PS: Coffee makes the world go ’round!
Circa 850 A.D, a young shepherd, Kaldi, realizes that his goats would not only have sleepless nights but would start dancing (which is where the term “jumping goats” comes from) after eating from a particular plant on the Ethiopian highlands. Etymologically variant; coffee (English), koffie (Dutch), kahve (Turkish) or qahwa (truncated from Arabic qahhwat al-bun ‘wine of the bean’) made its way to the Arab world as a substitute for alcohol which was then stressed to be cultivated and traded to Europe after realizing its worth as a non-toxic stimulant and commodity. Now, after the British begin transporting these magical red berries to the New World, King George decides to harshly tax the import of tea in 1773, thus bringing coffee to be favoured by colonists, leaving “tea-time” to cough in the dust. So why a caffeinated history lesson on a tech blog? Easy…
Not only is the daily intake a necessity for billions of people, it has even become an integral part of certain industries, namely, application and game development within the information technology sector. Let’s push aside Webster’s and Oxford’s annotations for a moment and look at the true definition of a programmer:
pro·gramm-er [proh-gram-ar] an advanced organism that turns coffee into code.
You may have grinned at the definition above or may have even heard the expression before, but if it wasn’t true, coffee wouldn’t be a mainstay in I.T. culture nor would there be an entire programming language named after it. After James Gosling, Mike Sheridan, and Patrick Naughton brainstormed names for their new programming language, which included Oak (the tree outside of James’ window) and Green, they finally decided on Java, from Java coffee, said to be consumed in large quantities by the language’s creators.
I’ve probed the internet, looked upon passed experiences and even asked some of my developer colleagues about their take on the relation between coffee and code and the results are truly what I expected. In moderate, consistent doses along with the occasional cup as a ‘pick me up’, the majority of programmers agree that coffee is a key aid in their work. These results are relevant in that some believe coffee’s ability to snap them out of a slumber is the perk, versus others that boast that coffee is the sole reason their code has less bugs.
This topic is heavily relative so I invite you to provide your own input. Whether it’s the poll below or a comment you may leave, your feedback is appreciated. Who knows, it could lead to the development of a beverage targeted directly towards programmers of all sorts!
Oh, by the way, if you’re curious about how many cups of your favourite drink it takes to make you croak, check this out: http://www.energyfiend.com/death-by-caffeine