site here at the office, every time any of us said worse than failure, it didn't quite fit.
S: It's like a Bowdlerized version of Shakespeare or something with all the good stuff taken out.
P: More or less. It's hard to say, at the time it seemed like a good idea to kinda go with a name change, but ya know, I'm kinda glad to be back to the old name or the real name, whatever you wanna call it.
A: Changing the name was the ultimate WTF. I think everyone was scratching their head going Wow, that's a real WTF. Why would you change your name?
S: Well, I'll tell you how... new coke
A: Now but you have a good name. I want to change it to something really crappy and see what happens.
P: In fairness, I thought the name was good. I thought it was a clever acronym. It was the result of groupthink.
S: Decisions by committee! You keep going until nobody finds any offense in the thing, and nobody finds any delight in the thing.
P: Well I don't know, we all like the name, we're all like everyone's going to love it because it's kind of clever, yeah but we all just tricked ourselves into thinking that it was the right way to go.
S: Who's we? Who else is there? Is there a whole institution behind The Daily WTF? I thought it was just a guy with a blog.
P: Well, yeah, it is a guy with a blog. I'm the guy, and obviously I have the blog. But I do have a job, a day job, at Inedo and we're a software company that's in the business of helping other software companies develop software better. I'm still working on the elevator pitch, but basically we're in best practices consulting and that sort of thing.
A: I didn't know that.
P: Yeah. Well, we used to do a lot of-we still do-custom, proprietary business software. But I don't know, have you guys developed that? I know Joel, you're primarily with products, right? FogBugz, and CityDesk, and CoPilot, right?
S: Exactly. Totally. No, we haven't done any consulting for a long time. We did it in the old days to raise some money.
P: You know, I really like it. Love doing the business applications, but I'll tell you, I think it's a little more exciting to work in this realm and I've been doing the... helping people do the better software, whether it's continuous integration or whatever's gonna help the process go better. What's fun is the Daily WTF has helped me learn just how how wrong so much of software is, or at least software development at so many places. So it's kind of given a unique perspective on things.
S: We are talking today to Alex Papadimoulis, who is the blogger at the Daily WTF, which is a blog, if you haven't seen it, about all kinds of things going wrong in software development. Right? It's mostly software development, although I see wine bottles here on the front page...
P: Information technology. But, yeah, generally software development.
S: Is there a difference between information technology and software development?
P: I like to think IT kind of encompasses maybe the network. IT is a broader domain. Software is just internal applications, external applications, whereas the IT organization handles all the servers, the desktops, phone systems, they seem to get it all.
S: And you guys always have, besides having actual bodies of bad code, things are always written in an exciting, story-like way. Do you get these things submitted from people and then rewrite them, is that what goes on there? Do they submit them correctly in the first place?
P: You know, very rarely. And I'll tell you a little bit of background: we started doing all exclusively code, which... the bad code is fun to read. I think like writing, and I know Jake, he helps out on the site, Mark, we all like writing and it just kind of fell into the format of starting with a fun paragraph at the beginning of a code snippet to writing stories in a unique manner.