Rik's Ramblings

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Code Names

I was just thinking about project code names.

Engineers (or maybe it's product marketing) always want to have code names for projects.

For a while I had a personal convention of calling all the stuff I worked on by my own codename - assuming it didn't already have a corporate codename.

I had a marine theme (well I am "ukdiveboy" after all).  I had that podcast app called "Grouper" and a testing framework called "Cephalopod".  There were other's too, I won't bore you with them.

But having kewl project code names apparently is hard work.  For a while at work we had some good code names.  For instance, a number of projects named after awesome rock stars: Hendrix, Zeppelin and Floyd.

Then there was a time when it got stupid.  Someone decided fish would be good.  Naturally I liked the idea (see above).  But the implementation lacked imagination.   It started off well, it started with "Albacore".  I liked that.  Good start.  A type of Tuna. The fish theme also adopted a convention of being in alphabetical order, to make it easier to remember which project was supposed to finish first.

Sadly, the second fish chosen was "Babel fish".  It was crap on two levels.  Firstly, it's not a real fish.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge HHGTTG fan, but I am under no delusion that a Babel Fish is real (as much as I would love it to be so, to definitively prove the non-existance of God).

The other thing that annoyed me about the Babel Fish, is that everyone in management pronounced it with a short 'a'.  I was brought up calling it a BAYbel fish, having enjoyed the TV series of the seventies.  Now, I never heard the original radio show.  But I'm going to assume that, if it was called a BAYbel fish on the TV show, it was also a BAYbel fish on the radio show (written by Douglas Adams) and therefore it is a BAYbel fish, even when misappropriated as a product codename by product managers.

Actually, the real reason I was thinking of product code names is that I just saw a picture of a blowfish.  Yes, you guessed it.  The next project was codenamed blowfish.  Now, maybe I'm overly picky, but I didn't like blowFISH, or the following two code names catFISH and dartFISH.  Can you guess why?  That's right.  They contain the word FISH!!  At this point we seem to have degenerated into simply calling the projects B-fish, C-fish, D-fish, and the whole pretence of a codename has lost its significance. 

I would have been very happy to see "Baracuda".  It's a type of fish that doesn't have the word FISH in it's name.  Although at least DARTfish was better than one of the names I saw briefly on a slide, which was DOLPHIN.  While there is a type of fish called a Dolphin-fish I'm pretty sure the person who picked Dolphin was thinking of flipper - though I may be wrong.

We didn't get past D-fish, which is a shame.  I actually had a wager that for "G" they would use Goldfish.  Sadly, we never found out.

I did enjoy another suite of codenames.  They were alcohol based.  This was a great excuse to drink in the office.  I remember Absynthe, Armaniac, Amaretto, they were good alcohols.  Barley Wine tasted terrible.  I can't remember much after that.  Not sure if we stopped, or I was just too drunk to care.

I suppose it's good I don't work on Android.  I'm not much of a candy fan.

I think Indian food would be a good option - I do like savoury and spicy food.  Biriani, Korma, Madras, Tikka.  Yeah!


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