'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CRISIS 

'Twas the night before crisis, and all through the house,
Not a program was working, not even a browse.            
                                                                         
The programmers were wrung out, too mindless to care,
Knowing chances of cutover hadn't a prayer.                                     
                                    
The users were nestled, all snug in their beds,
While visions of inquiries danced in their heads.
                                                                          
When out in the lobby, there rose such a clatter, 
I sprang from my tube, to see what was the matter.
                                                                          
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a super programmer, oblivious to fear.        
                                                                         
More rapid than eagles, his programs they came,
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

On Update! On Add! On Inquiry! On Delete!
On Batch Jobs! On Closing! On Functions Complete!
                                                                         
His eyes were glazed over, his fingers were lean,
>From weekends and nights, in front of a screen. 
                                                                          
A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,          
Soon gave me to know, I had nothing to dread.   
                                                                          
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Turning specs into code, then turned with a jerk.    
                                                                          
And laying his finger on the "GO" key,              
The system came up, and worked perfectly.        
                                                                          
The updates updated, the deletions deleted;        
The inquiries inquired, and the closing completed!
                                                                          
He tested each whistle, and tested each bell,       
With nary a crash, and all had gone well.           
                                                                          
The system was finished, the tests were concluded,  
The clients last changes were even included!           
                                                                          
And the client exclaimed with a snarl and a taunt:
"Its just what I asked for, but not what I want!"     


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This page last modified on : Dec. 27, 1996