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Festive thoughts

Opinion
Dec 19, 20054 mins
Networking

With the Christmas season upon us how could I not be festive? I’m thinking festive thoughts, enthusiastically bidding complete strangers festive greetings (my court case comes up on Tuesday), and I’m drinking lots of festive Cabernet. In the grip of this festive spirit, I wrote this just for you.With sincere apologies to Clement Clarke Moore (who is dead so he won’t care anyway)

With the Christmas season upon us how could I not be festive? I’m thinking festive thoughts, enthusiastically bidding complete strangers festive greetings (my court case comes up on Tuesday), and I’m drinking lots of festive Cabernet.

In the grip of this festive spirit, I wrote this just for you.With sincere apologies to Clement Clarke Moore (who is dead so he won’t care anyway) is . . .

The night before rollout

‘Twas the night before rollout and all through the shop,

The programmers were coding, they could not yet stop.

The schedule was hung ’round the cube farm with care,

In the hope that the deadline would turn out to be fair.

QA were nestled all snug in their lair,

Trying not to pull out the rest of their hair.

The CEO in his office, his head in a spin,

Had gone for the coffee and lots of aspirin,

When out in the server farm there arose such a clatter

I sprang from my Aeron to see what was the matter.

The programmers proclaimed that they’d done their best,

They thought they could hack it but their code seemed possessed.

I thought and I argued but I had to agree,

The pain came from software propri-e-tar-y.

Then, what to my wondering eye appears

But a miniature server and eight engineers,

With a little old guru, full of vigor and force,

That I knew was the spirit of (you guessed) Open Source.

And he whistled, and shouted, and called each by name

“Now, Linux! now, Ruby! now, Ajax and Curl!

On Python! on PHP! on, Apache and Perl!

To the top of the market! To the top of them all!

Now code away! code away! code away all!”

So off to our cube farm the solutions they flew

Free like the wind (some free like beer too).

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the ‘Net

The prancing and dancing of more software yet.

As I rushed to my office and was turning around,

Microsoft came into our building with a mighty bound.

They were dressed all in spin, with ads and white papers

Their stories were thoroughly tarnished from marketing vapors.

A bundle of closed software was flung on their backs

They looked like salesmen as they opened their sacks.

Their eyes – how they twinkled! Their dimples so merry!

Their pitches relentless, their arguments scary!

Their incessant sound bites were like a rain of blows,

But their pitches were slim and their street cred was low.

They had pinched faces and lots of flash,

And lots of consultants (who made off with their cash).

They were a team, each a jolly spin elf,

And I laughed when I saw them in spite of myself.

Their arguments hanging by naught but a thread,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

Our coders spoke not a word but went back to their work,

And completed their software with a laugh and a smirk,

And extending a finger up into the air,

They made it quite clear that they hadn’t a care.

They sprang to their testing, they got it online,

And everything ran true, clean and fine.

But I heard Microsoft as they left our poor shack,

Say “Merry Coding to all (you can bet we’ll be back)!”

I wish you the best holiday season ever. May Santa bring you everything you want. Tell backspin@gibbs.com if you’ve been naughty or nice (or declare it publicly in Gibbsblog ).

mark_gibbs

Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at http://gibbs.com/mgbio

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