Stop being serious

Information is serious stuff and must be treated with the appropriate earnest respect it deserves. Stop laughing at the back, this is not a joking matter. How do you feel when you go looking for information and can’t find it? Or find what you think will be helpful information only to discover that it is useless.

At that point, information is very very serious indeed and causes many people to gnash their teeth, wail their woes and other expressions of frustration and angst.

The reason I mention this, something I’m sure most of you are both perfectly aware and the unwitting recipients of, is because I have a tendency to be silly sometimes. Which means, say, adding an entry to a product glossary titled “Rubber Chicken” with a definition of “See Custard Pie” (and yes, the “Custard Pie” entry had the definition of “See Rubber Chicken”). Yes, it’s silly, but sometimes, if done correctly, a spot of humour can have a positive effect.

Thankfully the terminology used in software development can provide some perfect moments, so when someone recently asked “How do I destroy a custom component?” on an internal mailing list, one response (which alas I can’t post here) tickled my funny bone so much that I posted it to our developer community website.

Suffice to say that the response discussed destroying a custom component on a physical level (including dropping the hardware from a height) and the emotional level (including underming the confidence of the custom component with heavy doses of sarcasm) and had everyone who read it in stitches.

Was it inappropriate? Perhaps, but a little humour can go a long way.